Is 360-degree product photography about to unseat video as the must-have move in the content marketer’s playbook? It’s not likely, given that consumers can’t seem to get enough video to satisfy their thirst. But there are a lot of promising signs that 360-degree product photography will become the perfect complement to any e-commerce content marketing strategy.
A few steps above static images (and a giant leap above cheesy, dime-a-dozen stock photos), 360-degree photos are leveling up the e-commerce arena at a time when it matters most. With online sales climbing more than 40% in 2020, creating a better user experience and standing out online have never been more imperative.
One company is stepping up to make these goals a reality. With the launch of 360-degree photo app Glo3D, e-commerce merchants are now poised to change how shoppers and e-tailers approach online shopping in the new decade.
Exposing the Flaws of Content Marketing
Content marketing in e-commerce has seen explosive growth in the past decade, with some budgets reaching as high as five million dollars in 2019. Content marketing accounts for roughly 18% of marketing budgets on average, according to a report from the National Association of Advertisers. Hubspot reveals that 70% of marketers are actively invested in a content strategy, while DemandMetric says that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing yet drives three times the number of leads.
And yet, it’s not a perfect science.
Now that the content marketing trend has been raging for several years, we’ve seen a few general trends emerge:
First, many content marketers complain that measuring the effectiveness of their content is next to impossible. A recent Marketing Dive brief revealed that many marketers struggle to measure their content ROI. An older report published by Martech revealed the same sentiments: 61.4% of marketers agree that calculating ROI was THE top challenge.
It’s easy to see why: content’s top priority isn’t always to drive immediate sales. Bigger focuses are on branding, providing value to the reader, building credibility, and creating top of mind awareness. Sales should come as a natural byproduct, but marketers struggle to determine how much of their sales are really driven by their content strategies.
Also, content fads fade fast. Once marketers have it all figured out, something new, exciting, and shiny pulls their focus. It could be a new social media platform that takes audiences by storm. Or maybe someone cracks the code on which subject lines get the most opens. And once marketers start doing all the things other marketers are doing, those features and functions start to lose their luster with consumers.
Perhaps the biggest flaw of content marketing, then, can be summarized like this:
Many marketers are too busy trying to keep up with the changing pace of the landscape that they often lose sight of why they’re creating content in the first place.
The first and foremost purpose is to serve your user base, a feat that 360-degree photography app Glo3D stands to provide.
Enter: 360-Degree Product Photography
You’ve probably seen 3D photos while scrolling through your Facebook feed. Panoramic-style photos let you turn your device in every angle and get a sense that you’re in the middle of the action. But 360-degree product photography is a bit different.
This is a largely product-focused medium that all but places the object into the viewer’s hand. Users can “spin” the product on the screen in any direction, much like they would when shopping in-person, to get a feel for the product before they buy it.
From a visual perspective, 360-degree photos provide e-commerce stores a chance to stand out from their competitors by providing more details of a product. And looking at 360-degree photography through a UX lens, it adds engagement and interaction to the online shopping experience to keep users on the page longer, offer more information, and spur more sales.
Having this level of detail in a product is becoming more of a necessity, especially now that online shopping is trending hot due to the effects of the pandemic. Image quality plays an important role in conversions, as well as preventing returns. In fact, an e-commerce report published by website builder Weebly found that 22% of online purchase returns are triggered because the item they receive looked different in the photos.
And given that anywhere from 15 to 40% of all online purchases are returned, poor product images are contributing to what CNBC has dubbed a “trillion dollar problem” for our landfills.
While 360-degree photos might not be an end-all solution to product returns, waste, and conversion rates, it’s a huge step forward for content marketers and e-commerce merchants who want to do more than create content for the sake of content.
How Glo3D Creates a Competitive Advantage to Retailers
Truth be told, 360-degree photography has been around for a few years. But its many complexities are likely the culprit in preventing it from going mainstream. Taking “spin” photos used to require the expertise of a professional photographer and all their gear, plus a hefty hourly rate and additional days of editing.
These are the very same complexities that the Glo3D app is designed to eliminate. Using the same camera on your smartphone, users can take professional-grade photos of their products, then edit them directly within the app, including replacing their backgrounds with professional ones. They can also add hotspots to the images to provide more information to their shoppers.
A process that once took days now only takes a couple of hours and can be done by non-photographers. What’s more, the app also collects data from each user’s experience, including the number of views and how long they engage with the 360-degree photo, so you don’t have to guess at your ROI.
The end result is a simplified way to create product-focused content that actually helps shoppers and supports the business strategy. Glo3D app is live now – get in the App Store, Google Play, or visit their website at https://glo3dapp.com/.