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Elevate eCommerce with 360 Image Viewers

In this era of online shopping visual storytelling takes centre stage, and the power of 360-degree image viewers has emerged as a priceless asset for eCommerce brands.

Even today, the static product image is dominant in online shopping experiences. But in recent years, 360 product image viewers for eCommerce have become an increasingly popular alternative thanks to their benefits.

It’s no surprise either, the decline in consumers shopping in-store partnered with the increase in online shopping habits has created the perfect storm for the need to improve online experiences for consumers. Online shopping was popular before COVID-19, but many never returned to physical stores due to restrictions that forced shoppers to change their habits.

360 images for eCommerce let shoppers view products from all angles before buying. This virtual interaction reduces returns and builds trust. Key benefits are higher conversions from improved visuals, lower return rates as customers understand more about what they’re buying, and better SEO. 360 product images meet the demand for detailed online visuals, leading to an improved customer experience and greater sales conversions for eCommerce retailers.

Implementing 360 spin images for eCommerce does require some effort for retailers. The images must be captured using special equipment and software. However, the investment pays dividends in the long run through increased sales and customer satisfaction. Retailers who embrace 360 spin images for eCommerce will have a competitive advantage over those who rely solely on static product photos.

Interested in learning more? Keep on reading…

What is a 360-image product viewer?

The clue’s in the name, a 360-image product viewer is any 360-degree view of a product which shows it from all sides and angles, giving consumers total freedom to explore the product. Digital 360 viewers could be 3D models, images, gifs, videos, or other alternatives.

Depending on what style of viewer you have, will impact how your 360 image viewer functions and how it is integrated into your website. For example, video 360 viewers might simply be added as a media asset and function by pausing a resuming the content. Whereas more sophisticated 360 and 3D products or image viewers may need to be embedded using HTML code. 360 spin image product viewers usually allow consumers to rotate and stop at predefined degree intervals, usually 15-degree increments. Although almost any type of 360 image viewer would surpass the experience of static imagery, they offer unique traits and benefits in different situations, so making sure you pick the right 360 images for your eCommerce store is crucial.

If you want to make the experience as immersive and interactive as possible though, you’ll be looking at a 3D model product viewer. 3D model viewers are embedded into websites using an HTML code, and consumers can truly explore your products without the restrictions of video or the fixed angles of 360 spin imagery. With these viewers you also get the added benefit of augmented reality, meaning your customers can view your product in any space, at any time, at the touch of a button.

360 product viewers (whatever form) are designed to make online shopping experiences as effortless as possible.

A laptop with a 3D viewer on the screen of a HP laptop.

What are the benefits of 360-images for eCommerce?

Staying ahead of the curve in the fast-paced eCommerce industry is both tough and vital, 360 product viewers put you one (or twenty) steps ahead of your competitor and offer a myriad of benefits. Here are just a few:

Higher conversion rates

Higher conversion rates are the holy grail for eCommerce stores. 360 product viewers can deliver – increasing conversions by up to 5x. By letting shoppers explore and interact with products far beyond static images, 360 viewers boost buyer confidence. When customers can examine products from all angles, their purchasing confidence goes up. The result? Higher likelihood of conversion.

Reduced product return rates

360 product viewers reduce return rates – welcome news for eCommerce retailers. An estimated 49% of UK online shoppers returned items in the past year. Some even over-order intentionally knowing they’ll send products back.

With 360 product viewers, customers can inspect products closely before buying. This means fewer surprises or mistaken purchases. Shoppers know exactly what they’re getting, leading to higher satisfaction and fewer returns. For retailers, lower return rates boost profits and cut unnecessary shipping costs.

360 imagery pays off by reducing preventable returns. After launching 360 views, retailers see higher conversion rates and lower restocking expenses – a win-win for businesses and shoppers.

Many online purchases are returned because products don’t meet consumer expectations. This stems from a lack of understanding about the product initially. With 360 product viewers, shoppers gain far more understanding upfront.

Improved customer experience

360-degree product viewers provide a more complete online shopping experience by giving shoppers an enhanced visualisation of products. This level of visualisation helps customers understand products better, allowing them to make more informed decisions.

360 product viewers also promote higher-level product interactions by allowing customers to rotate, zoom, customise, and configure, all in real-time, creating a more engaging and enjoyable shopping experience.

Competitive advantage

Let’s face the facts, eCommerce is fierce, you are competing against countless other online stores, and sometimes lowering your prices doesn’t quite cut it. That’s where 360 product viewers come in. Unlike traditional static images, 3D product image viewers unlock every angle, detail, and feature of products that can be easily explored.

This level of interactivity bridges the gap between physical and digital shopping experiences, instilling confidence in customers and reducing uncertainty, providing you, with a great competitive advantage.0

Customisable and flexible integrations

360 images for eCommerce also offer the benefit of customisable options, allowing sites to tailor exactly how their products can be viewed and interacted with. The viewer’s appearance, functionality, and integration can all be customised to suit the needs of the eCommerce site. Of course the more complex the viewer, the more investment is needed into developing the viewer. Investment in developing your product experiences is always worthwhile though.

Analytics and insights

With new technology, comes new data and analytics. Don’t lie, if you’re in eCommerce the more customer data, the better, right?

The benefit of having more data and analytics is that it means you can understand your customers more, meaning your current and future approaches can be tailored with a better understanding of how they engage with your products.

You can try metrics such as average time interacting with an image/model, most popular angles, conversions, click-through rates, and more. This data can then be used to inform marketing strategies.

Someone analysing analytical data on a laptop screen.

Examples of 3D product image viewers

Now we have seen some of the benefits, let’s take a look at some 360 images and model viewers in action. We will take a look at a few different types to give you a better understanding of what each means and what each does:

360 spin photography viewer

360-spin photography is a technique used to capture multiple images of a product from unique angles to complete a complete 360 view. The series of images are then combined and can be displayed in an interactive viewer, allowing users to ‘spin’ the product and see it from all angles. Check out some 360 spin photography examples here.q

360 spin images are becoming increasingly popular for eCommerce websites as they allow potential customers to get a comprehensive view of products online. By letting shoppers manipulate and view items from all angles on their screens, 360 spins images attempt to imitate in-person shopping experiences by allowing customer to inspect products from the majority of angles, all the ones provided at least.

360-degree video viewers

Similar to 360 spin imagery photography, 360 video viewers capture a full 360-degree view of a product that shoppers can use to explore. Although not as popular in eCommerce, it is commonly used in advertisements to give a dramatic view of the full product.

Although more restrictive than 360 spin photography, 360 video does have its use cases, including virtual tours and product demonstrations.

3D & AR model viewers

The ultimate eCommerce 360 product viewer. 3D model viewers blow other kinds of 360 imagery out of the water with their advanced functionality, seamless integration, and ease of use. These viewers unlock true product freedom, when we say you can see products from any angle, we mean it. You are not limited to what images were taken or what the video clip displays. The actual product is replaced by a 3D digital twin, which can be explored with total freedom.

Not only this but with REYDAR 3D and AR viewers, you guessed it, you can also view products in augmented reality in your very own space. This feature is exclusive to 3D model viewers and boasts the benefit of building even further confidence for consumers. Try it out below, and explore the product in 3D before pinging it into your own space:

What retailers will benefit from 360 image viewers?

Every retailer will benefit from 360 images or product viewers. No, we’re joking, sort of. Although most online retailers would benefit from adding 360 viewing technology, there are some cases which are more suited to it. Is yours?

Brands with customisable products

Those who sell products with many variations or that are customisable have a great opportunity to improve their online customer experience with 360 images or models.

Customisation is not limited to any products but for example let’s take a furniture retailer who sells chairs, if the chair legs, cushions, and other elements can be swapped out for different colours, patterns, or sizes, having a 360 viewer that can be configured would be great for customers and unlock many benefits for the retailer.

eCommerce exclusive retailers

Whilst some retailers sell online and in physical stores, others will sell only online. The number of retailers that have shifted to this approach was only promoted by the impacts of COVID-19, and it does not look like changing.

Online shopping is only ever going to increase, and as demand increases, so does expectation. Consumers must have access to as much product information as possible as it is impossible to hold a physical product online. To instil confidence, 360 image viewers can be used to mitigate the issues of only selling online.

Retailers who sell complex or intricate products

Maybe you sell cars, watches, PCs or other tech, these types of products usually require a lot of thought (and a bigger investment than others). It is important to give the customers as much visual information as possible to ensure their decision-making process is easier.

Giving more control to users allows them to trust you, and could ultimately be a deciding factor when it comes to their purchase. Shoppers often want to purchase these types of products in person, but if you can take the physical experience to their home, you’re already a step above the rest.

Truth is, it will suit most eCommerce sites…

Although we have given some examples of where 360 image viewers might flourish, it doesn’t mean that if your site fits elsewhere then the technology will not benefit you or provide any other value. The truth is, any retailer dealing with products that have visual and dimensional aspects can benefit from incorporating 360 images for eCommerce.

Can 360 spin images increase your conversions and sales?

The super short answer is yes, but if you need a bit of supporting evidence then here we go.

only about 2.5% of eCommerce visitors actually end up converting, and with competition fiercer than ever online, can you afford to not take every measure possible to boost your conversions? 3D experiences can help to boost conversions by up to 49%, if that doesn’t tempt you, we don’t know what will.

According to other research published by DotActive, customers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after viewing a 360-degree spin image than when compared to viewing a static one.

Surely you’re nearly convinced now, right?

The stats speak for themselves, implementing 360 spin images can significantly improve conversions and sales. In today’s highly competitive eCommerce landscape, it is important that retailers leverage every tool that is available to them to help them connect to audiences. 360 image viewers for eCommerce are an impactful way to do just that.

How to create 360 images for eCommerce

Aren’t you in luck, 3D model creation for eCommerce has never been easier than it is today. REYDAR is one of the most reliable providers of virtual 3D content and product visualisations. We create product visuals for the best possible online experiences.

Our 3D and AR viewer is the best way for your customers to get a full 360-degree view of your products, and having the ability to view them in their own space is a feature that comes as standard with every one of our 3D viewers for eCommerce.

Get in touch with REYDAR if you are ready to take your product experiences to a whole new level.

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