Beyond Ads & Product Pages: 6 More Uses for Virtual 3D Product Images
Lately, retailers have become increasingly aware of how having high-quality virtual 3D product images on their eCommerce websites can benefit them. Online stores that use virtual 3D product photography can:
Having top-tier product imagery that accurately represents the products makes people more confident in their purchase decisions while online shopping.
Most discussions about virtual 3D product photography have centered around the benefit of adding them to product pages and how marketers can use them to create better ads. But that's far from all they can do.
In fact, many of their benefits stem from how they differ from traditional photography. Those differences also make them far more versatile. Let's go over some of those differences along with six out-of-the-box uses these unique qualities make them perfect for.
How Virtual 3D Product Images Differ from Traditional Ones
Traditional product photography requires an in-person photoshoot at a photography studio that has all the right lighting and advanced product photography equipment to photograph each variation of the physical product.
How Traditional Product Photographers Create Product Visuals
Before virtual photography, 3D rendering, and 360° product viewers, the only way to create product images with traditional product photography was to go to a professional photo studio specializing in product photos and have them photograph every single version of your products.
If you wanted the benefits of 360° visuals you had to use 360° spin photography. This consists of placing a product on a turntable and taking product photos as it spins to photograph all the different angles. Then they'd take the JPG or PNG files and animate them to spin 360°.
3D product images work the same way. However, instead of just being able to spin it on one axis, you can spin it on multiple axes to look like it's rotating from left to right and up and down. This had to be done for every product and product variation.
How Virtual Product Photographers Create Product Visuals
A Virtual Photographer™ creates product visuals using CAD or 3D files which create models, materials, and assets that can be used infinitely to create any product variation. The process only needs to be done once per product instead of separately for every combination of options. The 3D models are then turned into photorealistic 2D and 3D product photos.
An advanced editing process using a program like Photoshop adds texture, shadow, and other features to make it indistinguishable from regular photos. Once you have these 3D models, you can turn them into 2D product photos, 3D product images, or 360° visuals.
Plus, integrate your ERP, CRM, and CPQ systems for added functionality and a streamlined workflow. If we don't have the ready-made integration you need, create your own with our API!
6 Out-of-the-Box Uses for 3D Product Images
Now that you understand what makes 3D product images so unique and flexible, let's take a look at what they're really capable of. Here are some of the best ways to use 3D product photography beyond product pages and ads.
1: Installation/Build Instructions
When a consumer customizes a product, you can use 3D product images in the manufacturing process to show the manufacturer exactly what they want. Our platform even automatically generates print-ready files, bills of materials, and assembly instructions.
As a result, manufacturers know precisely what to do, and the customer gets exactly what they want every time. If you have a product customers need to assemble at home, you can also use 3D product photography to create assembly instructions that are clear and have high fidelity.
2: Help Pages
When customers need help using your products, 3D product images can be used to show their full range of capabilities. Allow customers to spin them to view every angle.
You can even make interactive 3D visuals with hotspots to give additional context when the user hovers over them. You can also create videos for your help pages to make product usage extra clear with 3D product views.
3: FAQ Sections
If you've ever had a customer service call where a shopper read the FAQ but needed clarification, you'll see the value in this right away. 3D product images can be made into explainer videos to accompany your FAQs for additional context.
4: Video Thumbnails
If you have a brand YouTube channel or other video content, you can use your 3D product photography as thumbnails instead of creating new ones. This increases the quality of the thumbnail and saves time and money.
5: How-To Videos
Turn your stunning photorealistic 3D product images into how-to videos. Display perfectly rendered videos to play out use cases for your products to showcase their real value.
This kind of content is great to embed in a brand's blog posts to
- Add visual interest
- Drive traffic to your blog organically
- Increase dwell time, engagement, and brand interactions
Showing consumers the best ways to get the most out of your products will also increase customer satisfaction and keep them coming back for more.
6: Social Media Content
Increase your brand's social media game with digitally rendered GIFs and other short, shareable videos. You can use the same 3D product images and FAQ, YouTube, blog, and explainer videos across all your social media platforms to get the most out of each one.
This can increase organic traffic to your social media pages. It can also boost your likes, shares, and comments for an instant increase in engagement metrics.
More Than Meets the Eye
This technology saves brands up to 90% on 3D product photography. That's only counting the money saved on the actual initial image creation compared to an in-person photoshoot. Imagine how much you'll save when you add up every subsequent product visualization. With the visual economy booming, this is the best decision your brand can make.