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: Basics of how to merchandise your store
27.02.2020   #product presentation #goods illumination

Basics of how to merchandise your store

Retail Consultant Hans Günter Lemke reveals key elements of successful visual merchandising

Retailers face increasing pressure from online competitors. Although brick-and-mortar businesses take in the lion’s share of sales revenues, online shopping will play an increasingly important role in the future. That’s why it is ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Customer-centered, digital and adaptive
23.03.2020   #brick and mortar retail #digitization

Customer-centered, digital and adaptive

Bonprix’s Fashion Connect Store in Hamburg

In-store shopping via app – the fashion connect store in downtown Hamburg makes it happen. Daniel Füchtenschnieder, chief executive officer of Bonprix retail, is one of the creative minds behind the new retail concept. An interview about ...

Thumbnail-Photo: E-Commerce Day 2020 made by real.de
13.01.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

E-Commerce Day 2020 made by real.de

11 years e-Commerce Day in Cologne!

The e-Commerce Day - made by real.de, offers online retailers, manufacturers and interested parties the opportunity to learn about the latest trends, the latest developments and interesting features in e-commerce and to exchange information with ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Crowdsourcing campaign to save Modells Sporting Goods and 3300 jobs...
03.03.2020   #digital marketing #brand management

Crowdsourcing campaign to save Modell's Sporting Goods and 3300 jobs

Mitchell Modell offers outside investment opportunities

Modell's Sporting Goods, America's oldest, family-owned and operated retailer of sporting goods, has announced that for the first time in its 130-year history, they are closing more than 15 percent of the stores in its fleet, and offering ...

Thumbnail-Photo: LED: optical illusion at the airport
16.04.2020   #digital signage #brick and mortar retail

LED: optical illusion at the airport

‘The Fashion Gallery’ concept in Vienna International Airport Shopping Plaza

BrightSign, LLC® announced  that Lagardère Travel Retail has recently opened its new ‘The Fashion Gallery’ concept, an 800m² shop in Vienna International Airport Shopping Plaza Terminal 2 Departure under customs ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Love greetings from the online shop
17.04.2020   #online trading #digital marketing

"Love greetings" from the online shop

With the web-based application ViDGREETS, online shoppers can record personal messages and send them together with their purchase.

ViDGREETS – the name says it all. With this feature, customers in the online shop can quickly pack and send video greetings with their order. Retailers can also use it to send messages to their customers. In an interview, Marco van Eersel ...

Thumbnail-Photo: What you want is what you need!
07.02.2020   #e-commerce #customer satisfaction

What you want is what you need!

Retail experience – What shoppers want and how to implement

E-commerce has significantly changed how people shop, and push retailers to rethink the role of their stores. With change being a constant and continually accelerating, there is truly only one way to learn what shoppers want and expect their ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Want to stop consumer hoarding in times of crisis?...
06.04.2020   #customer analysis #coronavirus

Want to stop consumer hoarding in times of crisis?

New research may provide the answer

Consumer stockpiling and hoarding took center stage in recent months as the COVID-19 virus has spread around the world, and with it, panic buying on the part of millions. News broadcasts and social media feeds have been filled with examples of the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Deal for personal data in luxury segment
13.02.2020   #customer satisfaction #data management

Deal for personal data in luxury segment

Affluent consumers demand security, privacy and personalization in exchange for personal information

Affluent U.S. consumers demand stringent safeguards on the security and privacy of their personal data from companies that collect their information, according to a new Luxury Institute survey of Americans earning at least 150,000 dollars per year. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Innovation in sales!
30.01.2020   #online trading #customer satisfaction

Innovation in sales!

N3XT by MediaMarktSaturn – finding ideas for customers and company

What do customers want? How can you create a more intense and powerful shopping experience? And what new technologies and innovations can help in this endeavor? MediaMarktSaturn has set up its own innovation unit to find answers to these and similar ...

Supplier

iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn