What does WebGL technology offer ?
According to Wikipedia’s current definition, e-commerce is an exchange of goods and services between two entities via electronic networks. In France, e-commerce was first introduced in the 80s, with Minitel transactions. Internet development during the 1990s had a huge impact on custumers’ buying habits. By the end of 2000, many European and American businesses companies were offering their services via the World Wide Web. Since then, people have begun to associate the word “ecommerce” with the ability of purchase various goods through the Internet using secure protocols and electronic payment services.
Why is product image so important in e-commerce ?
They are many issues relating to online sales. Who hasn’t said to themselves, when looking at screen images of products:
– “This coat seems to be pretty but I can’t see the button, or material’s textures.”
– “What is exactly the colour? It looks brown, but it could be a dark red…”
– “I think there is a pattern on the chair’s foot, but I can’t see what it is”
For customer, these are key issues when buying something valuable which they will keep for months or years. Quality and details provided by visual images are the key to online sells. For Internet users, it is important to ensure that the picture shows how the product looks in reality.
To illustrate this point, a study on Darty’s e-commerce store has shown that the conversion rate increased by 25% when the customer could see a zoom of the images.
For e-commerce applications, this technology can be used to show products with 3D images that can spin or rotate 360 degrees or zoomed.
Users can see the texture, the materials used, the exact colours of the product (and even specify their preferences)… with full details as if they have it in their hands !
This WebGL application makes sense for products that are very valuable (especially for luxury goods) or highly crafted (artisanal work, hand-made).
Imagine, for example, looking at a luxurious bag from every angles: above, below, the sides, and also all the inside features, including details of pockets, materials, and colours.
To see how this works, here are some WebGL products that will be seen on tomorrow’s e-commerce websites:
– An handmade French chair
In China, hotel owners like that kind of product, but would they be prepared to pay a large sum of money simply because they saw a picture? Would they be able to come to France just to see a piece of furniture? Probably not. WebGL is a good alternative.
Digital experiences, games and product placement
Another use of WebGL is the “experience”, the “game”.
When they can see entertaining and beautiful design or experience an interesting visit, users will spend longer time on the site and take the time to explore the game from every angle.
It will be fun to see products, messages, and even brand images incorporated into a storefront, hotel room, city, ect… the possibilities are endless!
And then users will move on to shop in another section of the site.
WebGL is expanding into the music business. Users spend time on the site discovering the experience; they have time to listen to a song from beginning to end, and then an e-commerce tab appears, allowing them to buy the track.