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    360° Product Spinners “Cover All Angles” of What Online Shoppers Want

    What consumers want in online product images isn’t new but the methods and challenges of delivery are ever-evolving, leaving some online retailers playing catch-up.

    What Online Shoppers Want

    Since 2003, consumers have been asking for alternate product views, zooms and video and have now come to expect those as standard features. Over the last few years, the e-tailing group has also noted an uptick in demand for product image features like 3D, color change and the ability to view the product in a simulated room environment.

    The stats:


    Attempts to Deliver


    Interactive product image of the “Nike Free 5.0+” women’s running shoe from Nike.com

    Top brands and retailers have responded to consumer demands in varying degrees. For example, Nike lets shoppers view shoes from 4 angles and zoom in to see design details. Walmart and Zappos provide multiple zoom-enabled images to toggle between product color variants. They also show some products in action through recorded demonstration video.

    Product video from Zappos.com


    Product image from Walmart.com

    For most online retailers, giving customers some of what they want still means providing multiple still images. And, multiple images means propping, staging and shooting one or multiple product samples.

    Where product video has been added, it’s often filmed with talent demonstrating the product which at times means obstructed views, distractions and the natural limitations of traditional video. Take this example from Zappos.com where the zippered section being demonstrated is below the frame out of view and then obstructed by the host’s hand when it does begin to rise into view.

    A Few Degrees Warmer

    In 2010, eConsultancy wrote about the move to 360° views when multiple static images taken at different angles still left online shoppers wanting more. For one retailer, the addition of 360° views led to a 20% rise in conversion rates and a drop in returns.

    But unfortunately, old-school methods of producing 360° views are costly, time-consuming and still may not deliver all of what consumers want. Early adopter retailers are still shooting images on turntables – which can be cumbersome and unrealistic for larger products and appliances. Not to mention the fact that traditional turntable-shot 360°s typically only deliver side-to-side views while neglecting the top and bottom of a product, and certainly its inside.

    Still dependent upon traditional photography, the process includes other time and budget inefficiencies and problems. Photography is dependent upon having product samples or prototypes on-hand. It’s also bound to the physical reality of what the camera can see – no transparent walls or “cutaway” views to reveal a product’s inner workings.

    A Complete Solution

    Click to try

    Click the image to see this 360° Interactive Product Spinner with exploded view and hot spots in action.

    3D animated 360° interactive product spinners deliver all angles of what customers want and then some. Photorealistic 3D breaks the restraints of traditional photography and enables shoppers to see whatever they need to – from all sides and angles, even inside and out. Still equipped with zooms, 3D animated product spinners can also include clickable “hotspots” that provide more information about the part or feature being shown. And because the product is a 3D object, color change options and alternate configurations are easy to show in a single interactive animation.

    Unlike a still product image, once a 3D object is created, it’s flexible enough to go just about anywhere else your product needs to go. 3D products can be easily incorporated into animated demo “videos” that show the product in action. Even inner workings and mechanisms or assembly steps can be shown with cutaways and “exploded” views. And, 3D products can always be pulled into a simulated room, existing photos or a lifestyle environment.

    A Big Win for Retailers

    Even greater than 3D’s ability to cover all consumer wants, is its advantages to online retailers. 360° interactive spinners in 3D overcome the limitations of turntable-shot 360° views and the challenges of traditional photography and video in general.

    First, 360° spinners are surprisingly less expensive to produce and can be created even before a product sample or prototype is available. Designed from your engineering files, photorealistic 3D products are as accurate as the real thing but offer much more flexibility.

    A Big Win for Mobile Shoppers

    360° product spinners designed in HTML5 offer ultimate cross-browser compatibility – even working on mobile devices and tablets that don’t support Flash. With mCommerce continuing to make up greater pieces of the mCommerce pie and tablet adoption on the rise, mobile shoppers can’t be ignored.

    See Some 360 Interactive Product Spinners in Action

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    1. […] Digital photography is still the way to go for some product imaging. But photography has its limitations and photographs just don’t make sense for every project. With 3D product imaging, manufacturers have almost no limitations on how and where to showcase their product information. Product marketers can display products from almost any angle, including those that are virtually impossible to get with a camera—like cross-sectional views, exploded views, and 360-degree product spinners. […]

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