Why 3D Is the New Asset Class and How To Use It To Grow Your eCom Business

Sep 26, 2022 12:00 PM1:00 PM EDT

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

As the high tide of eCommerce settles into regularity, online sales have become intensely competitive. The fundamentals are rarely enough to capture the attention of customers. While many businesses sink more resources into marketing to combat this effect, they fail to update the presentation of their products. But how much of a difference can that make?

According to the team at Threekit, the presentation of a product can make all the difference. Their extensive list of noteworthy clients — including brands such as Crate & Barrel, TaylorMade, and Kohler — have all seen growth in their sales after implementing AR and 3D into the customer experience. The lifetime customer value is enormous and directly correlates with the customer experience. So what will keep people coming back to your store? A premium experience. A recent survey shows that 60% of eCommerce shoppers said they want more 3D and augmented reality shopping experiences, and 42% said they would pay more for a product they see in 3D. It is a powerful tool to grow your eCom business when used correctly but is it right for your brand?

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant hosts Marc Uible, the VP of Marketing at Threekit, to discuss AR and 3D implementation benefits for eCommerce brands. They discuss the current state of the technology, how it can be leveraged to grow your business, and success stories from brands that use it. They also go into the finer details on its applications and where this technology is heading in the future.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What’s the impact on conversion rates for customers who experience AR as part of the buying experience?
  • The power of configuration when displaying digital products
  • How can businesses use AR and 3D models?
  • Improving the digital experience in B2B companies
  • What effect does using AR have on site speed?
  • What the future will look like for digital commerce
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Event Partners


Threekit uses 3D and augmented reality to improve the eCommerce landscape and provide better customer experiences for shoppers and business buyers everywhere.

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Guest Speaker

marc uible

Marc Uible LinkedIn

VP of Marketing and Alliances at Threekit

Marc Uible is the VP of Marketing and Alliances at Threekit, a visual commerce company that helps brands increase sales by using 3D and augmented reality to customize and configure products so customers can interact with them as part of the buyer experience.

Marc is also a member of the board of advisors at LIFT and has worked at companies including Braintree, Avondale, and The Claro Group. Marc received his bachelor’s degree in international business, business economics, and public policy from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Event Moderator

marc uible

Marc Uible LinkedIn

VP of Marketing and Alliances at Threekit

Marc Uible is the VP of Marketing and Alliances at Threekit, a visual commerce company that helps brands increase sales by using 3D and augmented reality to customize and configure products so customers can interact with them as part of the buyer experience.

Marc is also a member of the board of advisors at LIFT and has worked at companies including Braintree, Avondale, and The Claro Group. Marc received his bachelor’s degree in international business, business economics, and public policy from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18

Happy Monday, everybody. My name is Aaron and I'm the Co-founder Managing Director here at BWG Connect networking knowledge sharing group of 1000s of brands and been around for five years now. And just really enjoy everything that's going on the networking space, I talked to 20 or 30 brands a week to stay on top of trends. And when the same topics come up over and over again, the newest strategies, we host an event like this. So thanks, everybody for dialing in. A couple housekeeping items, we're starting a few minutes after the hour, we're going to take this right up till 12:30 Eastern Time and wrap up pretty much right on time. The other thing is if you're in New York City, we're doing a full day event tomorrow at Midtown Lofton terrace if you'd like to attend. And as we kind of kick off, you know, this, this idea of digital assets as a whole is really ramped up over the past couple years. And you know, the 3d side of it. I think we're at a point now where technology can can render near photorealistic and very accurate to size. And so a lot of conversation around content. And Marc has been a great friend and a team over Threekit for years now, actually did a great podcast, we'll grab a link to the podcast today with Marc around content as a whole, and drop it in the chat there. But you know, Marc, I'm gonna kick it over to you. You want to do a brief intro on yourself and Threekit, that'd be awesome. And we can kind of jump into the conversation and note to people if you have questions along the way, drop them in the chat or I think better drop into the q&a. And we'll fill them out of the q&a box. And we'll kind of try to get as many answers in real time as possible. But yeah, Marc, I'll kick it over to you.


