Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Survey says: 3D product images lead to fewer product returns

August 27, 2010
By Mary Del

A strong majority of consumers say being able to see 3D images of prospective purchases online makes them more likely to buy those products, more likely to consider them high quality and less likely to return them, according to an Autodesk, Inc. Design Survey conducted in early June.

More than two-thirds of survey respondents suggest they would like to learn about products through 3D images that can be zoomed in and out, and they prefer websites that allow them to see how a product works in the real world before they purchase.

"The business takeaway is clear: 3D is now mandatory table stakes for doing business – it’s expected by consumers embracing 3D images in movies, games and, soon, TVs and computers," said Robert Kross, senior vice-president in the Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk.

Among the findings on 3D visualization and probable consumer behaviour in a survey conducted by Infogroup’s Opinion Research Corporation (ORC):
• More than 80 percent of consumers say online 3D images make them more likely to purchase a product;
• 65 percent say they would be less likely to return a product after viewing it in 3D online;
• 78 percent say 3D images make them "comfortable" that the product they are viewing is high quality;
• About 60 percent say they would be more likely to purchase if they had 3D instructions showing how to assemble and use a product;
• Though consumers say 3D makes them more likely to buy and less likely to return products, only 31 percent say they would pay more for a product they see in 3D online;
• Preference for 3D images online increases with income: half of those with annual incomes below $35,000 prefer 3D images of something they are interested in buying, while 70 percent with annual incomes of $100,000 or more prefer 3D; and
• Consumers under 65 prefer viewing 3D website images of products they are interested in buying, while consumers over 65 prefer print brochures.

About the survey: From June 5 through June 7, 2010, ORC conducted telephone interviews with 1,005 adults in a random sample of households (one interview per household). To ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population 18 years of age or older, ORC weighted the survey results by four demographic characteristics: age, sex, geographic region and race.

For more information regarding the survey, visit

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