3D technology takes online shopping to new heights
Dassault's 3D tool at online retailer Espacemax.com
One of the leading suppliers of PLM software is hoping its expertise in 3D virtual reality tools will provide another option for the fashion industry to stay competitive.
Dassault Systèmes, perhaps best known in the apparel industry for its Enovia global product lifecycle management (PLM) system, is also ramping up applications for its 3DVIA software to offer a new interactive environment for brands, products and consumers.
Speaking at an industry briefing in London last week, Jérôme Bergeret, director of the consumer goods industry at Dassault Systèmes, explained that the challenges facing today's fashion industry include fast fashion, global sourcing, sustainability, and fragmented markets where brands operate as retailers and retailers operate as brands.
"Today it's not about two collections, it's about continuous collections with a short lifecycle," he said. The challenge is amplified since "a lot of companies have lost expertise through outsourcing, so solutions are needed to support design/manufacturing anywhere in the world."
All of which means "it's very important companies adopt the right strategy to sustain growth."
Dassault, whose customers include Adidas, VF Corp, Gap, Guess, New Balance and Gucci, has a portfolio of fully integrated systems. This includes PLM software, which is used by more and more fashion brands and retailers to control the flow of information across the global supply chain, from design and development through sourcing and production.
And it says years of working closely with major apparel and footwear brands around the world has helped build a deep understanding of what customers need.
It is in the 3D area that some of the most exciting developments are currently taking place - including options for 3D design, 3D merchandising and in-store layout.
At French online department store Espacemax.com, a 3D online retail application developed with Dassault's 3DVIA software is giving customers new interactive shopping experience - and boosting sales too.
The new application, which is accessed via a plug-in tool on the retailer's website, allows e-shoppers to "touch and try" products just as they would inside a store. They can try bags for size by filling them with virtual objects like mobile phones and purses and, wearing special 3D glasses sent to them by Espacemax, can look at the item from every angle to view in detail its colour, material and finish.
To see how the bag looks when it's carried on the wearer's arm or shoulder, shoppers can also try it out on a virtual animated model.
By making the online shopping experience as lifelike as possible, the aim of the new 3D tool was to win over Internet users who remain reluctant to make online purchases. In its first trial, 50,000 pairs of 3D glasses were sent out by Espacemax - which then sold EUR300,000 worth of merchandise to 2000 new customers in the first three weeks of the promotion.
Monica Menghini, vice president of the consumer goods industry at Dassault Systèmes, believes the company's 3D design, 3D merchandising and in-store layout tools can provide retailers with a key competitive edge.
"They can be used to simulate stores, purchases and shopping intent," she explains. "For shoppers, this can involve providing more information to buy online [as in the case of Espacemax] which equals fewer returns."
But it also enables stores and brands to test concepts in private and without the expense of opening a physical test store.
"For retailers their store space is their greatest asset, so if they get their products or merchandising wrong, their profits will drop," Menghini says.
She also firmly believes "companies need to take a top down approach to implementing technologies," with commitment from the CEO being key to its success.
Help test our new apparel sourcing tool.
After weathering the storm of recession, today's apparel companies now face a significantly more challenging and competitive market. Technologies they would be wise to watch in the year ahead include ...
Where should apparel firms be focusing their software investments now if they want to remain competitive into the future? According to industry experts consulted by just-style, technology agendas shou...
Using the right software is key to helping the apparel industry tackle some of the issues it faces in 2011. Firms need the right analyses and information to take the right decisions at the right time ...
Among the biggest challenges facing global apparel supply in the year ahead are rising raw material costs, the changing business climate in China, upward pressure on retail prices, fragile consumer de...
The challenge for today's retailers is to create a responsive and cost-effective supply chain with an efficient, speedy and transparent way of working. And for many of them, Product Lifecycle Manageme...
VF Corp, the world's largest apparel maker and the company behind brands like Nautica, Vans and The North Face, says it is "very pleased" that price increases in its domestic jeanswear business have s...
VF Corp, the world's largest apparel maker, continues to believe it is well-placed to weather higher input prices in the year ahead, with a 7% rise in product costs translating to a less than one perc...
A month after completing its purchase of the bankrupt Rock & Republic denim brand for US$57m, VF Corp has signed a licensing deal with Kohl's Department Stores to become the label's only US retailer....
- China leads US apparel sources with falling prices
- Hard hit Turkish industry is not knocked out
- "Power of the many" drives change at Otto Group
- Vietnam grows share of US apparel imports in 2016
- US apparel sector braces for potential cost hikes
- US Q4 in brief – Foot Locker, Nordstrom, Carter's
- Bangladesh crackdown has cost garment sector $100m
- Adidas and Burberry recognised for sustainability
- Inditex and H&M boycott Dhaka Apparel Summit
- Macy's will "do the right thing", says Lundgren
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Technical textile markets: product developments and innovations, December 2016
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022