Visual Product Configuration: Bridge the Gap Between In-store & eComm

This post is part of our Threekit Webinar Series, a blog series where we recount the most pertinent takeaways from the Threekit insiders and guest experts who are thought leaders in the 3D and augmented reality space. 

Adding visual product configuration is the fastest growing method for eCommerce marketers to mimic the traditional in-store experience. And given our new reality, achieving this goal is more important than ever. By more closely mirroring what shoppers experience in-person, 3D images can boost engagement, increase conversions, and decrease returns.

Recently two industry leaders from Threekit, Hilary Murdock, Lead Product Marketer and Tony Lopez, Sales Engineer, discussed how their 3D expertise can help organizations stay ahead of the curve with affordable solutions to provide modern shoppers the experience they want. Here, we’ve gathered some of the high-level topics they covered.


standing desk product configurator


Uncharted Territory

We hear it all the time, because it’s true: these are unprecedented times for businesses. So many in store operations have been forced to reduce services or even shut down entirely. Much is uncertain, but one thing we do know is that eCommerce is taking off across virtually every category. In fact, there’s been a 40% spike for eCommerce since the state of emergency was declared due to the pandemic in early March.


View the webinar here. 

bridging the ecommerce gap


Even before 2020, we saw a big rise in online shopping for items like appliances, automotive accessories, toys, games and more. But lately, there’s also been a never-before-seen push from businesses dealing in essential goods to offer their products primarily online. For example, gloves, cough medicine, and canned foods. Traditionally, these items have been marketed for purchase in-person, but recently those efforts and transactions have moved the online space and will likely remain there for years to come.

That’s why it’s critical for any business dealing in physical products to create experiences for their consumers that most closely resemble the familiar in-store purchases. This is best achieved by creating a visual product configurator that enables users to get an up-close look at what they’re considering, just as they might on a shelf at a brick-and mortar store.



The Power of Visuals

Consumers are being trained to expect rich-quality visuals in their online shopping experience. This isn’t just theory — in a recent survey 83% of buyers pointed to product visuals as one of the most influential factors in their online purchase decisions. As eCommerce continues to grow at this breakneck speed, it’s critical for marketers to provide high-quality visuals, and interactive experiences when possible. These are poised to become some of the most powerful weapons in a brand’s marketing arsenal. And in many cases, one solid image just won’t do. Consumers expect at least eight images in most cases and often prefer being able to customize and configure their ideal products in real-time as well.

A third visual offering brands need to consider is augmented reality (AR) which enables the user to envision that customized product visual in their actual space. Combining these three experiences—multiple 3D visuals, configuration, and AR will be critical for eCommerce marketers to stay relevant in the months and years ahead.

An advanced visual marketing plan has even more benefits than getting browsers to buy. They also improve an eCommerce business’s bottom line. On average, consumers are willing to pay up to 20% more for a product they’ve been able to investigate thoroughly and result in far fewer returns.


instant pot augmented reality example


Maximizing Visuals with Threekit

The 3D artists and engineers at Threekit have the proven experience to help any eCommerce marketer create flexible 3D imagery that can accommodate thousands of permutations, while also supporting AR experiences.

Let’s take a look at the use case. Imagine there’s a furniture retailer — we’ll call them Luma. The Luma marketing team comes to us to help beef up the visual experience on their site so they can better connect with their online shoppers. We assess their needs, upload their catalogue information, and put our 3D artists to work creating 3D renderings of their furniture options. In the end, we’re able to use those 3D renderings to enable users to engage in 360-degree product viewings getting a look at every angle. They can select from a host of customization options to get a clear look at up to 600 permutations, all created by our 3D model. We’re also able convert them to 3D images to create an ideal setting in which to view the product of interest. And finally, we design an AR experience that gives users the power to envision that custom product in their actual space via a QR code.


At Threekit, we love chatting with potential partners about how visuals, and the future of visuals, can help improve their online customer experience. If you’re ready to explore how 3D models and product configurators can boost your conversions, improve the overall experience, and decrease returns, get in touch with us today for a consultation or demo.