It's time to get serious about improving your eCommerce experience.
It's no secret that eCommerce grew rapidly in 2020. We all saw it in our own lives. Unprecedented conditions from retail shutdowns to local shortages drove each of us to find ways to purchase more products online than ever before. In fact, overall eCommerce receipts grew 44% over 2019. That's a massive jump in a space that was already experiencing dramatic growth (15.8% from 2018 to 2019).
eCommerce retailers scrambled to accomodate the surge in demand. The largest eCommerce stores saw their supply chains stretched to their limit. Brands that had never sold a product online raced to enable eCommerce on their sites. eShoppers patiently coped with delayed delivery and otherwise sub-standard experiences, knowing that all of us were navigating uncharted waters. That patience has its limits, however, and that's why we're sending this message loud and clear: it's time to get serious about improving your eCommerce experience.
As consumers adjust to making more of their purchases online, they're becoming exposed to a variety of eCommerce experiences, both good and bad. We've all had the experience of trying to navigate a poorly organized store. We've all felt a twinge of doubt about putting our credit card numbers into a site that seems new, poorly built, and potentially insecure. At the same time, thanks to forward-thinking brands like TaylorMade or Nike, we've seen how seamless, immersive, and fun that online shopping can be.
These experiences have made eShoppers more knowledgeable, discerning, and demanding than ever before. The brands that will get the most out of this surge in eCommerce demand are those that move quickly to make smart investment in improving their eCommerce experiences. Those that don't will find themselves left behind in this newly competitive space. Here are three tips to help you stand out:
1. Personalize, customize, and configure.
Especially when it comes to products that have traditionally been purchased in physical stores, eCommerce retailers face a burden of proof. eShoppers miss out on some of the emotional, tactile shopping experience when shopping online. That makes it harder for them to experience the types of emotions that traditionally lead to a purchase. When you take a product to a cash register and pay for it, you leave with that product. You know what you're getting and you've already fallen in love with it. That's different from the experience of clicking a button to put an item you haven't seen or touched into a virtual shopping cart, and a proper eCommerce experience compensates for that.
When customers have options to personalize, customize and configure products, they have a more tactile and personal online shopping experience. By choosing colors and styles or applying an engraving, they are making the product their own. That has been shown to increase conversion rates and average order size, and it creates a more compelling and fun shopping experience. Add options where you can.
2. Make products real with high-end visuals & AR.
A physical shopping experience is sensory in nature. You can touch the product, manipulate it, lean in for a closer look, walk around to see it from multiple angles. A good eCommerce experience can simulate that experience. Using 3D models to generate product visuals allows you to present a product in a 360 degree spin view. Customers can grab the product with their mouse and move it around to see the entire object in photorealistic 3D. They can zoom in and out. With a platform like Threekit's Virtual Photographer, they can see a photorealistic model of their exact custom variant of a configurable product. They don't have to use their imaginations.
Augmented reality allows product visualization to go beyond what can be accomplished in a physical showroom. With an AR application on your site, customers can place a digital version of your product in their own physical environment, using a webcam or mobile phone camera. With Threekit's advanced AR platform, they can even do this with their own custom versions of your products that they've chosen. They don't have to wonder if a mixer will fit on their counter or if the colors they've chosen for a couch will look nice with the drapes. With 3D and AR, Threekit takes digital versions of physical products and makes them real.
3. Invest in scalable tools.
Looking at just the first two tips here, some retailers might notice a potential problem. The more customizations you enable, the more difficult and expensive it becomes to provide the kind of high-end visuals that customers are looking for. Imagine a custom suit. Let's say you have 6 fabric options in 10 different colors each, 10 different colors for the lining, and a half dozen button styles, you're already in the thousands of unique product configurations. To show the customer the variant they've chosen with traditional photography, you'd need to manufacture thousands of custom suits, pay a photographer to take thousands of photographs, pass them all through quality control, and upload them into your eCommerce platform before you could be sure that customers could see the suit they were building. That's why you should prioritize scalability when choosing a tool for generating and displaying your custom product visuals.
With a 3D configurator from Threekit, you componentize your products, creating digital assets for every visual feature of your product, from materials to colors to parts. Then, the platform generates the necessary visuals and loads them in real-time to display every potential combination of those unique components. You don't have to pay millions of dollars to get every single version of your product photographed. You don't have to give up on displaying high-end custom visuals. By using a scalable option like Threekit, you can have your cake and eat it too.
Schedule a demo to learn more.