In the era of COVID-19, photo shoots are canceled and retailers are searching for remote alternatives to in-studio production.
Enter virtual photography software: the digital generation of thousands of images from a single design file. A virtual photography platform can do everything traditional photography does and more, no studio or camera required. And it delivers a better ROI.
Virtual photography maximizes returns by minimizing investments across the board – it reduces production expenses, saves time in image creation, streamlines the editing process, and enables scalable product catalog management. Here’s how virtual photo shoots produce high-quality visuals at a low cost.
Key Virtual Photography ROI Stats
1/1,000 the cost of traditional photography
21x faster image creation compared to traditional photography
Produce Images for 1/1,000 the Price of Traditional Photography
In-studio product photography is labor-intensive. You have to coordinate extensively with photographers, find studio space, coordinate with graphic designers, and ship a full product inventory, just to name a few pieces of the puzzle.
This means traditional photography is usually pretty expensive, costing as much as $100 to $400 per photo.
Virtual photography eliminates the hassle. It’s easy to execute virtual photography production, no special training in photography or visual effects needed. User-friendly virtual photography software lets you simply plug in a 3D file of a product, and the platform will spin out a high-resolution, web-ready image of the product.
Thanks to the effort saved both in-house and from an outside agency, virtual photography is a lot more affordable. Images made using Threekit’s Virtual Photographer are 1,000x cheaper on a per-photo basis than traditional product photography, with an average cost of just 1¢ per image.
Get Product Content 21x Faster, Reduce Time to Market
Virtual photography isn’t just inexpensive. It’s also really fast. Virtual photography software can create infinite photos of a product from any angle in seconds.
A virtual photographer like Threekit’s can generate as many as 10,000 images in one day. One ThreeKit client was able to get 50,000 photos in a week using the platform, a project that would typically take over a month with a team of five photographers.
That’s five business days versus about 105 business days, meaning virtual photography is 21 times faster than traditional photography.
Efficient image production is crucial to boosting speed to market. In the world of eCommerce, trends and consumer preferences change fast. To stay profitable, retailers must be agile. According to McKinsey, top-performing fashion brands’ average product-to-market delivery is just six to eight weeks.
Virtual photography makes that timeline more attainable for many retailers. Say your brand has a new product line for the summer, but you’re not done manufacturing your inventory.
You still need images to sell your wares, and COVID-19 is preventing in-studio projects. If you use virtual photography to create those images, you could be ready to launch your line on your website in a week. Because you don’t need physical products, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t finished manufacturing yet.
Plus, smart integrations with eCommerce platforms allow you to seamlessly upload product images to your brand’s website and marketing channels as soon as they’re ready to go.
Swap Colors, Fabrics, or Materials in a Single Click
With traditional photography, if many items in your product portfolio have customizable elements, like add-ons or different colors, you’d have to take photos of each product iteration.
The great thing about high-quality virtual photos is that they’re a lot easier to manipulate any way you want. With virtual photography, you can modify colors, fabrics, and other design features with just a single base file of the product.
And because you can do all your editing with the same virtual photography software, you can save even more time and money on re-shoots and retouching.
Virtual photography enables versatility on the customer’s end, too. You can show dozens of versions of products on your website so customers can click through to see which one they want. That’s good for business: being able to play around with a product’s details and variations online, as shoppers can do in stores, can drive more conversions.
Research shows that the ability to manipulate images by zooming, rotating, and adjusting colors makes a customer more likely to trust the seller and therefore more likely to make a purchase.
You can use a virtual photography platform to create detailed visuals for any product, no matter its shape, size, or complexity. This lets your shoppers try out different colors, fabrics, or materials in real time on your site, which may make them more likely to add your item to their cart.
Invest in One Software Solution for Infinite Product Catalogs
Don’t let a time-consuming product photography process hold you back from expanding and updating your product catalog. Virtual photography can keep up with fast-growing online retailers whose merchandise turns around quickly.
The virtual model builds individual digital assets that can be scaled for infinite product configurations. Once the digital files are created, you can change or update them any way you please.
Skip the time, money, and energy required to manufacture physical iterations of new products to get images. You can quickly update a changing product catalog of thousands of items in the same amount of time it took to create your first virtual photos.
Virtual photography lets your eCommerce brand stay flexible: you’ll never have to commit to a fixed catalog just because you’ve already invested in professional photography for it.
Virtual Photography Powers eCommerce ROI
While traditional eCommerce photography may not yet be a thing of the past, one thing is clear: virtual photography is the ROI booster of the future. No matter what lies in store for this pandemic, virtual photography will always be remote-friendly, too.
Sign up for a free demo of Threekit’s Virtual Photographer to see how it works in real time.