May 26, 2011, 11:12 AM

Against Nudity hopes shoppers linger longer with 360-degree images

It costs the clothing e-retailer about $40 per product to create a rotating image.

Lead Photo

For Louis Moreau, CEO of clothing e-retailer Against Nudity, adding rotating images of garments and accessories is just the first step to providing compelling reasons for consumers to shop his site instead of traipsing into a store. By making his site engaging he hopes to a see a payoff of longer page views and increased sales.

Technology, such as 360-degree imaging, is helping Against Nudity reach those goals, Moreau says. The site enables shoppers to rotate an image of the product dressed on a mannequin so she can see how the product looks from all angles.

About 200 of the site’s roughly 250 products feature 360-degree images. He doesn’t use the dynamic imaging technology for products like sunglasses and earrings because he says shoppers know what those products look like.

However, buying clothing is much more personal, which means it requires more product information, Moreau says. Shoppers want to know how the garment will look from behind and all sides, he says.

To create the 360-degree perspective the retailer uses PhotoCapture 360, a software and equipment system developed by Ortery Technologies Inc. The system includes a turntable on which it places a product, as well as software that automatically synchronizes the rotation of the turntable with the action of the camera. The software controls the camera settings and the timing of shots, Moreau says.

An employee then processes each photo, with a focus on ensuring the product’s colors are accurate, while also removing anything that appears in the background, Moreau says. The mannequin’s color is then touched up so it is consistent across each of the 36 images before the retailer pieces together a single rotating picture.

The payoff from this technology is that it keeps shoppers on the site longer, he says. A rotating product image could add precious seconds to a shopper’s product view time, Moreau says. A typical shopper may spend only 10 seconds viewing an image, but a 360-degree image could extend that time to 15 or 20 seconds, he says. “The customer will stay on the product page until the 360-degree image is done,” he says. Moreau says he hopes that more time on the site leads to more sales. Rotating product images also are a big step beyond a simple static display, Moreau says. Some big e-retailers present clothing in a way that is unappealing, he says. The 360-degree image means shoppers see the clothing without any attempts to mask the fit, he says. Some competitors may place clips in the back of clothing in order to improve the item’s appearance, he says. “The customer knows we’re not cheating,” Moreau says.

Investing in the technology to produce 360-degree images might cost between $15,000 and $20,000, Moreau estimates. Ongoing costs are not prohibitive, he says, adding it costs Against Nudity about $40 to create each 360-degree image and get it online.

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