Interview • 12.04.2019

Computer-generated imagery: better and faster product photography for online stores

David Wischniewski on the possibilities of product visualization

Product photography is essential to the success of any online store. Unable to provide haptic feedback, retailers are tasked with inspiring their customers to buy. This can be an expensive endeavor in the long run. Digitally created renderings of products – computer-generated imagery (CGI)- offer a more cost-effective and time-saving solution.

One enticing feature is the subsequent use for augmented and virtual reality apps, designed to revolutionize online consumer behavior in the future.

We discussed the challenges and the uses of CGI technology with David Wischniewski, CEO of RenderThat.

David Wischniewski; Copyright: RenderThat
David Wischniewski, CEO of RenderThat
Source: RenderThat

What is computer-generated imagery and how does it work?

CGI refers to the creation of images on the computer. It allows you to generate anything imaginable, from abstract motifs to photorealistic product visualization. To create these so-called renderings, the physical product is recreated on the computer. Every detail is then replicated to create a “digital twin" as a 3D model and place it in a virtual environment.

What are the benefits of this technology for retailers?

Above all else, this method is more flexible and more cost-effective in the long term. This makes a lot of sense, especially as it applies to larger image sets. CGI enables us to place any product in any type of environment. The products and scenes are interchangeable at any time or can be shown from a different perspective. As an example, the digital twin of a bed can easily be staged in a child’s or adult bedroom and personalized to match the target audience’s needs time and again.

CGI also guarantees high-quality images and enables the infinite reuse of renderings in augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR).

Candle; Copyright: RenderThat
Source: RenderThat

What do retailers need to use CGI?

The simplest way is to collaborate with an external partner who handles the production. In doing so, retailers only have to supply technical drawings of the products they want to visualize.

That sounds like a lot of effort and work for a small company.

It’s actually not when you compare it to the effort an in-house production takes. The acquisition costs and maintenance expenses in this case are fairly high, while the technology is constantly and rapidly changing. What’s more, you have to continuously educate the staff to avoid a poor quality product result. That’s why it makes sense to team up with an external partner.

Which retailers are the best candidates for this approach?

This is only worthwhile for retailers who truly sell a large number of products online. Needless to say, you can also render one-of-a-kind products or small run editions, but the costs for CGI visualizations are disproportionately high in this setting.

Photo
Source: RenderThat

Rendering is the preliminary step for showcasing products in augmented (AR) or virtual reality (VR) apps. Which retailers can benefit from this?

Essentially, this makes sense for all retailers. AR apps are applicable for products of a manageable size. You can also present objects that are larger of course, but that demands a lot of space. That’s why AR apps chiefly lend themselves to household appliances and furniture.

What are the value-added benefits of an AR app for consumers?

Buyers can utilize the app to virtually try the products, visualize them in their homes and determine whether a piece of furniture really fits into the specific setting.

Glas; Copyright: RenderThat
Source: RenderThat

Do retailers already offer these types of apps?

Apart from IKEA, retailers like Otto, Amazon or Macy's also take advantage of AR apps at this stage. In doing so, Macy's was able to increase the overall basket size by more than 60 percent, while it managed to cut product returns to under two percent at the same time.

How much do retailers have to invest in building this type of app?

AR application costs largely depend on the respective functionality. If the physical product already has a digital twin, the price tag of an app is usually in the low five-figure range.

