The Snap36 Blog

An Imaging Strategy for the 21st Century

Every day that I meet with a new client or prospect, I am amazed at the overwhelmingly positive response bringing e-commerce imagery into the 21st century. They often realize an obvious truth: I can see more of the product, thus I’m more likely to buy it or less likely to return it.

Walk around any e-commerce conference these days and you will see how far the world has advanced in analytics, personalization, re-targeting, SEO, mobile, social, and video….but what about imaging? I completely understand the need for new algorithms, but what about the first impression buyers have of your products? Visuals provide the ability to swiftly and immediatley stimulate emotion from your shoppers.

In 1991, Kodak released the first professional digital camera system (DCS), aimed at photojournalists. It was a Nikon F-3 camera equipped by Kodak with a 1.3 megapixel sensor.  Since then, a lot has changed with photography hardware. For e-commerce, only resolution has evolved and with it, the ability to zoom and swatch. So why, in our high tech world, has nothing really progressed with e-commerce imagery in over the last 20 years?


The real answer is that the world was not ready for it! In the past creating 360° & 3D images was often too expensive and confusing. Plus the main rich media platforms did not support 360° & 3D spinsets at scale. Sure, people have been buying cheap turntables, utliizing expensive agencies, shooting onesy-twosy shots for a few hundred products (at best), and then trying to deploy in slow and clunky viewers (RIP Flash), but this is clearly not your optimum environment for mass adoption. I call it, dabbling.

For the past 5 years I have been evangilizing 360° & 3D spin (based on listening to my Scene7 clients), and more seriously for the last 2 years, as it wasn’t until recently that the confluence in market-drivers and technology was complete. The maturing of automated studio workflow software and industrual-strength photography robots coupled with highly trained project managers, photographers and a new structured and disciplined process have made creating 3D° & 360 product photography at scale a reality.

I like to say that the day has arrived where dabbling can finally become strategy!

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