How to become more sustainable with a product configurator?

Projected carbon dioxide emissions of the apparel industry worldwide from 2019 to 2030
[1] Projected carbon dioxide emissions of the apparel industry worldwide from 2019 to 2030

According to McKinsey & Company, the fashion industry is responsible for 4% of the total green gas emissions [2].

 

SmartPixels’ 3D product configurator could help your brand redefine its sustainability strategy. By integrating a 3D web configurator into your e-commerce, you will transform the way your customers perceive and purchase clothing and accessories.

Reducing overproduction and waste
thanks to 3D modelling

Physical prototyping of a Gucci Bamboo handbag
Physical prototyping of a Gucci Bamboo handbag

Three-dimensional product configuration and visualization can help your brand overcome two major concerns related to the luxury industry:

 

• The amount of unsold inventory due to product returns: according to Zalando, 50% of their products are returned [3]. The main reason is the discrepancy between product expectations and the real products’ appearance.

 

• The volume of waste and resources’ dissipation: prototyping requires countless resources. It is sufficient to consider that, 11,000 liters of water are needed to produce one kilo of cotton [4].

 
 
What if SmartPixels’ 3D product configurator could help luxury brands manage their inventory more efficiently?

The advantages of a 3D product configurator for the fashion supply chain

E-commerce configuator for product personalization realized by SmartPixels for Globe-Trotter
E-commerce configuator for product personalization realized by SmartPixels for Globe-Trotter

One of the consequences of the increase in e-commerce is the significant augmentation in products return. For instance, compared to an average return rate of 5-10% for in-store sales, the return rate for online transactions ranges from 20 to 25% [5].

 

Globally, e-commerce returns represent approximately 20% of all purchases [6].

 

Moreover, only a small percentage of them are ever resold. Statistics show that more than 10,000 tonnes of returned goods end up in landfills each year [6].

 

Bracketing refers to the common practice among consumers of ordering multiple versions of the same item and returning at least one of them.

 

An interactive 3D configurator allows your website visitors to configure and visualize 3D models of their products. Moreover, it provides them with hyperrealistic visuals of the item they are willing to buy. 

 

With the help of SmartPixels’ 3D technology, our customers have achieved a 40% reduction in product returns. 

3D product customization leads to a better client experience

Real-time 3D product configurator developed by SmartPixels

Generation Z (18-25-year-olds) is more inclined to return items, in particular by doing bracketing. On average, they are 47% more likely to give back products, compared to only 15% of the older generation [5]. In addition, Gen Z customers are more prone to shop from environmentally conscious companies.

Alongside a strong environmental commitment from brands, Generation Z seeks personalized products.

The possibility of online product customization is a priority for young people in their virtual experiences.

With a 3D e-commerce product configurator, your Gen Z customers will benefit from a dynamic shopping experience where they can co-create their product with their favorite brand. They will be able to view photorealistic 3D rendering of their items in real-time. In addition, on the interactive product configurator, the shape, color, and material can be changed to suit their preferences. 

A real-time 3D configurator can help reduce the number of unsold garments and the associated destruction. Finally, it would provide your brand with a significant competitive advantage.

3D prototyping: an anti-waste solution

Stella McCartney's presentation at the Spring/Summer 2020 Men's Fashion Week
Stella McCartney's presentation at the Spring/Summer 2020 Men's Fashion Week

The waste of the fashion industry, which already accounts for 92 million tonnes of textile per year, is expected to increase by 60% between 2015 and 2030 [7].

 

How to cope with textile waste? Several luxury brands have embraced the strategy of burning unsold stocks. The main reason is to avoid discounts and sales, as well as preserving the brand’s image and prestige

 

SmartPixels has developed a technology that can help you considerably reduce this hurdle. Find out here how virtual product prototyping can help you circumvent waste.

 

Virtual prototyping allows you to create millions of static or animated 3D product renderings for any product combination. SmartPixels’ 3D application lets consumers see what their final product will look like from every angle and with very high accuracy. This way, consumers can order with confidence custom, made-to-order items.

 

As a result, products will be manufactured based on the real-time product configuration created by the customer. Therefore, any material waste associated with the creation of multiple physical products that might be unsold will be avoided.

 

Get in touch with our team to find out more about the capabilities of SmartPixels’ 3D Product Configurator and how it can improve your brand’s sustainable engagement.

*Sources:

[1] https://www-statista-proxy.com/statistics/1305696/apparel-industry-co2e-emissions/

[2] https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-live/webinars/sustainable-fashion-how-the-fashion-industry-can-urgently-act-to-reduce-its-greenhouse-gas-emission

[3] https://www.fastcompany.com/90701492/how-businesses-can-fight-the-environmental-menace-of-free-returns

[4] http://missioni.blog.diocesifirenze.it/files/2013/06/Impronta-idrica.9-14.pdf

[5]https://f.hubspotusercontent10.net/hubfs/2617219/The%20ZigZag%20Global%20Retail%20Returns%20Study%202021.pdf

[6] https://www.sccgltd.com/featured-articles/the-environmental-impact-of-ecommerce-product-returns/#:~:text=Globally%2C%20eCommerce%20returns%20represent%20around,up%20in%20landfills%20each%20year

[7] https://goodonyou.eco/waste-luxury-fashion/