Marc Uible  1:53

Thanks. Thanks, Aaron. Love the BWG team love the partnership. Hey, everyone, just a quick backstory on me. I spent about the last decade in eCommerce I spent eCommerce SaaS companies. First I was with Braintree Venmo. And so what I really got to be there as kind of front seat into the mobile commerce revolution, these companies come into focus branches, the payments company for Uber, Airbnb, a lot of the early front runners in mobile commerce. And after being there for five years, I kind of got stopped to think about Hey, what is the next thing that's going to really transform the way that people buy online. And I made this bet on Threekit. Threekit has since grown 10x. Over the last three years, we were ranked at out of the Inc 5000. So ATF, fastest growing private company in the United States over the last three years or so. And really, and I'll go ahead and share my screen now. But really what's happening, what we're seeing is leading global brands are figuring out how do I differentiate? And how do I gain market share? Because my customer experience matters a ton. So we're gonna go through that real quick. I'm gonna, I'm gonna blast through a lot of these slides, we can get into some demos. But context, I think a lot of people here are saying, Look, that pandemic boost is over. It's now about fighting for market share. It's not just about hey, I'm growing to under percent a year, let's sell whatever we can. We got a lot of business concerns in terms of inflation supply chain issues, hey, it's hard to get my product or I have too much my product, what do I actually have? And people think about their customer experience, like what is gonna be the thing that keeps people coming back to my store, so don't have to buy and Buy and buy ads, people are coming back organically that lifetime customer value is huge. And what leads to lifetime customer value is customer experience. So what are going to be the things that keep people coming back to your store? You know, we did a survey recently 60% of eCommerce shoppers said they want more 3d and augmented reality. 42% said that they pay more for product they see in 3d and our it's a more premium experience and people are going to pay more be more loyal to Shopify did a study 200% increase in conversion on AR I want you to know the rest of stats, but start seeing a better customer experience is how people actually interact with your most important thing, which is the actual product that you're selling. And here's the problem that we solve. In short, like if you sell a product that is configurable, and you can't show every configuration, you have a problem. If people can't personalize or can't configure your product, and you can't recommend alternatives to upsells cross sells in real time visually, customers are gonna start saying, I just don't have the confidence to buy this, I'll go somewhere else. Or I'll buy it, and then I'll return it not a great customer experience, I'm not in love with this brand, overall to the customer experience, if your product is configurable, and you can't show every configuration, that's a huge problem in today's world. And if your product is configurable, you're gonna run into a lot of problems anyway, let's say, you're gonna spend millions of dollars on photography, or designers or manually generated, renders, it's super slow, right? Like, hey, the product has to get shipped to you, then you're taking photos of it, then you're editing the photos, then you're putting them in some type of dam or PEM and uploading them sending to your commerce site, validating all those things super slow. It's not scalable. Obviously, if you have million permutations of a product, or products are billions, you might get 5% 1% 2%, maybe up to 10%. But you're not going to get every single visual. And obviously, low conversion rates is a, you know, if you're selling 2% conversion rate on your website, you might be pretty happy. But what about someone searching for configurable products, and they can actually see it in price in real time. That's really special. So Threekit is a visual commerce breakthrough through which is we let you show if you have a configurable product 100% of your product catalog, people can configure a personalized in real time, you can see what's in stock. So again, if you have if you're able to visualize everything, now you can show things that are on your long tail. Hey, based on this shopping behavior, this product over here that maybe we didn't have a visual for before is actually a good fit. We were experiencing you were exploring this, I don't know, pink, the lower fabric over here on this product, why don't I highlight the pink the lower products. On this other product, even though that's a longtail thing, you seem to have a you as a consumer seem to enjoy that fabric. I'll highlight that to you. And of course, if you'd love what you get, you don't need to return it. So what we do is, we're kind of two parts a lot of people know us because of our visuals. So that's on the right, 3d augmented reality virtual photography. But we marry that with your basically products, rules and logics, we integrate with your eCommerce. But you can also use this to distribute to retailers or distributors, or if you're a b2b, a b2b portal in store, half of our top five customers use us as an in store sales tool, mainly, so that sales associates can configure products and price them in real time. And of course, we do this amazing scale. So if you need millions or billions of visuals, we are that great option for you.


