How immersive commerce can drive your sustainability goals while making your merch look fabulous
Customers care about how their purchases affect the planet. They want to make buying decisions that they can feel good about. Retailers are offering new customer experiences using technology that informs a customer’s purchase and helps them be more impactful in their shopping.
In a digital world, everything is at your fingertips. But behind every click, energy is used and by-products are created to power that transfer of data.
Data centers are among the most energy-intensive building types. They use 10–50 times the energy per floor of a typical commercial office building and account for 2 percent of America’s total electricity usage. For perspective, America’s total electricity usage was 3.93 trillion kWh in 2021. A move to the cloud should be a part of any organization’s sustainability strategy. Studies by the international analyst firm 451 Research found that moving on-premises computing workloads to Amazon Web Services (AWS) can lower workloads’ carbon footprint by nearly 80 percent compared with surveyed enterprise data centers.
Technology facilitates innovation and helps us move to more sustainable economies.
From these statistics alone, it’s clear why the retail sector is focused on finding sustainable options for its technologies. A more energy-efficient solution for ecommerce retailers exists in the cloud—the AWS Cloud that facilitates 3D capabilities from Hexa, an AWS Partner.
Hexa offers retailers a 3D visualization platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create 3D assets by converting any image into a 3D model, creating and displaying immersive 360-degree viewing and augmented reality (AR) content.
Hexa and AWS: A duo for sustainability
Retailers, especially those operating online, must prioritize their visual assets to boost conversion rates. It’s time consuming and harmful to the environment to package and ship consumer goods from point A to B to be photographed, retouched, and returned, only to end up digitally displayed anyway. Companies like Hexa are making this entire process digital and sustainable through the creation, management, and distribution of synthetic visual assets.
Hexa provides retailers with 3D asset pipelines and AR capabilities so that consumers can access elevated online shopping experiences without the burden of environmental harm. Additionally, Hexa uses 3D assets and AWS Cloud computing to render high-quality 2D images and videos for a variety of advertising and marketing use cases. With synthetic data and its repository of 3D content, Hexa can streamline the process of digital asset creation while reducing emissions because physical products never have to leave the warehouse—that is, until they are purchased by a customer.
When customers can better qualify a product before purchasing, fewer packages need to be shipped and returned. The sustainability rewards of this process include a reduction of packing-material waste and lower carbon emissions because of reduced back-and-forth transport of products. When customers are more confident in their purchases, less unwanted goods end up in landfills.
Product visualization in ecommerce delivering conversion boost and reduction in returns
In a recent article by AR Insider, it’s pointed out that using AR can reduce returns by driving more informed purchases, and the conversion rates are chart-popping. Seek CEO, Jon Cheney, recently reported in AR Insider that the company’s work with Overstock.com resulted in a conversion-rate boost of 10–200 percent, and Miele Vacuum saw a conversion rate increase of 300 percent over non-AR equivalents.
Energy efficiency in action
As an example, let’s take a look at what Bouclair, an online furniture retailer, has accomplished while using Hexa tools, powered by AWS, that they can use to turn any image into a 3D model with high fidelity.
Bouclair uses 3D, AR, and video services from Hexa for selected furniture items. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, online shoppers underwent a change in their consumption habits, which boosted the demand for 3D and virtual try-on capabilities. The result? An increase in conversion rates due to 3D and AR usage.
“We have been growing ecommerce to support the markets where we don’t have physical stores,” said Edit Avital, vice president of eCommerce and Performance Marketing at Bouclair. “The online business is something that we’re growing. We have videos where we basically show customers how to dress their windows, decorate, and we are also trying to have new gadgets for people to visualize the decor in their houses.” The boost in conversion rates at Bouclair was so positive that it led the company to feature 3D content as the product page’s primary image.
In addition, AWS provides on-demand Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) G5 GPU Instances, with high-performance GPU-based instances for graphics-intensive applications and machine learning (ML) inference for visualization and storage, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an object storage service, for asset management.
The cloud and beyond
Sustainability solutions powered by cloud technology are quickly shaping up to be some of the most impactful ways for ecommerce retailers to drive their sustainability goals and help reshape the industry. With 3D visual assets and AR experiences powered by Hexa and AWS, ecommerce retailers can improve the customer experience and boost their bottom lines.
Interested in seeing how Hexa could improve your conversion rates, reduce returns, and give you a stunning view of your products?
Hexa delivers an immersive operating system for retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) customers with a comprehensive 3D tech stack that brands use to create, manage, display, and analyze 3D projects by taking just a few existing images and transforming them into high-fidelity 3D models. Then, they can be layered onto a real-world environment (in the case of AR) or viewed in 360 degrees on product pages to give consumers a better feel for the product’s attributes. The powerful infrastructure of Hexa supports the data levels that brands need to create and distribute these models, 360-degree experiences, and AR at scale without diminishing quality.