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The fashion industry survived a strong hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales growth of Amazon footwear and apparel in the US dropped by almost 50%. Even though the apparel e-commerce market in the US is set to recover and grow from $87.6 billion in 2019 to $99.1 billion in 2021, fashion companies are still on the watch for new ways to strengthen their sales.
Customer satisfaction in the fashion industry depends heavily on the size of the gap between what people see when they view a picture of an item and what they look like wearing the item in real life. The smaller the gap, the happier the customer. To better meet customers’ expectations and help them choose what fashions fit them best, companies use online 3D product configurators.
A picture speaks a thousand words, and a 3D image says even more than a 2D image.
Let’s learn about what an online 3D product configurator is and why you should consider one for your brand.
A 3D product configurator is a technology that allows you to showcase your product as a 3D model, customizable in real-time. The 3D product catalog is an app that uses product configurator technology and lets your e-commerce store show all your products as 3D models.
These are effective digital marketing tools that let your customers do the following:
An online product configurator can update pricing in real-time when customers edit details of a product. Once the customer is satisfied with their changes, they can proceed to checkout.
Creating a 3D product builder e-commerce app begins with generating 3D models of all your company’s products. Next, the product configurator software loads and renders those 3D models from the server to your company’s app.
The 3D images need to load and update quickly to deliver a quality user experience. For this reason, the 3D models should be lightweight and render without sacrificing any detail in the images. Finding that balance is the biggest challenge for rendering 3D images to your catalogs.
As a final step, you create a user interface (UI) for the catalog. The UI includes elements that help your customers navigate the catalog and edit the 3D images.
So why are more and more fashion brands adopting 3D product configurators for their online stores? During the pandemic, one of the first things people were expected to cut spending on was fashion and luxury brands. As a result, about half (53%) of fashion retailers had to adjust how they sold products online. One way to secure a top spot in e-commerce is to help customers personalize their purchases, which brings many benefits:
Every business is unique and can find additional benefits from implementing a 3D product configurator on their website. The most important benefits, however, are that it helps reduce costs and grow sales. Let’s look at examples of how fashion retailers use 3D product configurators.
Companies of different sizes in fashion and luxury industries have successfully used online 3D product configurators, sometimes at their stores. We describe some of them below.
Levi’s first introduced in-store customization in 2015. Today, the company’s stores carve out space where their customers can design their own jeans, shorts, jackets, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and even a tote bag online.
Marc Rosen, the executive vice president and president of Levi’s describes this customer-tailored marketing strategy very well: “It is a shift from selling what we make to making what we sell.”
Using Levi’s 3D catalog, users can view an item from any angle and make as many changes and updates as they want. They can customize almost every detail. For jeans, for example, not only can users choose the color, the overdye, and pattern, but you also can add a distressed, worn effect.
Franklin Sports is a premier batting glove company and industry leader. The brand has always taken a custom approach, focusing a complete line of products on a single athlete. Today, the Franklin Sports batting glove is a favorite of Major League Baseball (MLB) players wear.
The company extended its personalized approach and customization to retail and invited everyone to create their own Franklin Sports batting glove online. This strategy aimed to expand the market for customized gloves and thus, boost sales.
On the website, you can customize how your batting glove looks. You can change the colors and patterns for every detail, like the front of the glove’s fingers, the back of the glove’s fingers, the wrists area, and the palm area. You can add a monogram. The 3D view gives you quick feedback on any changes you make, and you can try as many options as you want before selecting the one.
Nike launched the NIKEiD project as a part of their direct to customer (DTC) strategy, aiming to improve sales. The company created a Nike By You line, where customers can create their own design for any style of Nike sneakers and view it in 3D.
Nike also added an option to save an image of your design and share it with friends, causing the campaign to go viral.
IMMAGINE is a small fashion boutique from Denmark. The company founders believe that fashion is a personal statement. Their brand’s sales and marketing efforts focus on letting customers be their own designers.
