How a 3D Customizer Bridges the Gap Between In-Store & Online Shopping

Man browsing in a 3D customizer to create custom tennis shoes

Let's face it: some people prefer shopping in person to shopping online, no matter how popular eCommerce becomes. But what if you discovered that there's a tool — called a 3D customizer — that helps bridge the gap between the two experiences significantly?


For eCommerce retailers who offer customizable products online, a 3D customizer allows customers to create their own products without assistance. It's a simple-to-use tool that makes buying products online fun. 

But for customers who still want to shop at a mall or department store, the challenge can be convincing them that the parts of that experience they like can be replicated online. 

With a 3D customizer, you can get pretty close. In fact, in some ways, you can even improve it greatly. 

3 Ways to Create an “In-Store” Experience With a 3D Customizer

Let's take a closer look at three ways a 3D customizer can help bridge the gap between buying in-store and buying online. 

For the purposes of this post, let's use the hypothetical example of buying a pair of sneakers. 

1. It offers “in-person” activities like sampling or mixing and matching

One of the advantages of buying something in a store is that you can sample different products you like. This is equally true for sneakers - most shoe stores have countless options, both in front of the store and in the back. 

When you walk into a shoe store, you have every shoe at your disposal. Depending on your footwear needs, you can look for the ones with the right style, color and features. 

You can also look at shoes with different pricing. 

That's the advantage of buying in person. Most times, when you buy online, you only have access to 2D photos. 

But that’s not the case with a 3D customizer. 

When you have a 3D customizer, you're recreating the experience of being in an actual store in nearly every way. Using a product configurator, customers can engage in product customization to get the exact number and type of features they like. 

Forget having to go through every pair of sneakers in the store; with a product customizer, people can toggle through the specific set of features they want in a shoe. Users can tailor it specifically to whatever they like. 

This doesn't just apply to sneakers, of course. There are countless other industries where you can empower the customer to design their own product and recreate the in-store experience. 

Custom watches, custom jewelry, custom manufacturing equipment...

Your only limit is your imagination. 

Going to a brick-and-mortar store allows customers to go through different products until they find the one they like — if the store offers it. With a 3D customizer, they can save time and effort by doing it all from the comfort of their own home. 

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2. It gives an in-depth view of the product

Online shopper opening the box of custom shoes they made in a 3D customizer

When you're shopping in a shoe store, you can feel the weight of the sneaker in your hand. By looking at the product, you can get a feel for its dimensions, such as its height, width and depth. 

What if there was a way to get those same dimensions — but online? That certainly would close the gap on buying online compared to buying in person. 

A 3D customizer provides shoppers with a virtual reality 3D model to look at as they build a 3D product. While they’re customizing the sneaker, they get to see how it will look in real time. 

This is done by providing customers with stunning, photorealistic images of your products using 3D rendering as they’re building them. 

Whether they’re on a laptop or a mobile device, shoppers can get a true feel for the product they’re designing on the fly. 

It might not exactly replicate the experience of holding a shoe in the palm of your hand, but it's the next best thing. 

It's actually better in many ways. It saves your customer the trip of traveling to a store when they only need one single product. 

From a customer experience perspective, using a 3D configurator via a customizer app delivers all the value of an in-person visit without the hassle.

Click here to learn more about our 3D customizer.

3. It allows your customer to see how the product will look in their environment

There's another element of a 3D customizer that helps make eCommerce shopping even more fun and engaging than buying in-store: augmented reality. 

The 3D customizer's functionality allows users to see how their product will look in an environment the customer knows, like their home or office.

This visualization capability has a powerful effect on the buyer. It helps them establish a vision of your product already in their home, their business or some other familiar location.

This goes a long way toward persuading them to buy. 

In terms of the hypothetical sneaker example, imagine your customer seeing their sneakers in their closet or next to their complementary outfits. They can now see how it will look. 

On its own, augmented reality may not be enough to bridge the gap between in-person and online shopping. But paired with the other elements of the 3D customizer mentioned above, it helps create a truly unique online shopping experience. 

Augmented reality doesn't just bridge the gap between in-person and online shopping. It also helps give you an advantage over other online retailers. 

Imagine another eCommerce store that offers simple photos of its product without the proper context. They won't stand a chance. 

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If you haven't implemented a 3D customizer into your eCommerce store... What are you waiting for? It will delight customers who love online shopping and win over those who still favor the in-person shopping experience. 

The key is to partner with an expert who knows how to operate the 3D customizer and can easily integrate it with your existing online store. Threekit is just the partner to do that. 

For more on how we can help you quickly get your 3D customizer into your eCommerce store, contact us today.