Creative Direction | Brand Strategy | Design


© Scout Digital. All rights reserved. Written for Scout Digital by Travis Bragg.


  • Informative and designed to promote a service
  • Intended for marketing managers
  • Part of a blog series on marketing technology trends

    3D product renderings for a better customer experience

    Wow users and drive higher e-comm conversions

    For marketers and brand stewards responsible for promoting and managing a product portfolio, the most important thing to get right is consistent photography across your product suite. From lighting and color, to environmental details and shadows, marketers strive for visual perfection. But the traditional photography process is cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming. 3D product renderings are a game-changer.

    Old school versus new school image creation

    In the good ‘ol days, quality product photography involved lengthy planning and setup to ensure consistency across an entire portfolio. It became even more challenging to replicate that setup for multiple shoots. Then, once the shots were taken, post production and editing extended the work even further.

    Cue the singing angels. 3D product renderings can produce photorealistic objects that are indistinguishable from their real-world counterparts, and this level of visual fidelity has been transformative for e-commerce and product marketing. Why? As compared to traditional photography, 3D product renderings often cost less, take less time to execute, the environment is easy to control, and adjustments can be made on the fly.

    3D product renderings for online retailers

    Consumers have a keen eye for inconsistency, and it shows when an online product catalog is captured using traditional photography. From product to product, the lighting may change, the colors may appear inconsistent or the product may shift position. 3D product renderings avoid the pitfalls of inconsistent photography to ensure your product catalog looks perfect online.

    3D product renderings for pre-sales

    Developing a 3D product rendering doesn’t require you to have a physical product for reference, and instead can be built from a schematic or CAD file. This can take your presell game to the next level because your 3D product rendering can be promoted, tested, iterated upon, and sold before sinking any costs into fabrication. This can lead to a more thoroughly vetted final product, happier customers, and more sales.

    3D interactivity for a better customer experience

    The next best thing to the in-person customer experience is a 3D interactive rendering and animation. As traditional retail continues its shift to online experiences, physical products that can be manipulated in 3D space will outshine competing products with a better customer experience.

    In the same way a customer might check all angles of a product, feel its textures and admire it in different lighting, interactive 3D product renderings offer almost the same level of interactivity. A customer can zoom in and on a product, turn it in 360 degrees, even take it apart and observe its internal components. This level of interactivity can keep the customer engaged for longer, answer their questions and inspire them to make a purchase.

    3D product configuration for a better customer experience

    Online infrastructure in the developed world is such that an online retailer can display interactive 3D renderings on a product page with minimal technological investment. The customer is empowered to change colors and tweak materials in real time for a custom shopping experience that can drive sales performance. This is something that simply can’t be done on the fly at a physical retail store.

    “When shoppers use a 3D configurator, they are 20% more likely to buy a product. It gets them involved in the process and allows them to make it their own.”

    – ThreeKit

    One vacuum to rule them all

    Recently I was shopping for vacuums at one of the big box stores and I had an in-person experience that confirmed what I already knew – an interactive 3D product rendering could have saved me a trip to the store and provided me with a better user experience.

    Last week my pricey vacuum died and I immediately set out on a quest to find the perfect replacement. I wanted an easy solution that was low maintenance and would last for a few years. I compared reviews and specs online, but nothing I found confirmed a key feature I was looking for – a simplistic solution to dump the waste after use. This seemed like a no-brainer to me, but my search came up empty.

    With a list of top models in hand, I drove to the retailer and proceeded to take apart each vacuum I had my eyes on. Call me thorough, but I wanted to know how the inner workings worked so that I could repair it if it died. As I disassembled and reassembled each vacuum, it occurred to me that an interactive 3D product rendering would have saved me a boatload of time and hassle here.

    In an ideal shopping experience, I could compare my top vacuums in one place, see their reviews, compare their stats, zoom in on specific features, disassemble and reassemble components. Heck I’d even appreciate the option to choose a color casing of my preference. Alas, that was not my experience.

    As the Senior Editor/Animator at Scout Digital, and a 3D product designer, I know a better shopping experience is possible, and I have come to believe that 3D product renderings and interactivity are the future of retail sales. I did eventually choose a vacuum from my exhaustive research, and I can happily report that my floors have never been cleaner, but the experience was a reminder that there’s a better way.

    Ready to talk about your product portfolio and 3D rendering?

    At Scout Digital we know a thing or two about marketing and e-commerce.

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