Can you really save time, money and the planet with CGI?
Posted by: Jess Chambers - 03.07.23
As competition heats up in the online world, it’s vital for brands to use every tool in the box to help them to stand out. Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) has been around in films for decades, but it’s now increasingly popping up in advertising and marketing too.
There’s certainly a lot for marketers to be excited about with CGI. Transform your marketing, future-proof your business and engage prospects and existing customers in ways you never could before.
Furniture giants like IKEA, Dunelm and John Lewis use CGI across over 50% of their sites. They’re not alone. A growing number of businesses across almost every sector are embracing CGI to tempt content-hungry customers and generate extra revenue. Customers have an increased appetite for enriched experiences and personalised products. And this hunger is set to continue in the ever-immersive digital world.
Online shoppers now expect brands to let them interact with quality stills, videos, and innovative solutions like augmented reality and product configurators. Multiply this content by numerous SKUs; that’s a mind-boggling volume of content, complex logistics and extensive costs.
CGI might just be the solution you’ve been looking for. Hallelujah! But if you’re new to CGI, knowing how to weave it into your marketing, comms and merchandising might seem intimidating, costly or complex. We get it. And we got you.
Versatility and creativity
CGI is a powerful tool for e-commerce. Using CGI, you can create product campaigns and digital merchandising and compel prospective buyers to engage with your brand. The capabilities of CGI are virtually limitless. It enables the creation of 3D animation, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), where customers can engage with your products fully immersed in an entirely digital world.
How does it work?
In the world of CGI, anything is possible. 10-mile long set? Your product in 100 different colours? You got it. But how does it work? Here’s our step-by-step guide:
- Step One Products are measured and modelled to create 3D product files from scratch. No product? No problem. Simply supply an image of the product or concept with basic measurements for scale. This could be anything from a fully rendered CAD/ CAM design to a drawing on a napkin.
- Step Two The photo-realistic 3D drawing is created, with any finish you could imagine from glass and metal, to wood and fabric. Lighting, backdrops and anything else you desire can be added to make it feel real. The possibilities are endless.
- Step Three Our in-house interior stylists and art directors masterfully craft the composition of each image, making sure the incidental props look natural and on-trend, so your product is the true hero of the shot.
- Step Four Once you’re totally happy, the final image is saved out in any format and resolution you need, ready to use on your e-commerce platform.
- And don’t forget The bonus with creating a CGI image, is that you can seamlessly replicate the look and feel for other products. For example, if you added a new colour or style to your range you can achieve exactly the same lighting, backdrop and treatment as the others, creating brand consistency.
Sounds good, right?
Here are six reasons why you should consider using CGI.
- Build Credibility Break down complex information and boost purchasing confidence with 3D CGI animations. Anything with hidden value can benefit: mattresses, trainers, hair styling tools, headphones and more. Drilling into product USPs help audiences buy into the tech, expertise, green credentials and ease of installation of your product.
- More Sustainable Of course, there will always be a place for traditional photography – and in many cases that is simply the better option. But there’s no escaping the challenges of sourcing, transporting and handling product samples, so where that becomes an issue, CGI is the route to go. It’s more sustainable too, involving less shipping and transport for both products and people.
- Easier Testing Not sure how a new product will fare with your audience? Test customer engagement, build PR and gain feedback pre-manufacturing with CGI product visuals. No sales? No problem. Move on to the next idea. Gauge audience interest by launching stunning lifestyle CGI visuals before spending time and money on manufacturing.
- No Waiting Around Thanks to CGI, photorealistic 3D images can be created from a design file. Maybe your products are still being shipped. Or perhaps they haven’t even reached manufacturing yet. No problem – you can still create and launch your product using CGI visuals and hit the ground running.
- Easily Updatable Once CGI assets are created, they can be archived, revised and updated whenever required, as changes are made to models and products. Need to change a colour scheme or tweak a label? No problem. Thanks to CGI, this can be done quickly and cheaply rather than physically re-creating and reshooting a set or products.
- Seamless Sales Today’s shoppers hop around between social media, physical stores, messaging apps and e-commerce websites. Create seamless discovery and purchasing experiences by meeting consumers with consistently quality CGI assets on the channels they use. Online and physical shopping experiences should be consistent and interconnected. Every touchpoint is an opportunity to impress audiences with convenient and enjoyable buying experiences.
CGI IN E-COMMERCE
What consumers value most in e-commerce is detailed product information and quality images.
CGI offers next-level versatility and creativity, so you can deliver the kind of information your audiences are looking for in the right way.
COMPLETELY CUSTOMISED, TOTALLY TAILORED
Product customisation isn’t new to the retail industry, but a growing number of brands are using personalisation and configurators to illustrate entire ranges and finishing options with just a few clicks of a button. This trend is partly driven by consumers’ increasing demand for products perfectly tailored to their needs and preferences.
It’s predicted that over half of consumers will be interested in, or have already purchased personalised products by 2025. Self-expression is important to Gen Z, and personalised products are one way for them to demonstrate their sense of personal style and uniqueness.
44% of Gen Z claim to have customised a product before purchasing it. And this figure is expected to grow to 57% by 2025.
Augmented reality (AR) has changed the game for retailers. Whether it’s ‘trying on’ makeup to find the perfect shade, visualising paint on walls, or seeing how furniture fits in a room, AR provides a sense of product scale and design. An immersive experience where products can be overlaid in a real-world environment is a surefire way to boost confidence and sales. AR is already high on consumers’ expectations. In fact, 46% of customers say they are interested in using AR to see how products look in their homes.
We’ve delivered seamless, immersive digital experiences and generated thousands of stunning visuals for Shark, Hisense, Homebase, and OTTO and more. And now we’re ready to help more brands embrace the opportunities of CGI.