Aaron Conant  7:49

And I think it's really cool. I think it's interesting, because a lot of times the 3d AR You know, when people get into a conversation, or I'm chatting with brands on it, everybody thinks about, you know, dropping it into a room or putting the fan on the ceiling, or does the furniture fit or not. But that's all that's like an added bonus. Right? It's kind of what I'm hearing from you, it is literally the ability to configure and show as many options as possible, is the number one thing that brands could get across from use of something like this, right? And then oh, by the way, we could also do this,


Marc Uible  8:29

but you don't necessarily have to. That's absolutely true. I mean, like visualize everything that the customer might want to see. First and then you can worry about, oh, you know, the customer wants to confidence that it's there and that it actually is a thing that's real, you know, this is an example here but you know, you know, a garage tool rack, all Ultra hyper configurable a prices in real time, but previously if you couldn't show that and someone doesn't understand the difference, like why do I need eight drawers or the seven drawers? Do I need a back panel, a right panel like the like people do care about the door but they might buy this thing this configurable product and then realize ah, I needed it to be a right swing door, not a left swing door. Because you know, this is the configuration of my garage. I just made a huge mistake. All of a sudden I'm not happy with C tech. But now that I can visualize it and know it. I feel more confident I'm gonna buy this thing TaylorMade is another great customer of ours. Again, they take their most popular driver each year put it on Threekit, configure this product, color, grip, pain, the length of the shaft these are all things you can configure in real time and people are starting to feel more confident about it. Crate & Barrel another customer again this is one of those customers that sells a lot in store and online. They have About 240 fabrics, and they have about 200 Different couches. And each couch also has different length and width. So we won't even get into that. So you've got already millions and millions of permutations, but no one's gonna buy a $4,000 couch unless they can get a visual for it. So we let them scale, you know, if they were going to do photography like this, and cost them millions of dollars per quarter. But obviously, they use a partner, these Threekit, and they are able to create millions of renders every quarter, and then they get new designs and new couches in and they're automatically able to upload this insane amount of content onto their eCommerce site as SEO benefits not only just for, you know, commerce and conversion minutes, and they kind of are able to deliver this amazing experience. Should Use


Aaron Conant  9:14

more brands leveraging it then for standard content generation as well. I mean, I understand on the on the website side where obviously it is, but what about using it for actually content I just talking with, you know, a large faucet Company, and actually need more content for their catalogs, right, I would say their digital catalogs or their rendering or the print or the flyers or email marketing? Are you seeing people use this as a platform then to generate content that way? Yeah,


Marc Uible  11:26

let me hit you, like across the entire stack. So I was actually talking to a furniture company recently. And I can't name them. But they were using augmented reality augmented reality feature, the augmented reality feature for their furniture got a million views on TikTok. Here, it's still novel, it's not novelty, not necessarily everyone, but it's still a novel thing to say, like, hey, take any product that we have and show it augmented reality, go and place on TikTok, tons of pickup, then you go fly over to like a b2b use case where someone says a lot of these, you know, furniture companies that sell in the b2b space, they will need to put together like a pitch book, if you're trying to win, outfitting like, let's say, a hospital or major office, you need to be able to come up with these pitch books really quickly, the architect or designer might say, Hey, this is the vibe of the place, you know, I need your catalog, your custom catalog for us in three days. And it's this crazy spread, where designers have to render all this stuff in crazy real time. And there's all sorts of mistakes, and they might spend 10, or 20 grand just on that catalog for that pitch. And with Threekit, you can do that instantly set the rules render instantly, and have this amazing catalog right away. That's a b2b use case, obviously, you can use it in a real catalog for consumers. We partner with Google so you can sell 3d ads, through Threekit, you can create NFT's, I mean, the power is actually right here is like, once you have these visuals, use them everywhere, because people want a visual of your product. And that's eCommerce to b2b and b2c in store we call client telling would like one of our most recent signatures is one of the most well known luxury brands in the United States. And a big thing for them was leveraging Threekit in their chat experience. So a customer could figure and then there's another the agent on the back end can see what people are configuring and can help on the configuration process. And that agent on the chat side, they actually even have a little bit more configuration detail and can get understand things like shipping dates, what products are exactly in stock to suggest to the consumer on the front end. That's called a client telling. We do service in parts, you can visually explode a product and a service rep or a person, you know, a normal person can select the part that's broken and get it shipped out into the field. And then obviously, you know the Metaverse NFT you can take these visuals and export them. And mint NFT's you can put them into your favorite open source video games, things like that. So there's a lot of use cases and that's a one of the really big selling points Threekit is incredible visuals and then you can use them everywhere. I'll hit on that just a quick example before we I you know I get into more demos, but TaylorMade great customer Threekit they were using commerce cloud. They were you know want to deliver this new direct to consumer driver needed an incredible visual experience. And I think there was something like 200,000 configurations of it. They hit their three month sales target in one month. One thing to hit on here like they hit their website visitors doubled. And I want to tell a quick story about this. Like we posted about this on our LinkedIn and it got something like 22,000 views just posted in a GIF on it. We didn't promote it at all. I mean, what products can you post? And it's just just, you know, give just this gift, these young thing, what product? Can you post on LinkedIn and get 20,000 views. And we're not like influencers here, right like, and it's because it's the next generation, it's novel. It's how people actually want experience product, they don't want to scroll through photos anymore. They want to engage the product. And we can figure in real time. We all thought about the brands TaylorMade ,Lovesac, Crate & Barrel, on the b2b side. Starbucks actually just went live with us they have a configure your own item, a number of options, I won't get too deep into it. But they can now do 100% self service in the b2b side, a lot of other stats here, but if you're you know, it's not only do you grow sales, a huge thing with regard but you can also cut costs, cut costs associated with support cut costs associated with service cut costs, with design costs with photography, there's a lot of ways to cut costs, actually, we find brands are working with us in that way. A lot more recently. We were getting primarily leading global brands, they happen to be brands that want to take market share during this time. LVMH, Milwaukee Tools, Crate & Barrel, Ralph Lauren, Kohler, actually Kohler came came through the BWG network. So thanks. Thank you to the BWG network for that. Hi, sir Yale. So these are big leading global brands that are able to invest and really develop what they're doing, and create incredible customer experiences. So that's what we're about I can I can go on and share some demos. Let me stop sharing for a minute.


Aaron Conant  16:59

Yeah, and if people have questions, you can drop it in. And thing that comes to mind, for me is always site speed in the impact on site speed. And the other side is what I'm always curious about is the b2b aspect, because there's been this huge push on the direct to consumer side. But, you know, b2b, you know, the past two years, but I would say of the past six months, I've had a lot more questions on b2b and enhancing that side, as we get, you know, the, the oldest millennial is like 40. Now, right, and they want a digital experience. And I was just at the International Housewares Association, their CEO event, let end of last week, you know, moderating with a lot of their teams is a couple of different panels. And is just interesting to see that the number of people that are in a buyer on the b2b side looking for digital experience, so yeah, website, b2b.


Marc Uible  17:57

Yeah, what comes up those, those are actually pretty related. Because you can optimize and have it be a hyperfast experience. If that's like super important if you're, if you're selling something that is, you know, $100 thing, you know what I mean? And like, then you got to optimize for speed, right? Like, that thing needs to be really fast. Or if you need people, hey, I want people scrolling through 100 couches. We can do virtual photography, configure that thing in real real real time, like, very quickly, you know, example. You know, but if you're configuring something b2b, it's okay to have more configuration opposites a lot, someone let it load for two or three or four seconds, that's a little bit more, okay. If you're in a b2c space, maybe you really need it at a half second. And we can do a number of tools and tricks to reduce the 3d file size. And as they can figure load sort of on a on a proactive basis. On the b2b side. Again, it comes back to on the b2b, those folks are more savvy buyer, it's more okay if you're going to configure and more and more and more parts of that product and give more options. present them with more information and that's something that 3d cake can do. Quite well. Let's see it does anyone want to jump in the chat and say is there any demos we have this thing called shop Threekit where we show a lot of our customers are the ones who are okay being showed things like Crate & Barrel or California Closets, configure a suit using fear you know, a closet or a suit or jewelry shoes. I think this shape press one because I was just in New York City got a shirt. And again, I think they have something like and you lose a little bit over time with or over Zoom. So hopefully, can you see my screen? Yeah, man. So dozens of fabrics here. And you can see in virtual photography, it renders it looks just like a shark. You know what I mean? There's no, it looks beautiful. You don't need to worry, no, no human rendered this, this is all software. And your gain has confidence in real time. And what this is special for J Press is not only drove a lot of sales for them, or drives auto sales for them. But it's important for the because they have two or three stores. And they're holding a ton of inventory at the stores. Because customers would come in and say, oh, I want to see the fabric, or I want to see what a French cuff looks on that fabric. And all sudden, they're forced to hold us fabric because their customers wanted to see it. But in here, you've got a hey, I can see the flat pocket, I can do all these things. And again, people are buying a ton of this online. And it's also important for the sales associates or for their for their inventory store. Let's see.


Aaron Conant  21:05

So think about the AR, the augmented reality piece. Like how, how does that impact site speed? And how does that? Is that like the requirement? Or do you have a lot of customers just using the configurability and not the AR piece?


