Ecommerce has seen a dramatic shift from transactional buying to visual shopping experiences.
In days gone by, consumers would turn to magazines and TV programs for inspiration. They would visit physical stores and speak to salespeople for more information about an item, and then read reviews to gain confidence before finally going in-store or online to buy. The retailer’s website was often the final destination of a long, fragmented journey, offering a very transactional buying experience.
Today’s online consumers are very different. For a start, they experience much more of their lives through their phone than ever before. And this includes the way they shop, which has shifted almost entirely online.
They get inspiration from influencers on Instagram and TikTok. They build mood boards on Pinterest. They get their education and confidence from watching YouTube reviews and unboxing videos. These services provide a very engaging and visual way of discovering and learning about products.
But when shopping for home decor and furniture, customers still have a number of questions and anxieties that can hold them back from clicking 'buy'.
They can't visualise how products are going to look when they arrive in their home, and they don't know for sure if it is going to fit. They cannot imagine how this product is going to work in their homes and lives.
Whilst online shopping means we no longer have to travel to retailers, trying to find exactly the right piece is harder than ever. The tactile and visual in-store shopping experiences have to be somehow reproduced within a single product page. This page has a lot of heavy work to do: inspire, educate and ultimately give customers the confidence to buy something they haven’t seen or touched in real-life.
Whilst these static product pages may be good enough for simpler, less emotional products like batteries or pens, when it comes to home decor, they simply don’t work.
BigCommerce discovered that other than paying for shipping, not being able to touch or feel, or try out, a product is the most hated aspect of online shopping!
Being forced to read long product descriptions, spec sheets and schematics to get an idea if the product is going to work is hardly an inspirational experience.
Visual Commerce allows buyers to explore, configure and visualise products in 3D and Augmented Reality. It’s a fun and engaging way to get the confidence needed to purchase.
Visual Commerce works by nudging consumers towards their purchase, using visualisations of products to inspire, educate and build confidence.
The three forces of Visual Commerce
Inspire - Inspirational lifestyle imagery of products can be used to help consumers imagine a better home. View configurations and layout options can help them imagine in more detail and build their confidence that an item could work in their home.
Educate - Enabling consumers to fully explore and visualise products in 3D to understand them in detail. Enabling customers to be able to play around with and discover the right layout and configuration for their home. Enabling them to experiment with different colours, materials and finishes.
Build Confidence - Enabling consumers to use Augmented Reality to see if the product will fit the space in real life and to see the product amongst other furniture & decor in-situ.
Visual Commerce at every stage of the customer funnel
Awareness - CGI lifestyle imagery helps customers aspire to a better home and way of life.
Consideration - Product Configuration and Space Design helps customers explore, configure and design new layouts; in real-time 3D.
Purchase - Augmented Reality helps customers to visualise products in their actual home.
By using enhanced visual assets and tools such as 3D visualisation and Augmented Reality, retailers are able to offer a much more compelling home interiors online shopping experience.