With their dress configurator, customers create exactly the dress they imagine. They start with a silhouette and can play with cutting each part of the dress, including the waist, neckline, sleeves, and skirt, and then edit the patterns, colors, and materials. At all stages, the configurator shows the dress in 360 degree views.
Shoenvious is a luxury women’s footwear company. The brand message is “luxury” and “you are special.” They advertise themselves as “a fashion company with a technology soul.”
Founded in 2019, today their 3D product builder e-commerce app is at the core of their successful business.
The app lets women design and customize shoes to look and fit exactly as they want. Users can choose from about 100 colors and materials, customize almost every inch of the shoe, design mismatching shoes if they wish, add an inscription, and view all the edits in 3D.
Guerlain is an iconic French perfume, cosmetics, and skincare house.
The company uses 3D configurator technology for its holiday marketing campaign. Guerlain customers can create special gifts by customizing lipsticks and fragrances on the company’s website.
Jweel is a marketplace for personalized jewelry. The main business idea is to create custom-made jewelry, so the company offers its products with the online 3D product configurator. Users start with some preset basic rings and pendants and then edit the materials, add text for engravings or a picture. Customers can also create their own freestyle ring from scratch rather than use one of the preset basic styles. All the editing happens in the online Jweel 3D configurator, where users can zoom in and out on the ring and spin it around, as well as view it on a 3D model of a hand.
Users can share their creations through the company’s Flickr account, which helps build a loyal customer community.
Undandy is a Portuguese men’s footwear brand and a pioneer in custom handcrafted shoes. The company’s mission is to create “utterly authentic” and “quintessentially you” shoes. This is what they build their sales on. 3D product configurator software is the technology that helps fulfill the company’s mission.
From their website’s landing page, you can select “Design yours,” and then choose a base model and craft your style by editing the colors and materials of each part of the shoe. The 3D shoe models rotate 360 degrees to give a holistic view of your design.
Edenly is a gold and diamond jewelry brand. The company has sold exclusively online since their founding in 2008. Edenly understood the barriers customers encounter when purchasing jewelry online — it’s expensive and needs a high level of customization, like stone size, stone cut, and choice of materials.
Edenly integrated an online 3D product configurator at their store to increase their customers’ trust and loyalty. It lets the users customize products in real-time and see what the results look like immediately with 3D rendered images. Edenly customers can create and customize rings, bracelets, necklaces, and pendants.
Fashion Eyewear is a UK-based online optician that supplies glasses from outstanding brands, including Gucci, Prada, Tiffany, and Ray-Ban. Customers can view the glasses in a 3D catalog and customize their shapes and colors. Also, at Fashion Eyewear’s website, customers can virtually try glasses on. The virtual fitting is enabled by augmented reality (AR) technology. All users need to do is turn on their camera and let it scan their face, and the AR will place a digitized version of the product on their face.
AR in retail is still a new market, but combining it with 3D product configurator e-commerce software promises to be the way to gain a competitive edge. A report from eMarketer shows AR’s potential for growth: 10% of US adults have already used it, and 35% were at least somewhat interested in using AR while shopping.
Another study on the experience of shopping for sneakers showed that virtual fitting had a significant positive impact on customer satisfaction and desire to buy.
If you are a fashion retailer and you’re considering what strategic steps your sales and marketing divisions should take — investing in customizations seems like a winning move. Whether you build the software yourself or hire a vendor, you’ll see a return on this investment.
Fashion is very personal and intimate. That’s why it’s a challenge for fashion retailers to close the gap between customers’ expectations and reality. 3D product catalogs and configurators are the best way to provide customers with a comprehensive view of a product and let them personalize products.
You benefit with higher levels of customer satisfaction, increased referrals, and honest feedback from customers, all of which boost sales.
Do you want to improve your sales with 3D product configurators? Contact us at Postindustria so we can help you develop a product builder ecommerce website! Let’s schedule a strategy session with one of our experts, and so we can learn about your business needs.
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