As online presence becomes more significant than ever for the furniture industry, the first question is how to bridge the online-offline gap and offer engaging virtual experiences to your customers. The answer is to implement 3D product visualization. From 360-degree images and interactive room scenes to 3D files and visually rich product pages, you can simplify product visualization and save time, money, and energy.
Retailers have seen the benefits of an omnichannel approach. Statista studies show that the U.S. furniture and home furnishings e-commerce revenue is expected to increase to more than 54.23 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2024. Also, 192 home furnishings retailers increased their online sales by 47% in 2020 over the previous year, making this one of the fastest-growing merchandise categories online, according to Digital Commerce 360.
Under these circumstances, standing out from the crowd becomes an absolute must. Furthermore, it is beneficial to offer the best price-to-quality ratio and provide an impeccable user experience on your entire website.
Adding a 360-degree view on your product pages is the best way to compensate for the lack of tactile sense, which is of high importance, especially when it comes to furniture purchases.
Google’s metrics have shown that consumers interact with 360-degree spin four times longer than with conventional product photos alone. Thanks to advanced technology, 3D renderings often show colors more accurately than photography. On top of this, you can go one step further by adding 360 spin, product cutouts, and interactive room scenes, features that product photography can’t achieve.
Data from Marketplace Sellers shows that “product pages featuring 360-degree spin photography have up to 50% higher conversion rates, up to 32% higher page visit duration, and even reduced returns by 15-50%.
Living in a World of Pure Imagery
People like to rely on their senses when making a purchase. Whether they’re buying a purse or a new bed, they want to examine it and feel it.
When running an e-commerce business, your job is to replace the offline sensory experience with a 100% visual one. Given that you have to rely on images to make visitors feel comfortable in your online store, you will definitely want to invest in imagery as much as possible.
Studies show that images increase the profitability of online businesses. According to research from MDGadvertising, most online customers consider image quality to be far more important than product-specific information (63%), long descriptions (54%), or even ratings and reviews (53%). Moreover, 60% of consumers say that they are more likely to consider a business that has images in the search results. Those numbers reveal the critical role that imagery plays in the current e-commerce landscape.
Quality of Product Visuals and Usage of 360-Degree Views
When recreating product visuals in an online format, the greatest challenge is to find out how to do it in a way that competes with inspecting the products in a physical store. Using the right visual elements can help you close the gap between a physical product and your online representation.
According to eMarketer, 83% of U.S. smartphone users “found product images to be ‘very’ and ‘extremely’ influential. By comparison, just 36% of respondents said they are influenced by video when researching to buy a product. When asked to select a favorite visual format, 29% said a 360-degree photo best informs their choice, as the style encourages discovery.”
Furniture retailers that added 360-degree spin product visualization saw increased conversions of 27% on average. For instance, Jerome’s reported a 27% uptick in conversions after implementing a 360 HD Viewer on their website. On top of that, you can expect a decrease in product returns, as customers know what to expect when they buy your product online. According to our Top 100 U.S. Furniture Retailers report, only 13% of the retailers have 360-degree product configurators on their website, leaving the majority without this feature.
Companies that want to stay relevant in the long run have to embrace evolving shopping habits and equip their online stores with 360-degree views that simplify customers' online experience. For that reason, we’ve conducted thorough research on the Top 50 DTC furniture brands and how they implement the 360 spin views on their products in their online stores.
Only 12 of the 50 DTC brands we’ve analyzed have 3D/360-degree product configurators on their website, leaving the vast majority without this feature. When it comes to additional visuals on the product page, the adoption rate is far better — 39 of the Top 50 DTC furniture brands have alternate angle images, and 39 have detail shots.
Alternate Angles / Detail Shots
In addition to 360 views, adding alternate angles and detailed shots of the products may lead to increased conversions. Providing high-quality visuals from multiple angles and showing details of the product is essential in furniture sales. On the one hand, alternate angle images can help buyers get a better sense of how your products look from different perspectives. Detail shots, on the other hand, show delicate details like fabric and texture by helping the buyer get up close and personal.
However, you have to be aware that alternate angle images and detail shots can’t compensate for not having 360-degree views on your product pages. They can only add to the overall experience, but when it comes to bridging the online-offline gap, 360-degree images are irreplaceable.
360-Degree Views in Action
High-quality product visualization is essential in e-commerce, especially for big-ticket items such as furniture. Let's look at two top furniture players who are using 360 views on their product pages to enhance the online shopping experience.
Interior Define is a digitally native furniture brand founded on the premise of delivering the best online shopping experience. When you open their product detail page (PDP), you can see alternate angles, zoom in to scrutinize details, or get a 360-degree view of the selected product. Besides the click-to-zoom feature, Interior Define has a full-screen mode where customers can again zoom in on the details. Another best practice when using a 360-degree view is to indicate its presence on the PDP.
The Canadian furniture retailer EQ3 offers modern, refined furniture made for urban living. As part of their product configurator, EQ3 has implemented a 360 view allowing users to experience their products in a very realistic way. Besides high-quality 3D product visualization, EQ3 also uses webAR.
Being a data-driven company helps them make informed decisions. Using Cylindo's Analytics, EQ3 can easily measure the success of their 360 views and AR experiences. After implementing the 360 HD Viewer they witnessed a 36% increase in conversions and 88% increase in AOV.
“When we're able to show the product in a highly accurate way, in 4K detail that's beautifully composed with all those great shadows built in, the way that Cylindo has done it, people are very quick to move down that funnel, to move past that particular issue of what they are actually buying.” - Dan Gange, Director of E-commerce at EQ3
Increase Conversions and Deliver a Richer Shopping Experience with 360 Views
Allowing your visitors to view your product from different angles can help you take your furniture business to the next level and one step ahead of your competition. There are multiple benefits associated with implementing a 360-degree viewer, such as:
- Enhanced experience. To mimic the experience of touching and experiencing the product on your e-commerce page, you must enable 360 spin. This is the closest customer involvement that you can get online. Combining rotating imagery with 4K (high definition) zoom functionality is an even more powerful way to give your visitors a sense of control, making it seem more like an interactive in-store experience.
- Increased trust factor. In many product categories with a high-involvement purchase decision, customers prefer to examine the details up close in a physical store. Multi-angle imagery and 360 views provide that level of detail and realism to enrich your e-commerce product pages. Moreover, the higher the level of visual information that customers receive about a product, the higher the chances are that they will purchase that product. By providing more visuals to the customers, you increase their trust in your brand. According to Shopify studies AR and 3D create intimacy with your products by allowing consumers to try before they buy in 360-degree realistic experiences.
- Improved engagement. 360 spins can significantly improve your web session duration by offering interactivity. Introducing this feature on your e-commerce site will get your prospective buyers more involved in the online shopping experience, resulting in customer satisfaction, positive engagement, and loyal customers. According to a source cited in Science Direct, 360 rotation also positively affects consumer mood and reduces perceptions of purchase risk.
The e-commerce world is going through exciting times that are bound to redefine what online shopping means for everyone. Of course, your business needs to keep up with customer expectations, and now you know why enabling 360 views on your website is one of the best ways to do it!