E-Commerce of the Past
Do you remember what it was like to use the internet 20 years ago? We sure do. You would boot up your machine, open AOL, and then sit back and spin a few times in the swivel chair, all while the dusty modem revs up and transforms a dial tone into that robotic clang that tells you that you’re finally in. What is even more painful is remembering what e-commerce pages looked like 20 years ago - at this point it feels a bit like digging through archaeological ruins.
Thinking about the internet of old really helps highlight how far we’ve come with the internet and, more importantly, the world of online shopping. Back in the days of dial-up modems and AIM handles, the internet did not offer the speed that it does today. This meant that text and small icons was the best way to get information out on the internet quickly. This was true of e-commerce websites as well. To shop online, customers needed to read through detailed products descriptions and use their imagination to fill in the blanks. There was almost zero visual appeal; it was bulky, cumbersome, of interest only to the most dedicated online shopper. This method proved even more challenging for businesses looking to sell customizable products online and other led to a lengthy back and forth between the customer and retailer. It was not an enjoyable experience.
3D Configuration is Driving E-Commerce Forward
Fast forward to today, and e-commerce is not only customer friendly, visual, and endlessly convenient, it is now a truly enjoyable experience for consumers. Long treks to the store have been replaced by the ability to click and scroll and have endless options at your fingertips.
Today, we face another shift in the world of online shopping that will offer a truly immersive experience for online shoppers. Just as text links have become a thing of the past, so too will today’s reliance on 2D images of products. Instead, with the power of 3D product configuration platforms, online shoppers will be able to customize and visualize products to their exact specifications. 3D Product Configuration - which will be a mainstay of e-commerce of the future - is here today and available for all and with it, “seeing is believing” has never been more possible.
With 3D configuration, the customer can decide on color, texture, quantity, arrangement, material, alignment, and a thousand other factors, all with relative ease. A 3D product configurator, allows the customer to interact with the product in a live 3D model and visualize their customizations in real-time. There is no longer a need to wait and hope that a product will match what the customer is looking to purchase. Instead, the customizations are instant, creating beautiful, sleek, and ultra realistic visuals of the product that can then be viewed from any angle. As the speed, visual attractiveness, and interactivity of e-commerce have reached new heights, the next step is to allow the customer to have control over what they purchase and offer them products that they helped design. The experience is personal and results in increased traffic and, more importantly, sales.
3D Configuration is Putting the Customer in Control
As 3D Configuration becomes the industry norm, undoubtedly manufacturers will adopt the technology and allow more and more of their products to be customizable. For years, the e-commerce model has centered on the customer picking a finished product from a limited list of pre-determined configurations. If the customer liked the shade of gray suede on display, a sale was made. If the customer thought it could be a tad darker but didn’t want to investigate the swatches, they moved on. The customer was only able to respond to availability, rather than being in the driver’s seat when purchasing products.
With the ability to customize and configure products and see a lifelike visualization of their own creation, the customer has unprecedented power and control. No longer is the customer at the mercy of the manufacturer’s options; they are now commanding the style, the fit, and the look of the product that will ultimately be in their hands. The ease and convenience of choice is exactly what the today's buyer seeks.
Try this jacket configurator for yourself!
How Do You Keep Up?
Gone are the days of being tethered to the desktop and the landline to connect to the internet. Gone are the days of needing to be in specific places to shop. Today’s mobile devices make it possible to be almost anywhere and to search for, customize, configure, and visualize the purchase of one’s dreams, click buy, and have it waiting at the doorstep in a matter of hours or days. Several years from now, 3D configuration will be the absolute norm, but why wait? Step into the future, today.