Month: September 2021

Why Lifestyle Imagery Is Crucial For Successful Sales

Why Lifestyle Imagery Is Crucial For Successful Sales

September 14, 20216 Minutes

For many of our clients, having lifestyle and roomset imagery has always been their favourite aspect of their projects as they are able to see their products in a real life environment and have the same amount of creative input as they would on a photography shoot. However, as some clients come to us with the sole purpose of wanting to showcase their models in every possible fabric combination as product cut-outs, they often overlook, or are unaware of, how important it is to have your products shown in a photorealistic environment.

 

Retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, especially in the current circumstances, rely on imagery to sell their products. As the recent months have shown that photography shoots are becoming a thing of the past, we want to take a moment to highlight the reasons why having multiple shots and formats - cut-outs, lifestyles and animations - are so crucial in increasing your e-commerce game. 

 

Many of our clients have now dropped photography all together, meaning that we are producing all of their marketing collateral. One of the main benefits of CGI is that you have complete control over every aspect of the project, prop arrangement, materials, lighting and camera angles can be changed and adjusted in an instant - unlike traditional photography. Of course when focusing on showcasing your products in every possible combination you sell it in, lifestyle imagery may be overlooked. However, it’s important to note that they are just as, if not more, beneficial when it comes to selling products online. 

One of the main benefits of showing your products in-situ is that your clients and customers are able to visualize how your product looks in a ‘real’ environment. You may not think it to begin with, but seeing a product on a white background, vs in a beautifully dressed living room can give off a completely different vibe for the customers, and can ultimately be the deciding factor when it comes to purchasing your products. As well as this, they can gage the size of the product. Of course, you may have dimensions on your website, but for someone who’s online shopping quickly or just having a browse, having a product shown in-situ can really help them to distinguish whether your product is right for them. 

 

Some of our clients like to use their roomsets to showcase multiple pieces from their store, such as furniture models shown with faux plants, rugs, side tables and lighting fixtures. You can completely customise your lifestyle shots so that they can represent your brand and give customers ideas of what else to buy from your site. 

 

We are currently working on a super exciting project for one of our clients! For each of their projects with us we create flat and wave shots, lifestyle imagery showing their fabrics on multiple products, e.g. curtains, cushions, sofas and throws and animations. As this specific client has so many roomsets in their digital asset library we wanted to test out a way to create a 3D walkthrough where you can click and change the fabric on the soft furnishings within the roomset.

Working with our team creates many benefits for you to use in future projects, not only will you have your own digital asset library, but if you have made a roomset for one project, you are able to use it again and again without the building fee. You are also able to endlessly change and edit this room, you could turn a minimal nordic bedroom into a gothic living room by changing the wall colour and texture, the flooring, the furniture and all of the props - you can even change the lighting too! Once you have your roomset built it is so easy to go back in to create more shots at different angles, to animate the room and to create digital walkthroughs. This aspect of having a roomset built can often be overlooked, but once you have your room as part of your digital asset library you are able to use it and change it for future projects. 

 

If you’re looking to step up your game when it comes to selling, lifestyle imagery may well be the way to do it! Get in touch with our team of Unreal Creatives today to see how we can help you! 


Time To Embrace CGI - How Well-Known Retailers Have Changed The Game

Time To Embrace CGI - How Well-Known Retailers Have Changed The Game

September 9, 20215 Minutes

As we look to enter the busiest months for furniture retailers and manufacturers, it’s the time for businesses to look at how they can set themselves apart from their competitors. The answer? It’s time to embrace CGI. 

 

Wanting imagery quickly, easily and at the fraction of the cost of photography? If your answer is yes, we’ve got you covered! It may seem like a no-brainer for some, but it’s significantly clear that many people still can’t wrap their heads around the incredible benefits that CGI holds and how much it can increase your sales. 

