Marketers and academicians slice, dice, and categorize us into countless niches. A fertile topic for their research has long been how we shop, and more so now with e-commerce’s unrelenting growth.
Much studied regarding e-commerce is the influence of website imagery in promoting products. As early as 2002, researchers found that using 3D images triggers mental imagery that enhances the virtual shopping experience. A 2013 study we wrote about found that adding interactivity to 3D product images, such as 360-degree rotation, significantly increases purchase intention.
A new study published in November in the Journal of Business Research examined two niches of shoppers: those who have a high need to touch products before buying them online and those who don’t. Specifically, the two researchers wanted to know how viewing vivid 3D vs 2D product images would influence the two groups. They also wanted to know whether the effects would vary based on the type of product featured.
For the debut of our new website today, we’ve coined a new company tagline: “Virtual Product Experiences for Business.”
It encapsulates what we do: empower companies to give their customers an unparalleled rich and immersive visual interaction with products online to boost e-commerce sales.
To us it’s intuitive that the better consumers can inspect and interact with a product virtually, the more likely they are to buy it. Vividly seeing a product from whatever angle customers choose is inarguably a superior experience to viewing static 2D pictures. But what about the influence on purchases?
Embodee recently spent time with Thomas Davis, global head of e-commerce for PUMA, to discuss changes and challenges in the apparel industry. Here, in the first of two installments, are excerpts of our conversation.
Embodee: What are the most significant challenges for apparel companies like PUMA in this omni-channel sales world? There’s certainly a lot being written about it.
Davis: It depends on what kind of company you are. I’ll boil it down to just PUMA and the wholesale channels because this is a landscape of your retail and wholesale channels; and obviously your wholesalers are partners and clients too. Secondly, the brand has to decide what is the balance between sales and marketing. So it’s a complicated dance to figure out, and there isn’t one right or wrong answer. Further, how do you get these channels to work in concert while still balancing the needs of marketing and brand? Making sure that all of these business interests---everything---work together and complement each other is much easier said than done.