Picturing the Future of Retail Imagery

Featured Image

As businesses remain 'out of studio,' experts share the importance of on-model imagery, how it affects consumer behavior, and the changing methods of storytelling.

In a time when “uncertainty” seems an overused sentiment and the only constant is ongoing change, businesses have needed to not only work ahead but plan for extensive possibilities and cater to pending calendars. New normals are forming and companies are questioning which new practices will have staying power.

Notably, in fashion retail, companies have been unable to engage in regularly scheduled photoshoots to capture imagery for new seasons during stay-at-home orders throughout the world. While brands are shifting seasons back for future deliveries, it remains to be seen if online retail will look quite the same. With many concessions being made because of coronavirus, will there be a season without on-model imagery? Traditionally, retailers show images of apparel both on-model and flat giving consumers a look into an item’s fit and style and provide an ongoing stream of content on social media.

Admittedly, many companies have already embraced new technology in large ways in the last several years. “Apparel manufacturers and brands that have invested in 3-D design tools are now reaping the benefits of this strategy in new ways,” said Greg Petro, chief executive officer of retail predictive analytics company First Insight. “Even though on-model product images are difficult or impossible to get right now, companies with 3-D capability can still present realistic-looking product images in online retail, avoiding the need to move to flat images.”

Many of these 3-D solutions create images to look so lifelike that it is hard to distinguish them from photographs. And further, the technology allows the user to get a 360-degree view of the products.

Moreover, at a time when everyone is feeling very disconnected and isolated, Petro said flat product imagery, as an alternative to on-model shots, might seem yet another impersonal interaction.

“It’s certainly easier for a consumer to envision herself wearing a product if it’s shown on-model or in a 3-D format,” Petro said. “When on-model photography is impossible, this may be an opportunity to leverage avatars, which are becoming more lifelike all the time. It will be interesting to see how the current challenges around photographing products on-model impacts a trend that had been gaining momentum pre-COVID-19: showing relatable models with a wide range of body types across the marketing mix and in e-commerce.”

Read the Full Article at WWD if you are a subscriber, or Download below

retail technologies  technology  retail  retail technology  3D Design  retail transformation  new technology  Next-Gen Tech

Download the Full Article.

The Supply Chain Disruption
The Wharton Baker Retailing Center

What Retail Executives Say About Supply Chain Disruption: Shortages, Pricing and Delays

We partnered with The Wharton Baker Retailing Center to create a comprehensive infographic exploring our findings.

View the Infographic
The State Of Consumer Spending
The State Of Consumer Spending

The State Of Consumer Spending: Gen Z Influencing All Generations To Make Sustainability-First Purchasing Decisions

We partnered with The Wharton Baker Retailing Center and asked consumers in the U.S. how sustainable practices are impacting shopping habits and purchase decisions.

Read the Report
InsightSuite for Small Business
Featured Product

InsightSuite for Small Business

Specialized Tools for Small & Emerging Businesses

The fastest and most cost effective way to increase sales, profits and sell-in for growing businesses and digitally native brands.

Learn more
Maximize Value, Speed and Profit
Free Ebook

Maximize Value, Speed & Profit

Learn how to leverage Voice of the Customer Analytics and 3D Product Creation to make more profitable products, faster.

Get the Free E-book
Kohl's Creates Value W/Predictive Analytics
Roundtable Video

Kohl's Creates Value W/Predictive Analytics

Learn How First Insight's Predictive Tools Fuel Kohl's Success

As one of the world's leading omnichannel retailers with more than 1,100 stores in 49 states, Kohl's is leveraging First Insight's predictive analytics solution and voice-of-the-customer data to improve their business.

Watch the Webinar
FDRA Consumer Sustainability Survey

Consumer Sustainability Survey 2021

The First Industry-Wide Consumer Study On Shoe Sustainability

This industry-wide survey aims to create a critical baseline that brands and retailers can use to ensure they understand what consumers actually comprehend, what terms and phrases resonate best, and what areas they should prioritize.

Download the Webinar & Findings
Navigating Disruption
Supply Chain & Pricing

Navigating Disruption

How The Rockport Company is Optimizing Assortments and Pricing with Data + Digital Product Testing

Learn how The Rockport Company created a new product playbook powered by the Voice of the Customer and predictive tools.

View the Webinar & Highlights
Case Study


While the Covid-19 pandemic hit most retailers hard, it created uniquely intense challenges for Hotter Shoes. Hotter needed to build up its e-commerce presence and appeal to a new group of shoppers at the same time.

Read the Case Study