3D has been a significant tool in providing brand experience. But did you know it can make even more of an impact on a customers’ buying decision during lockdown? More and more people are choosing to buy things online. This gives companies the chance to stand out over competitors by introducing 3D technology. To explore this subject, Flavilla was joined by Mike Charalambous, the co-founder and CEO of Threedium. They specialise in 3D experiences. In this article, you will discover how 3D can support brand experience online as well as developing a successful funnel. If you want to listen to the podcast, click here.
Mike’s tech journey
Mike is a passionate entrepreneur with international experience in the launch and development growth of new innovative businesses. His parents influenced his career to become an entrepreneur as they run their own business. Back in 2015 when he worked for Frenzi media, which specialised in Interactive advertising, he came across 3D technology. The company collaborated with a team doing 3D projects for high end brands. This experience thrilled him. Involving other 3D experts, they did some initial 3D advertising for well-known brands such as Starbucks and BMW. The results were insanely good. He realised a potential opportunity in combining 3D display with interactive advertising to get people so excited about the product.
As he was given advice by investors, Mike tried to form a strategic partnership with Dusan Lode and Xose. They were the initial founding members of Threedium. Both Investors of Frenzi Media and Threedium suggested merging the two companies together. They could foresee huge synergies and a massive growth potential by bringing the two teams together. This was how they formally formed the new Threedium entity, which consisted of five founders including Mike.
The success of Threedium
Threedium is the Shopify for 3D and AR. This was set up to make 3D and AR technologies much less complicated to develop and launch. It allows you to launch them much faster, and launch them without breaking the bank.
Mike has seen many different brands and agencies across different industries reaching out and using their technology deployed within their online buying strategies. Because the company has made the entire process so simple, streamlined, and automated, their platform gained hundreds of Shopify users in a matter of weeks. On top of that, big brands including Sainsbury’s, BMW, Mercedes, Disney etc. started to use their technology.
Mike told us that the platform is very multipurpose-focused and it’s applicable universally. This is regardless of what kind of budget you have as a company. 3D technology has always been perceived as only accessible to a certain size of businesses. But Threedium has been changing that by enabling anyone to use it, and making it easier for 3D to support brand experience.
Why 3D is important in this pandemic situation
The industry has been seeing drastic changes in consumer behaviour since the pandemic outbreak. People are now more reluctant to walk in high streets and go into shops, instead they tend to favour shopping online. Now what makes 3D and AR a perfect tool for the online shopping experience?
Well, we know that we are not really able to explore a store and see if a sofa matches our space, or if clothes match our body type, for example. Everyone is restricted to only making a purchasing decision online. That’s where visual support from brands comes in. Brands should help customers feel more confident to press the buy button without actually seeing products physically.
3D and AR can give us an almost 100% like to like representation of the product. Threedium don’t just swipe back and forth and see different sets of images, but actually, we see a product physically in front of us using those technologies. We can see the shoes on the feet, or see the T-shirt on the body. We can see a perfect armchair within our living room space or a barbecue grill outside on our balcony. 3D and AR help make this process much more reliable, giving us a boom.
Does 3D impact product returns?
If we can see products more precisely from different angles or try them on virtually, we won’t be disappointed when we see the actual products at home. Does that happen? Although Make said that they can’t promise a massive reduction in product returns, they’ve been seeing an average of 8% drop on their product returns from various case studies of their clients. This shows that 3D has some support on brand experience. So it has positive effects, not only across your cash flow, but also the fact that you don’t need to spend extra on resources to ship them back.
The process of developing a funnel
Like every other company, Theedium also found it quite hard at the beginning to truly nail down their target audience. When they started out, they wanted to sell to everybody as they believed their solution was really good, and they could imagine everybody wanting to use it. The team used to go to different yachts and high end luxury exhibitions. They showcased exhibitors their advanced technology and tried to convince them to invest in it.
However, they realised that they needed to be much more efficient and shorten the sales cycle even more. Then they develop different 3D solutions, knowing that most of them potentially would never be used. However, this gave them a robust profile showcasing different potential examples of how 3D and augmented reality display of products in different industries could be used to bring results. They reached out to different people via Linkedin, at exhibitions of different industries and showed more related examples in each industry. As a result, people could finally relate with the product and how it could be used for their online strategies.
Different industries have different challenges. For example, for some industries 3D and AR make great marketing and sales tools, whereas CPG and FMCG see it as a great tool to enhance their product sampling packaging as well as their quality assurance operations as a back office. Therefore, Mike thought it should not be perceived from one specific angle, but the company should always be more receptive and be able to try and accommodate every challenge so clients will see this feed it into their strategy. So, they refined their marketing sales development strategies and created a media deck.
The success of developing a funnel
They gave examples to clients, such as how 3D can be used in 3D banner ads to increase brand awareness, how it can be used in supply chains and how people can scan objects in 3D to see them in the AR environment. The media deck proved to be very powerful and it has helped the company minimise their sales cycle from an average of three months to one month.
Along the way, the team realised that they spent an awful lot of time chasing different clients which included enterprises, but also lower budget types. Then they decided to only reach out digitally to clients who had an average contract value between £1000 – 10,000 per year. For enterprise clients, they kept it a bit more manual. They continued their own personal search, tapping into their own network to reach out to the clients or collaborated with various field agents. They even utilise their network of investors and business angels.
With all this tied together, they’ve successfully brought famous brands on board, as well as receiving requests from basic users who want to launch 3D and AR. Now they are constantly optimising this funnel. Threedium set different objectives around both basic and enterprise clients. Once they meet the objecives, they optimise or revisit the marketing strategy for the clients. It took them two years to shape up this funnel, but Mike sees it now finally working.
Do you have a product that will be used differently for different types of customers? Do they have a bigger budget or a smaller budget? Identify and categorise into groups and develop strategy around each group. This will help you approach your clients more efficiently and grow your tech business.
The future of Threedium
The company is now trying to scale more aggressively in the market. This will allow them to gain a bigger and faster market share within the industry. In the next five years, they aim to accommodate more than 60,000 different users who use their 3D. Their vision is to be able to fill every single online shop globally with a 3D display of products.
Let’s see how the world of online shopping looks like with AI technology and 3D to support brand experience.
About the speaker
Mike Charalambous is the Co-Founder of Threedium, a company that bridges the gap between online and in-store experiences by making immersive shopping experience tools. A passionate entrepreneur with international experience in the launch and development growth of new innovative businesses. He has worked with startups and multinational companies globally in sectors ranging from retail, to food & beverage, tourism and telecommunications. Prior to commencing his journey with Threedium, he had two successful exits from his past ventures in entertainment and AdTech.
To visit Threedium’s website, Click Here