Marc Uible  21:20

Um, it depends on the use case, right? So if you have so I know Crate & Barrel's AB testing AR with us right now. And so sometimes you have to reload it, and they will they use us for so this is what we call virtual photography. And you can see here you've got, you know, two depth options, eight different size options, and then 225 fabrics. So just on this one couch is something like Oh, I don't know if 22,000 configurations. But then with AR you can put that couch in your space, just how you configured it. So I'm just going to change the material here to a Tahoe powder. And let's say it's an 83 inch bench cushion. You can see there I went from two to one because that's how, you know it's no longer a two seat sofa. And so all these configurations are getting done in real time visually to try back confidence. Let's see. We could jump over to-


Aaron Conant  22:43

What's the number? It mean? You live in the digital, like content space? What are the key things here? I see we have like four minutes left to like, what are the key things that people should be thinking about? In this space as a whole? You're targeting a ton of brands as well. Like what's top of mind for them? And should people be thinking about over the next, I don't know, six to nine months?


Marc Uible  23:07

I mean there's just like on my, you know, that we hear every single day is I need to gain market share. And right now you could say like, oh, well, you know, your boss, you know the boss has is renewing their expectations, right? The boss is no longer expecting 100 220% growth. And so it doesn't necessarily mean Hey, just overfunded the ads. This future world cookieless world is going to be about actual customer loyalty, where people actually love your product and the experience of it. And there just isn't that many ways that are better to engage someone. Then a really amazing configuration experience in 3d and augmented reality with beautiful visuals and virtual photography. Yeah, that's


Aaron Conant  24:07

I just had this conversation was you think about a website that you buy from? It has not changed in like 15 years, it doesn't seem like graphics have gotten a little better. But you're still landing on a page.


Marc Uible  24:22

A visual image, you know, here, here's the you know, scroll, scroll, scroll, okay, click like, like, oh, six photos. You know, and then there's a block of copy, you know, and then, you know, there's reviews and that's all great, but Yeah, boy, it looks just like 2000.


Aaron Conant  24:44

It's amazing to me, and then you know, the fact that you put up there and NFTs and Metaverse, that was a panel that I moderated, was that's what the new expectation is going to be. And I think going beyond just having the right content is thinking about where people are going to be at You know, three, four years from now. And right? It's not us walking around with this giant headset on in 3d. It's a augmented reality overlay on top of what's going on or is people walking through a Metaverse but on their desktop, right with their avatar, walking around, buying NFTs, because they will want to, and it sounded, you know, to me, even a year ago, I was scratching my head a little bit for people already buying space in the digital world. And you will have a digital house that you will if you want a unless you've got your you know, your own 3d, you know, AR You know, it's basically a Threekit on the back end that's going to create and mentor NF T's whatever you want. You're gonna have to pay for it. And people will do it and you know, just think about it now from the Roblox standpoint, or the Minecraft or, you know, all these different where people were buying what was it the Nike store had, like, I don't know how many millions of visitors in Roblox, right, buy digital shoes and apparel. It's it'll go on to, you know, housewares as well.


Marc Uible  26:12

Yeah, and I think I think like that market, right is like it no one, you know, not a lot of people are like, oh, yeah, Metaverse, NFTs. But if you look out like the overall market in this like the crypto and Metaverse NFC like, yeah, it's not at a great point right now. But over the long term, you have to believe that that's where the world is moving towards a like a more anonymous a more, hey, I own my own data. I own my own experience open ecosystem type of way. And I think smart brands are keeping that option open and thinking about that and thinking about their tech stack over the next like three five years that that might be something octaves reality. I'm like all in I'm like quite confident that that'll be the next sort of computing platform. But all of these other options people are keeping it.


Aaron Conant  27:07

Oh, the key thing is going to be the digital identity. I see where this right here at time. Like, Marc, thanks so much for your time today. As always, thanks for being such a great support of the network. encourage everybody to have a follow up conversation with him and his team. And the last like key takeaway here as we wrap up.


Marc Uible  27:27

You know, I shared a lot so I feel I feel really good at checkout shop Threekit, you can Google shop Threekit. That's where a lot of you can check out the world's leading brands and how they're doing 3d And and that's where I'd really encourage you to just check out and poke around and see see if that's relevant to Awesome.


Aaron Conant  27:43

Thanks again, Marc. Thanks, everybody for dialing in here. Hope everybody has a fantastic Monday. Have a great week. Take care, stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event. Alrighty, thanks.

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What is BWG Connect?

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
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