Silly season is well in play, and consumers are scrolling online to make last-minute Christmas purchases. In spite of threats of reduced spending, data from Deloitte suggested we expect e-commerce sales between November and January to balloon 25% to 35% this year, compared to a 14.7% increase in online holiday sales last year.
Studies also showed 60% of online shoppers believe high-quality product images are the most important factor when considering purchasing a product – significantly influencing their buying decision. This is where CGI comes in to help.
In an era where people are battling between celebrating the festive season and managing the cost of living crisis, consumers will be eyeing out ‘necessity spending’ – purchasing and gifting something either really useful or practical.
What does this mean for you? As a retailer, you have the opportunity to use this intel to your advantage and focus on making your products stand out to catch consumer eyes. CGI is fast emerging to help retailers drive clever content that positions products up front this holiday season.
So buckle up as your secret weapon for 2024 is Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI), which opens up access to greater volumes of dynamic and engaging content that are proven to enhance and streamline the customer experience.
High quality visuals
As the holiday season falls, brand leaders are challenged with creating product images that stand out to meet increasing expectations.
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Consumer perception of your product and brand is driven by the quality of your imagery. It is the first and last thing they will see before committing to a purchase.
CGI allows brands to create photo-realistic visuals that gives a ‘wow factor’ to keep consumers engaged. We’re operating in an increasingly visually driven and connected environment and customers want to be better informed.
CGI enables consumers to view products from every angle, explore intricate details and visualise them in various environments. With the ability to navigate multiple 360° angles, zoom in on details and observe the functionality of a product, CGI aids consumers in their research and enhances trust in your brand by showing real features, streamlining the decision-making process and making purchasing easier.
With CGI, you’re already helping customers visualise and experience a product, so when it comes to purchasing, it’s so much easier to make the choice.
Personalisation and customisation in retail with CGI
Personalisation has fast become the new standard that can drive a shopping cart from empty to full. Customisation isn’t new to the retail industry, but a growing number of brands are using CGI to enhance personalisation at just a few clicks of a button.
With CGI, you can tailor content to the preferences and interests of your target audience. A classic example is the “Nike By You” campaign, which allowed customers to personalise the colour and size of a pair of shoes. No more stockpiling or waiting for colours to arrive. Retail presentation is so much easier. This allows you to create a more engaging personalised shopping experience to resonate with consumers and drive sales.
Adaptability and scalability – the cost-effective dynamic duo
It may be Christmas now, but Boxing Day preparation is undoubtedly on your to-do list. So, content must be adaptable and fast. Yes, traditional photoshoots produce high-quality images, but they’re often static, costly, time-consuming and limiting. When developing content with CGI, retailers have a cost-effective, time-efficient alternative with the ability to elevate imagery and create a cohesive story in a way static photos simply can’t.
Another strength is that CGI-created content can be easily adapted for different marketing campaigns, seasons or product variations. From Secret Santa campaigns to flash post-Christmas sales, scalability is the new business advantage.
CGI gives you multi-purpose and multi-use content that can be leveraged online, in-store and on social media platforms, helping to maintain the interest of your audience via multiple touch points.
Storytelling in retail with CGI
Visual experiences are an integral part of storytelling and make up a vital part of being able to create a strong connection between customers and brands. Traditional production methods for creating the right mood around a product can be costly and take a lot of time to complete. With CGI you can create several scenes which can then be adjusted to highlight your product’s best assets and therefore create a whole new experience for them.
Capturing the attention of your target market and potential customers is critical in the competitive e-commerce world. Storytelling and conveying your brand’s narrative is particularly effective. Sure, traditional photoshoots can deliver a quality image, but with CGI, you have the tools to create immersive and interactive experiences for your customers and build a lifestyle.
Through animated CGI videos and visual effects, you can communicate your brand’s values, identity and showcase your product’s unique features to build a deeper emotional connection with your audience. By combining CGI with creative storytelling, brands can craft compelling content that goes beyond basic product shots, to connect and influence consumers in their purchasing decisions.
In an era where technology is rapidly advancing, CGI allows marketers to create superior visual content to better engage with audiences across all platforms. The production process is both time and cost-efficient and allows for content creation before products are manufactured, providing expedited go-to-market strategies.
Missed the boat this festive season? It’s not too late. CGI can be a fast process and all you need is a CAD design file. Whether your products are still being shipped, lost in transit or may not even reach the manufacturing stage – you can still create and launch your product using CGI visuals and hit the ground running.
About the author: Tim Morison is founder and creative director of Insite Imagery, a CGI and product rendering company.