Today’s online consumers are looking for a visually stimulating and interactive buying experience. They want the freedom to interact with products online as if they were making a purchase in person. Results show that 360-degree and 3D product imagery provides an optimal user experience, and there is no better marketplace to test this hypothesis than on Amazon.
After seeing the positive impact of 360-degree images, Amazon has added spin capabilities to specific categories, including business and industrial supplies, tools, home goods, toys, furniture, automotive, and outdoors. First-mover brands such as 3M, Bosch, Conair, Panasonic, and Kenmore have jumped on the opportunity and worked with Snap36 to create and publish 360-degree images on their product pages.
What is a 360-degree image?
A 360-degree image is created by stitching together a sequence of still images–anywhere from 24 to 96–in a fluid and seamless three-dimensional view of a product, similar to a flipbook. An online visitor can use a mouse or finger to “spin” the product, interactively rotating and zooming in on every angle to see specific details. Innovative 360-degree photography allows brands and retailers to animate moving and hidden product features (imagine a backpack unzipping and opening to show inside compartments), enable unique effects such as zoom and pinch (anyone like reading labels?), and provide detailed and differentiated product information.
What are the benefits of an interactive, digital product experience?
Increased conversion rates and sales lift. With e-commerce, your goal is to communicate product details in a way that entices shoppers to buy, return to a site, and spread the word to others. The ability for shoppers to zoom in on a product’s details and virtually “pick up” and spin a product around as if they are holding it in their hands can quickly turn a lukewarm prospect into a full-fledged customer.
Fewer product returns. On the other hand, if prospective customers can tell a product is not the right one, it’s less likely they will be unhappy with their purchase, contact customer service, or initiate a return. With so many companies struggling to reduce return rates without raising costs or changing policies, better images offer a tangible benefit. 360-degree and 3D spin imagery helps people make more informed purchase decisions and minimize future disappointment.
What you see is what you get. How often have you seen comments such as, “The product shipped is not the product advertised”? Not only does this disappointing experience spark negative ratings and reviews, but Amazon will take brands down from the site for misrepresenting their products. Brands using 360-degree imagery were able to provide the most accurate and authentic view of their products. This helps ensure you will not be penalized or removed from Amazon.
Enhancing the mobile experience
Amazon’s testing proves that 360-degree images increase time spent on product pages and conversion rates. This is especially important for the mobile experience, where real-estate is limited. As consumers now spend up to 5 hours per day on a device, they expect a quick, stripped-down view of product information. 360-degree imagery allows a visitor to dynamically “swipe” and interact with all details of a product at the touch of their fingertips, without having to scroll through a carousel. Amazon has placed a significant emphasis on the 360-degree view, highlighting its importance by displaying it on the first screen.
Mobile phones are also used as a product research tool for people in retail stores. How many times have you found a product while walking down the aisle of Walmart or Target, and then searched for that product on Amazon’s mobile app? Having top-notch imagery and information on Amazon product pages can drive sales even while people are shopping in physical stores.
Sawyer Products sees immediate sales lift after adding 360-degree imagery
Sawyer Products, an influential outdoor brand on Amazon, was invited to join Amazon’s 360-degree imagery pilot program. Sawyer tested a premium clothing insect repellent it didn’t believe would get much lift because it was a well-established with a well-established growth trend. Sawyer added a spin image on the product page as an isolated variable and assumed that achieving lift on other products would be easier.
But, here’s the good news. Immediately after implementing the 360-degree imagery for insect repellent on Amazon, Sawyer saw a demonstrable, observable lift in units sold per week. Sales were statistically significant post-test, resulting in more than 4% lift, and the company achieved break-even on the project in under a week. Sawyer’s product became the #1 best-seller product in the category. There were also more positive reviews, which Sawyer believes is a direct result of people having more information about the product and receiving immediate confirmation it’s the product they wanted. They were able to virtually pick it up in their hand.
To learn more, you can read the full story here.
How to get started
Snap36 has a unique relationship with Amazon to help companies get their 360-degree images published quickly. You can start by requesting a free sample product spin or by contacting Snap36 directly to discuss a project.