Digitalization has brought many improvements to the business world. It has also brought some frustrations. E-commerce provides a perfect illustration of this.
For consumers, digitalization has empowered a new era in retail in which an endless array of products are conveniently available online. However, the realm of e-commerce does have its limitations. When shopping online, consumers cannot touch, taste, or try on a product. The visual inspection of products that online shopping sites provide is often less than satisfying. As a result, more than 30 percent of online purchases are returned, compared with less than 9 percent of those purchased in stores. Over 20 percent of the time, the reason given for the return is “product received looks different.”
Retailers looking to fix this problem now have a solution. Zakeke, a company that is harnessing the power of Visual Customization, 3D configuration, Augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize the retail space, empowers businesses to transform their customers’ e-commerce experience from ordinary to extraordinary.
“The disconnect between customers and the products they purchase is the most significant disadvantage of online shopping,” explains Angelo Coletta, CEO and Founder of Zakeke. “E-commerce has never been able to completely replicate the personal experience of browsing a brick-and-mortar store. This, however, is where emerging 3D and AR technology stands to bridge the gap.”
Angelo founded Zakeke in 2017 to provide brands with a platform for building engaging and innovative customer experiences. He now leads the Zakeke team’s global mission to own the visual shopping experience and empower retailers to excel in e-commerce.
Bringing 3D and AR to the online retail space
One of the biggest challenges that online retailers face is presenting their products in a way that connects with consumers. An effective product page must allow shoppers to assess how a product fits, whether that means showing how glasses fit their face or furniture fits their living room. The tech that Zakeke brings to e-commerce provides that connection.
“3D Visualization allows customers to get in touch with the product exactly as they do in the store,” Angelo explains. “It offers a new way to interact with products. Customers can view a 3D representation of products from any angle, rotate them, change parts and materials, zoom in, and so on. They can do everything they would do in real life.”
The result is an experience that goes beyond visual to be interactive and immersive. In the same way that customers in a store can handle and inspect an item, the Zakeke platform allows them to rotate and zoom in on items on their screen directly from the product page, with no app or plugin installation required. Zakeke’s 3D and AR viewer is compatible with all major browsers across all ecommerce platforms, allowing it to integrate seamlessly and scale with a business’s changing needs.
“By leveraging the power of AR, retailers can bring products to life, dramatically enhancing the customer’s online experience,” says Angelo. “They simply click or tap to see a 3D live preview of products in real life, increasing conversion and confidence. Showing a canvas on a wall or a sofa in a room has never been easier thanks to 3D and AR integrated in the retail space.”
Zakeke’s Virtual Try-On tool provides a powerful illustration of AR’s potential. Businesses in the eyewear sector, for example, can use this tool to allow shoppers to try on virtual glasses just as they would physical glasses when shopping in a store. The technology will soon be available for testing hats, jewelry, watches, and shoes.
By providing an accurate fit and look, AR gives customers confidence that the products they purchase online will meet their expectations. Virtual Try-On turns any retailer’s website into a virtual mirror that allows online shopping to be interactive and immersive.
Bringing AR and AI tech to the customization space
Zakeke also provides a host of cutting edge tech tools for retailers who offer their customer’s product customization.
“Today’s consumers want to be able to play a primary role in the design of the products that they buy,” says Angelo. “Although brands and logos still have a strong appeal, customers want the products purchased to represent them and give a unique image of themselves. Zakeke responds to this need.”
Zakeke’s Visual Customizer and 3D Product Configurator tools allow for unlimited customization and configuration options, meaning customers can fine tune a product’s components, elements, materials, change fonts, cliparts, images, showing the real effect of different printing techniques like DTG (direct-to-garment printing), sublimation and screen printing and more. As customization takes place, customers see their creation in a realistic 3D environment.
By introducing AI to its platform, Zakeke gives retailers tools for automating and streamlining the customization process. Monitoring the custom designs that customers provide is a labor-intensive process, especially as a business scales. Businesses that take steps to ensure products do not have inappropriate images can slow down the approval process, resulting in a bad experience for all customers. Zakeke’s platform brings AI technology to bear on this issue, allowing it to identify and flag inappropriate language and images, learning as it does to further optimize the process.
The explosive growth of e-commerce has opened the doors for every business to become a global brand. Most only lack the tools to offer an engaging online experience. By working behind the scenes to make complex technology easy to adopt, Zakeke helps brands to increase engagement and drive sales in the online retail space.