July 22, 2020
We know from our clients that showing a product rendering to prospects significantly increases deal size (not to mention conversion rates by an average of 40%.) But why does such a seemingly minor change to the buying process have such a dramatic impact? That’s the question that we set out to answer in this article. And the science may well surprise you!
Get a data-driven perspective on how visual selling is becoming the future norm for B2B companies.
Before we jump into the why, let’s start with the what. What are product renderings, and how can you show them to your customers? Put simply; a product rendering is a computer-generated (digital), photorealistic image of a product that you can use in place of traditional product photography or videography.
If you sell a limited range of standardized products, you may have product photography on file showing how your finished products will look. And that’s fine. But as the cost of product rendering drops and the quality increases, many companies are finding it cheaper and easier to use product rendering software than orchestrate real-world photo-shoots!
If you sell customizable, engineer-to-order products with thousands of different options, then product photography isn’t really an option – you could never find the time, let alone the budget to build and photograph every possible configuration. If this is you, then product rendering paves the way to bigger deals.
With product rendering technology, you can show prospects a visual representation of your products that’s far more persuasive than any photograph could ever be. It can be 3D, interactive, and, crucially, generated instantly, whether online or in a face-to-face meeting.
A 3D product configurator is a powerful piece of software that lets sales reps and end customers alike “build” optimized products and bundles from potentially vast product catalogs.
Once the user has finalized their selection, the configurator displays product renderings that show the final configured product in lifelike detail. You’ll often find product configurators rolled up into CPQ solutions offering additional intelligent pricing and automatic quote generation capabilities.
3D product configurators like KBMax allow users to interact with product renderings, in real-time. Users can add or remove parts, change colors and dimensions, and upgrade features. As users enjoy customizing products, the product rendering regenerates continually to display changes. And complex product rules ensure every product is viable from an engineering and financial standpoint.
While more basic 3D product configurators will display product renderings from only a limited number of fixed viewing angles, more advanced software lets users actually “use” the products that appear on their screens. For example, they can open a door, operate a piece of heavy machinery, or fly into a vehicle’s interior. Anything’s possible.
With a 3D product configurator, you can bring a fully immersive shopping experience to a global audience of buyers who no longer have to jump on a plane to visit you. They don’t even have to leave the comfort of their desks! You can resolve your buyers’ desire to see and physically interact with a product before purchase, and provide customization at scale.
If you want buyers to spend big, you need to convey the various options and features of your product offering in a language buyers immediately understand. Text is an incredibly inefficient way to communicate information to human beings. But we’re fantastic at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later, you’ll remember just 10% of what you’ve heard. Add an image into the mix, and that figure jumps to 65%.
When it comes to digesting and recalling information, research clearly shows that “Vision trumps all other senses.” 90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual and visual data is processed 60,000 times faster than text.
We’re inherently visual animals. We’ve evolved to spot danger, find food, and identify viable mating options using our eyesight – our most relied upon sense. Our visual nature is so profound, yet too-often unaccounted for in the realm of B2B sales. Companies are committed to explaining their products to us when what they really should be doing is showing them.
Traditional sales techniques treat buyers as rational actors. But nobody really is one. The buying process is a web of emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and relational factors. A boring list of product features can’t possibly cater to our complex needs – we need to “see” what we’re getting!
A strong brand capitalizes on the human senses to enhance, affirm, and create trust with customers. Because, when consumer confidence is high, deal sizes go up – they’re positively correlated. Accurate product renderings bring products to life, connecting customers to brands on a deeper, more emotional level, providing a holistic sensory experience that stimulates and intensifies the buyer-seller relationship.
From personal experience, we know that the more expensive a purchase, the more likely we are to want to make it “in real life.” Buying from a physical store or showroom creates a greater feeling of safety and security. Few of us would buy a house before scheduling a viewing or buy a car without taking it for a spin. So, how do you think B2B buyers feel when making huge business purchase decisions based on crappy, generic product images and a load of text. Simple answer – anxious.
B2B buyers are experiencing a crisis of confidence when it comes to large-scale purchase decisions. And it’s our job as effective sellers to ease as much pre-purchase anxiety as possible. Because the more confident the buyer, the more they’re willing to spend.
“It’s not customers’ confidence in suppliers, but customers’ confidence in themselves and their ability to make good buying decisions that are in critically short supply,” according to Brent Adamson, Distinguished Vice President of Gartner. There’s too much high-quality information out there (lots of it conflicting), and in-depth research only leads to analysis paralysis.
Sellers compound this paralysis problem by spewing out still larger volumes of highly detailed product information in an attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition. But this only makes matters worse! Sellers need to find a way to cut through this noise, and product renderings provide the perfect differentiator. Customers no longer have to guess what products will look like when they arrive – you can show them at point of purchase.
Showing a product rendering gives buyers a crystal-clear visual understanding of the products they’re buying. There’s no room for miscommunication or nasty surprises. Buyers take full ownership of their orders, understand every available option, and feel fully invested in their purchase decisions. This increased transparency, visibility, and confidence ultimately encourage buyers to spend more, increasing revenue, while fewer chargebacks, returns, and rework reduce costs, enhancing overall profitability.
Kris enjoys working with customers, helping them to understand the power and scalability of our technology, and getting them to be forward thinking about cloud-based enterprise software.