More than a spinning photography…

Online Rich Media applications have been around for years and online retailers are striving to use the latest and greatest technology to attract more customers. We have seen everything from page-flipping catalogs to product configurators but 360-degree product presentation has been the most discussed topic in conferences and forums. 360-degree product presentation is more than just taking photos of a single product from different sides and making it spin on a web page. It is the preparation, photography, and implementation that make one unique product showcase. It is the marriage of traditional photography, specialized hardware, and software automation that makes this stunning online product presentation possible.
We have talked about how 360-degree photos are made but for this post we want to focus on the software side. The software application that is being used to showcase the product rotation is typically Flash which is a standard plugin that is automatically installed on all major desktop web browsers. We can also use other software such as AJAX, JavaScript or QuickTime to showcase product spin. We custom design each 360-degree product viewer to suit the customer’s need because we understand that company branding is very important. We want to ensure that every customer has their own unique viewer and not a standard gray box offered by our larger competitors. The features that come with the viewers – zoom, pan, print, tell-a-friend, and hotspots – are essential tools for the online shopper to really experience and inspect the product without leaving the comfort of their home. Zoom is extremely important in order to view the product details. Other companies’ product zooms consist of one single view but in our 360-degree viewer customer can zoom up to 72 views of a single product. Online shoppers can also pan and rotate the product around while it is all the way zoomed in. A small navigation window in the 360-degree product viewer helps customers navigate the product while in zoom without getting lost. Another great feature in the viewer are hotspots that highlight specific product features by popping up small windows that contains descriptive verbiage or images. This functionality directs the customer’s attention to what makes the product really stand out from others. Additional features such as tell-a-friend can increase product sales by allowing customer to contribute in social networking and product reviews. A 360-degree product viewer can be easily implemented into any web site, shopping cart, or mobile device.
The power of our 360-degree product viewer has improved dramatically since it first released. We are working hard with our customers to develop the next big thing, that’s more than just taking photos of the product. Stay tuned for 360-degree viewer on iPhones and other mobile devices.
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