360 Degree Product Photography Defies Conventional Wisdom

over-analysisEveryone I talk to gets excited about 360 & 3D spin photography and the quantum leap in user experience that it produces.  I mean it, NO ONE thinks it’s a bad idea and EVERYONE says, “why isn’t every manufacturer and online retailer doing this already”?  “Good question”, I answer, and personally I believe that within three years most of them will be.  The buzz in the marketplace is there….from stodgy old manufacturers to forward thinking eTailers to edgy, fashion studios….everyone is talking 360 & 3D spin, video and rich media.  But until the major retailers adopt 360 spin photography in their internal studios, the average shopper will not see a ubiquitous, 360/3D experience.  In fact, yesterday I learned of a tool distributor who is shooting a 360 video of every product they sell….they just can’t figure out what to do with it. On the right thinking track, but lack of execution…which brings me to the point of this article.

We have all heard the “how to increase conversions and reduce returns” by providing a 360 & 3D spin user experience.  These are very legitimate claims and, once executed on a site, will provide huge ROI for a company.  But what about now?  I am finding that the biggest roadblock within major online retailers to 360 & 3D spin photography implementation is that everyone is utilizing the “Big Bang” theory to roll out spin. Everything has to be perfect before we take the first step…

1. “IT is holding up building our new viewer”.
2. “Merchandising hasn’t figured out how to launch 3D”.
3. “We’ve outgrown our studio space and need to expand first”.

Again, all legitimate beefs….until you look deeper into the market, the available 360 photography solutions, and solicit feedback from customers already using them.  Last week we stumbled upon an amazing fact that we had totally been overlooking…..Productivity gains and increased product throughput in studios using Snap36 360 photography robots!

A potential client asked us to provide references in order to substantiate the ROI on conversions and returns in our customers, so we called and asked them.  All of the customers we spoke to said, “oh yeah, we definitely see increased conversion, reduced returns and increased customer satisfaction…..but the BIGGEST benefit we see is the ability to shoot 3-4X more product in the same amount of time”!  WOW….we were a bit taken aback…in a positive way…..but holy crap, that’s tangible dollars today….and….looking at the above obstacles….

1. Your present viewer is fine!  Actually, it can handle up to eight Alt Views and you are only using two today.  WHY WAIT?
2. Why approach this sequentially, when you can save dollars today in parallel?  Shoot your products in 360/3D, only use the images you need, and then launch the Spin strategy when you are ready…sooner than you could if you would have waited!  WHY WAIT?
3. Hmmm, you have six studio bays today that you have outgrown.  What if you could get the throughput of eighteen (18) bays without ever having to break ground on a new facility?  I ain’t no Einstein….but WHY WAIT?

The beauty is, that now you do not need to “boil the ocean” in order to get started into the 360 & 3D Spin photography world.  You can crawl before you walk, walk before you run…right, you get it!  WHY WAIT? In three years when the rest of the world (including your competition) is spinning products, you won’t be saying “damn, if only IT would have delivered that viewer…why did we wait”!

Jeff Hunt
Jeff Hunt
j.hunt@snap36.com

Jeff's passion for imagery and visualization began early in his career at Eastman Kodak, McDonnell Douglas Unigraphics and PTC. He then veered down the Internet start up path, helping to take Object Design and Cysive to public offerings pre-bubble burst. Joining Scene7 in 2002 (which was acquired by Adobe in 2007) imaging and Internet start-up were finally united. It was here that Jeff listened to his customers and recognized an underserved market in the 360° and 3D photography space...and voilà, Snap36 was born!

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