As NuORDER introduces Virtual Showrooms on June 30th, 360 imagery is going to be supported on the platform for the first time.
Traditionally, wholesale has been much slower to embrace digital than B2C/D2C but given COVID’s impact and disruption to traditional markets, now is the time to embrace new technology.
What is the Global Photography Network?
NuORDER’s Global Photography Network is a referral program. We are vetting and partnering with NuORDER is partnering with a global network of established 360 suppliers - both studios and independent photographers - to ensure that brands from all over the world are able to capture 360 content. Through the Global Photography Network, you will be able to adopt 360 imagery for your Virtual Showroom.
We currently have contacts available for shooting in London, Paris, Milan, New York, LA, Miami, Chicago and Sydney, with more to follow. We also have a number of ship-to-shoot providers. More vendors and cities will be rolled out on an ongoing basis and shared with brands inquiring about 360-degree photography.
What is 360?
360 photography is a series of photographs taken and stitched together online that gives the impression of spinning and allows a viewer to see a product or look from all sides.
A 360 does not exist without being viewed in a browser, outside of this context and the magic of the internet, it is as we said just a series of photographs.
Other types of 360° content include 360° videos, 3D, virtual reality, augmented reality, etc. which is something we will look to roll out for further iterations of Virtual Showrooms but discussions of 360 in this document refer to 360 photography.
Check out our article What is 360° Photography?
How do you create a 360?
360s are created by taking multiple still frames of a product or look on a turntable on a single axis.
These images are then loaded into the NuORDER site and stitched together to allow a viewer to interact with the product or look using click-and-drag to spin the look and zoom to highlight product details.
NuORDER recommends 24 or 36 frames per 360, with 10 or 15 degrees between each frame.
Check out our article Creating 360° In-house
What are the benefits of using 360?
360 gives the viewer a comprehensive view of any product or look. This applies to both B2B and B2C applications of 360.
360 photography mimics an in-person buying experience. The user is able to rotate the product and look at it from all angles to focus in on details and get a true sense of quality. Styling tricks like pinning/clipping are not possible as they are visible as the model rotates so product is represented truly. This allows buyers to confidently place orders.
The application of 360 within digital wholesale showrooms will be especially important in the immediate post-COVID world where showroom appointments or travel are not possible and buyers are placing orders remotely.
Furthermore, adopters of 360 imagery within the B2C/D2C sphere have seen increased engagement, increased conversion rates, and decreased return rates.
Check more information on 360° Photography here.
How much does 360 cost?
The cost of 360 depends on a great number of factors as outlined below. Generally, you are looking at $30-200 USD per 360.
- How many 360s are you shooting and how often are you shooting?
- Most photographic vendors are willing to give discounts on their 360s
- This is based on the number of products and frequency/cadence of shooting.
- How many frames per 360 are you shooting?
- Typically, the greater the number of frames, the greater the cost of 360 (NuORDER recommends 24 or 36 frames)
- Some photographic vendors only shoot at a specific frame count.
- What product are you shooting in 360? How do they need to be styled? Are they self-supporting or do they need propping?
- Most photographic vendors tier their pricing based on category.
- Smaller accessories that stand on their own are usually cheaper than models/mannequins that require a larger set.
- Items that do not stand on their own such as jewelry, strappy shoes, pouches, shoulder bags are more expensive due to styling and propping needed.
There can be additional costs associated with 360 including model rates, studio rental, styling, retouching, etc. but this will depend on your needs and your supplier.
Check more information on 360° Photography here.
How many 360 can I shoot in a day?
This will depend on your product and styling but most studios/photographers estimate 40-60 360s per set per day. You can shoot more per day by adding multiple sets if space allows or adding multiple models to a set. You may be able to shoot more self-supporting products in one day. Models, mannequins, and products that requires propping are usually slower to shoot because of time dedicated to dressing and styling.
Is it worth the investment?
While 360 may seem like a pricey alternative when compared to traditional photography, if you capture 360 with your samples and your images are licensed correctly (including model and photography usage rights), you could save costs overall by using the stills from your 360s for e-commerce, press or marketing instead of reshooting for all channels. You can also use videos of your 360s on social media.
As mentioned above, adopting Virtual Showrooms will also be a worthy investment in a time like this when buyers are unable to travel due to COVID and in the future, budgets for travel will likely be significantly decreased. Through the use of NuORDER’s virtual showrooms, you can develop long-distance relationships with your buyers as they confidently place orders through the platform.
How will COVID impact my ability to shoot 360?
Shooting 360 post-COVID is going to look a little different from shoots from our pre-COVID. It will all depend on the city you are shooting in and the regulations that are in place by both the government and the photographic studios/photographers.
For this first season post-COVID, you may not be able to shoot on model or may not be able to have a brand rep on set. You might have to rely on ship-to-shoot services where you send products to the photographer or studio and have them shoot on mannequin. Some compromises might have to be made in regards to aesthetics for this first season but having a 360 asset will help your buyers understand products when placing orders. This will change over time depending on what is happening in the global health sphere and will likely back to traditional photoshoots in due time.
How far in advance do I have to plan my shoot?
Most studios/photographers request two weeks' notice prior to shooting. This can be less based on their availability but two weeks' notice is the standard. This gives enough time to secure the date, ensuring capacity for your shoot, and complete all pre-production.
What is the turnaround from shoot to image delivery?
Most studios are able to turn around images in 2-7 days. This will vary depending on the number of SKUs, number of frames per 360 and their capacity. This should be considered and factored into planning if there is a specific deadline for imagery.
What if I want to do this myself?
If you are interested in shooting 360 with your in-house or preferred photography team, we can also guide you on the necessary equipment and best practices for capture and workflow.
Are there any specifications for 360-degree imagery?
There are some output specifications required for the NuORDER platform in terms of image size, compression, etc. that we can provide to you. This will be important to have and understand whether you are shooting yourself or using a partner from the Global Photography Network.
Please find full specifications here.