Interview: Nora Petig; iXtenso - Magazine for Retailers

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Return on experience: The new kind of customer loyalty...
12.08.2019   #customer satisfaction #customer retention

Return on experience: The new kind of customer loyalty

US retailers benefit if they keep pace with rapid rise in customer expectations

New research conducted by alternative payments provider Klarna across 2,000 US consumers and 250 retail decision makers, reveals that retailers are struggling to retain their customers as consumers today increasingly have zero tolerance for a poor ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 91% of SMBs think customer reviews are critical...
25.07.2019   #customer satisfaction #customer relationship management

91% of SMBs think customer reviews are critical

Survey about online customer reviews on platforms

Uberall, Inc., a location marketing solution for businesses, released new data on how small- and medium-sized businesses feel about online customer reviews across platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Instagram, Google and more. For the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: A pearl among commodities: encouraging impulse buys...
11.09.2019   #pos marketing #customer analysis

A pearl among commodities: encouraging impulse buys

How to make the most of wait times

It’s wonderful if customers come to retail stores to buy things. It’s fantastic if they buy more than they planned to purchase. This offers many opportunities, especially for brick and mortar retailers as surveys show: customers are more ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 90+ year-old manufacturer redesigns its stores …...
19.09.2019   #consulting #customer satisfaction

90+ year-old manufacturer redesigns its stores …

… making window and door shopping easier, more personalized and enjoyable

Each year we hear about the increase in online sales, and the talk of the demise of brick-and-mortar stores. But, brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going anywhere – if they adapt. And Pella Windows & Doors is adapting.Rather than ...

Thumbnail-Photo: SPAR continues European expansion with entry into Kosovo...
02.08.2019   #brick and mortar retail #business developement

SPAR continues European expansion with entry into Kosovo

6 store openings in 2019 and 7 more planned for 2020

The voluntary food retail organization SPAR International announces the brand’s entry into the Kosovan retail market, the 27th European market, in line with their expansion strategy.SPAR Kosovo is a new entity set up by a consortium of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The POS TUNING Pizza Presenter
24.07.2019   #product presentation #refrigerated shelves

The POS TUNING Pizza Presenter

The presentation solution for round pizzas in the chilling area

At the point of sale, customers can only buy what they see. This is the motto of POS TUNING from Bad Salzuflen, the solution provider for optimized product presentation at the point of sale for almost all product categories.The POS T Pizza Presenter ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Rewarding customers for sustainable shopping...
29.07.2019   #sustainability #loyalty cards

Rewarding customers for sustainable shopping

Koin Rewards & Fidel bring loyalty and card-linking together

Koin Rewards, the ethical rewards platform built on the blockchain, announced that it has partnered with card linking API Fidel to build a responsible and sustainable rewards program for shoppers.Koin Rewards is working with Fidel to build a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Goal: Turning into the ‘Uber’ in foot wear retail...
30.09.2019   #online trading #e-commerce

Goal: Turning into the ‘Uber’ in foot wear retail

Vietnamese sandals brand SADOO eyeing US market with unique business model

SAADO, a popular Vietnamese sandals start-up that has sold 66,000 pairs of shoes and successfully entered four Asian countries within one year, is now eyeing the US market.Set up by Phung Le Lam Hai last year after realizing there is high demand for ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Vast majority of consumers plan to return holiday gifts...
03.10.2019   #pos marketing #personalization

Vast majority of consumers plan to return holiday gifts

“Retailers need to seize the moment."

During the upcoming holiday season 77 percent of consumers surveyed said they plan to return a portion of their gifts, with nearly 20 percent expecting to return more than half of their presents (sorry grandma!). This is both a blessing and a curse ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Mobile shoe closet on the road
27.09.2019   #sales promotion #fashion

Mobile shoe closet on the road

Luxury brand Tamara Mellon with first-ever traveling shoe store

Tamara Mellon, direct-to-consumer luxury brand, is taking their innovative retail concept on the road with the launch of the mobile TM Closet — the first-ever traveling shoe closet.Kicking off in Boston, the TM Closet will be located in ...

Supplier

VKF Renzel GmbH
VKF Renzel GmbH
Im Geer 15
46419 Isselburg
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
HappyOrNot
HappyOrNot
Innere Kanalstraße 15
50823 Köln
loadbee GmbH
loadbee GmbH
Nikolaus-Otto-Straße 13
70771 Leinfelden-Echterdingen
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven