I attended Vision Expo East two weeks ago in Orlando. Attendance was way down from previous years due to many company’s pandemic-related travel restrictions. Yet it was amazing to see those who made it in person!! IRL!!
Every conversation involved how the pandemic had affected each other’s businesses, and I was asking everyone how their plans have changed or evolved over the last year. Most retailers and brands had more focus on eCommerce which made sense. Many frame manufacturers and brands also spoke about how they are evolving their B2B wholesale sales efforts.
A theme emerged where frame manufacturers and brands were migrating their outside sales to inside sales and talking about the tools and hybrid approaches needed to make this a success. Many frame manufacturers and brands also spoke about how they are putting budget into improving their B2B portals where buyers come to evaluate new collections, check out the product catalog and options, see inventory levels and place orders.
This strategy makes a lot of sense given the efficiencies of inside sales vs outside sales including the ability to service more clients more time and cost-effectively. The world got used to video conferences in the last year so many of the sales rep/buyer conversations can be done virtually, supplemented in some cases with in-person relationship-building visits or events.
We had heard about this transition starting for some groups before the pandemic but like with a lot of changes, the pandemic accelerated it by a matter of years. And as the portals improve, we expect to see more features and functionality that resemble a B2C eCommerce site including rich 360-degree product imagery, on model imagery, lifestyle imagery and virtual try-on technology.
In step, Ditto has evolved our own technology platform so that we can help eyewear frame manufacturers and brands elevate their B2B portals and better transition their sales team to inside sales or a hybrid outside/inside approach.
Ditto’s B2B Product Offerings
We are launching and improving several product offerings to help frame manufacturers and eyewear brands elevate their B2B portal experience:
Improved Model Try-On
Model Try-On is where we use pre-loaded human models with overlaid rendered glasses to show how frames look on different people with diverse face shapes and features. We’ve also built out the functionality to make it easy for brands to record head scans of their own chosen human models so their buyers can virtually try each pair of glasses on the models. This helps ensure the models are on-brand and message with each collection. These models can be adult or children models.
This can be used in B2B portals to let buyers and merchandisers virtually try glasses onto a diverse range of models. This helps them ensure their selections work well for their entire customer base which often includes a wide range of head sizes, shapes and features.
This Model Try-On can be shown as still images or used with Ditto’s interaction virtual try-on where the user can move the model’s head back and forth to see the glasses in up to 180-degree views. These images are typically shown in 640×640 resolution.
Here are a few examples of Model Try-Ons:
Buyers can try on any pair of glasses or sunglasses so any model. This creates an engaging, rich experience for buyers to make their frame selections and ensure they work well for their diverse customer base.
Rendered Product Imagery
Rendered Product Imagery is high-definition product imagery rendered from our virtual glasses to replace traditional product photography for eCommerce, marketing, and other use cases. Products can be seen in 360-degrees and rendered imagery provides more flexibility and options than photos.
It is also an economical choice relative to expensive manual photograph retouching. There are several key quality improvements including better handling of metals, reflective lenses and more realistic color matching to the actual product when worn. The images can be customized to suit your needs. The assets are evergreen and can be edited at any time without the need for reshoots.
Here are a few examples of our Rendered Product Imagery:
You can read more information about Rendered Product Imagery here.
The process of creating digital frames is simple and convenient. We only require existing imagery and a single measurement to make your collection virtual. You do not need to send us physical samples. Our unique process creates digital replicas of your products with millimetric precision from only the images and one measurement.
We don’t require production-quality images for this process. If you don’t have existing imagery, it can be done fairly easily by your internal team. We can get your collection online quickly through our proprietary process.
Composite Model Imagery
Composite Model Imagery is a very high-quality image or video of a human model overlaid with rendered glasses for marketing purchases. This is a higher resolution than our Model Try-On offering, typically 3840 x 2160 or even 4K vs the 640 x 640 resolution of our Model Try-Ons. We also use talented CGI artists to manually adjust the lighting, shadows, and positioning of the frames so they appear truly photorealistic. We use ray-tracing to render the frames with extreme realism at high resolutions. The input model image can be any studio or lifestyle image giving a wide range of creative freedom to the Creative Director of the brand.
The key benefit to using composite model imagery is to avoid pricey photo shoots and to create faster, more scalable image creation than traditional on-model photography.
Here are just a few examples of Composite Model Imagery:
The combination of Ditto’s Model Try-On, Rendered Product Imagery, and Composite Model Imagery create the rich content needed to elevate an eyewear B2B portal.
These B2B experiences can be used to launch new collections virtually and better support inside or hybrid sales organizations utilizing a feature-rich B2B portal. This functionality enables buyers and merchandisers to fully appreciate the craftsmanship and quality of your collection and increase their confidence in the purchase. This allows the frame manufacturers and brands to save money through more efficient creation of product imagery and the migration of outside sales to inside sales where you can service more clients more time and cost-effectively.
If you are interested in learning more about how to upgrade your B2B portal or about any of Ditto’s products, you can reach us here to set up a time to chat more about our solutions and pricing.