Even in the age of Amazon, a lot of business sales processes still rely on in-person visits, consultations, and demos. Or at least, they did up until a worldwide pandemic brought business travel to a screeching halt last month and left most sales teams working from home.
So what does this mean for brands whose customers still want and need their products? It’s time to embrace technology that enables remote sales and the kind of work-from-anywhere collaboration that makes remote selling possible.
Here, we’ll highlight three key capabilities to look for in a tech solution that power remote selling: virtual image generation, remote collaboration options, and interactive 3D that’s configurable in real time.
Virtual Image Generation to Keep Ecommerce Projects on Track
Many industries have slowed or stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic. But a lot of the information economy is still functioning. One key corner of that is ecommerce: with a nationwide stay-at-home order in effect for the foreseeable future, sellers and buyers alike are relying on digital buying experiences to get what they need.
Of course, it’s hard to sell online without images of what you’re selling, and it’s hard to get images of your products when you can’t set up a photo shoot.
Software that enables the creation of photorealistic 2D images should meet three key criteria, all of which are essential in a time of social distancing:
- It doesn’t require a photographer, a studio, or actual products.
- It can be operated from anywhere.
- It can be operated by those without photography expertise.
Once created, images can be shared with designers, developers, and others needed to build the necessary ecommerce assets, from product pages to social posts to digital ads. Adopting virtual photography now can also position brands to stay competitive as buyer expectations evolve. Already, buyers expect five to eight images per product. Virtual photography makes that kind of image creation scalable.
Remote Collaboration to Create Immersive Online Shopping Experiences
2D images are a cornerstone of ecommerce, but they’re not sufficient to represent products that can be customized, configured, or personalized. They’re also not ideal for items customers have never purchased before, which they typically want to explore in more detail before ordering online.
Enter 3D configuration. 3D configurations let brands depict real-time modifications customers make to products. And because they’re interactive, they more closely mimic the in-store buying experience, which is crucial for first-time purchases.
But the traditional method of creating 3D configurations, with a VFX studio-type setup, requires 3D artists, product teams, and merchandisers to be in the same physical
space to share ideas and generate images with physical equipment. In an era where all teams are fully remote, that setup isn’t possible. Cloud-based 3D configuration software offers a serious edge.
Cloud-based software makes it possible for remote teams to upload data or specs separately and still collaborate. Companies can tap into the power of this software to create net-new 3D models for their websites to accommodate the reality of drastically increased online shopping or to update an existing 3D catalog.
By creating visual assets that make online shopping more like what happens in stores, brands can meaningfully improve the online shopping experience. Cloud-based 3D configuration software makes this possible during periods of remote work.
Remote Sales Powered by Endlessly Configurable Interactive 3D
Teams that rely on spreadsheets and documents have readily available solutions for remote work. But what happens for sales teams whose normal work involves traveling to clients’ offices and offering demos?
Consider strategically deployed 3D configuration.
Just as interactive 3D can enhance a buyer-directed online shopping experience- it can also make possible a video sales call that closely mimics an in-person demonstration.
In fact, 3D-powered sales demonstrations may actually outperform the in-person meetings they replace. When working with a universe of digital images, products are infinitely configurable, meaning sales professionals can show clients the exact customization they want to see, instantly – something that’s just not possible with physical demos.
What’s more, research suggests that more digital buying experience may actually be what business buyers want: a recent study from Salesforce found that…
- 69 percent of business buyers expect an Amazon-like buying experience.
- 67 percent have switched vendors for a more consumer-like experience.
- 72 percent expect vendors to personalize experiences to meet their needs.
Brands that reimagine in-person sales visits with remote demos featuring 3D configurations of products can deliver highly customized buying experiences.
Adapting to the New Reality
COVID-19 has created a new reality for everyone, including brands in search of ways to communicate and engage with customers who still need their products. Tools that enable the creation of interactive digital assets facilitates that communication by making it possible to create visual assets, collaborate among teams, and even sell to clients from anywhere in the world.