 

As it’s now been a good few months since stores have opened their doors to the public again, we’ve noticed that online sales still remain at a constant high. Not to mention we’re seeing an increase in store closures to cut costs, with the plan of spending this money elsewhere - mainly on e-commerce, marketing and digital assets. In August this year it was reported that 1 in 7 shops were still vacant or closed and it appears to be on the rise as the year goes on.

Back in April we saw a big shift from John Lewis as they announced the closure of four of their department stores and four of their At Home stores due to the lack of sales and customers. Setting the tone for the industry, the popular retailer announced that ‘Given the significant shift to online shopping in recent years - and our belief that this trend will not materially reverse - we do not think the performance of these eight stores can be substantially improved’. Not only did the retailer admit in-store sales were decreasing, they admitted that online shopping will continue to be on the up, stating that ‘we expect 60% to 70% of John Lewis sales to be made online in the future’. 

 

We’ve seen John Lewis sales via the web increase by a whopping 20% over the last year - leaving only 30% - 40% of their sales made in-store - it appears that their online sales performance saved them from going under during the pandemic. It’s no secret that the retailer’s e-commerce capabilities are impressive, they are able to show most, if not all, products in all available materials and sizes which would’ve put them ahead of competitors when we couldn’t go in-store to see fabric selections. 

 

Of course, it’s not only John Lewis facing store closures, Dunelm managed to maintain 70% of sales despite store closures back in March of this year, all thanks to their online shopping experience. 

You may think that basic imagery will sell your products, but customers are becoming increasingly impatient and picky when it comes to online shopping. The more you have to offer your customers, the happier they are, the more they shop with you and recommend you, and most importantly, the more sales you’ll bring in.

 

For those of us who work in the CGI industry who aren’t 3D artists, many of us joined the industry with little to no knowledge of the capabilities of CGI. So, discovering furniture giants such as IKEA, Dunelm and John Lewis use CGI to populate over 50% of their sites was quite shocking. With CGI becoming increasingly realistic with every passing day, it’s time to take the leap - if you haven’t already. Traditional photography is becoming more expensive, more time consuming and less achievable with each passing day. If you’re wanting to follow most of the furniture industry in cutting store budgets to focus on digital assets and e-commerce, traditional photography is most definitely the route you want to avoid.

 

Get in touch with our unreal team of creatives today to see how CGI can transform your online sales and e-commerce capabilities!


Best of British - Long Point returns this September

Best of British - Long Point Returns This September!

September 1, 20213 Minutes

After its successful return in May this year, The Long Point Show returns for it’s second installment this Autumn. Taking place from 20th to 22nd September in Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire the show will reunite over 30 exhibitors this time around.

 

Long Point supports and champions the many upholstery manufacturers in the area to come together and enable buyers to visit them in their own spaces, offering inspiration and insight into the furniture capital of the UK. In an intimate and relaxed setting, we will see manufacturers open their doors once again for this fantastic trade only show.

We of course will be here not only to support the Long Eaton Guild and all its hard work and dedication but to showcase our team and their many talents too.

 

Specialising in CGI fabrics, photorealistic imagery, branding and design, there is a lot to see and take in here at the Orbital studio. With an experienced and creative team, we are able to produce unrivalled CGI imagery for our clients which include Warwick Fabrics, Time4Sleep, Westbridge and Sanderson Design Group (previously known as Style Library) to name a few.

 

We welcome all visitors to the Studio, it’s in a prime location in the heart of the action and directly opposite Harrington Mills which houses some of the best manufactures in the business. Not only that, you can come and have a sneak peak and a nose around our fantastic CGI and design studio to see the magic take place before your very eyes!

 

During the show we will have a meeting room available for hire, as well as an exhibition space complete with a brand new kitchen and a seemingly endless supply of tea, coffee and biscuits! Please give us a call to enquire.

This year we are in good company, and proud to be hosting Warwick Fabrics, Weymss, Tamarisk Designs and Richmond Interiors - so do make sure to drop by to see their incredible products too.

 

We are looking forward to seeing faces old and new once again, share what incredible work we have been doing over the past few months and hear all about what you have been up to!