Astrid Pocklington

Head of Demand Generation

Phygital Lab

How to Unlock Customer Loyalty with the Power of 3D Technology

21 May 2024 • 10 min read
Main page » Phygital Lab » How to Unlock Customer Loyalty with the Power of 3D Technology

Digital workflow company ServiceNow recently released a report looking into the brand loyalty crisis currently afflicting the Retail industry, and the results have been pretty shocking. Their annual report has found that an alarming 67% of UK consumers are now less loyal to brands than they were just 2 years ago, showing a stark and sudden decline that is dramatically affecting businesses across the spectrum. The UKCSI (UK Customer Service Index) is also reporting 41% of customers that feel dissatisfied with a brand experience are avoiding making repeat purchases in the future, which is the lowest rating it’s been since 2015.

However, the outlook isn’t as bleak as you may first think. Consumers are incredibly eager to see tech innovations being rolled out in the sector, and by 2030, 61% of customers expect such initiatives as VR experiences and phygital technologies to be a key component to their shopping journeys. This highlights that technologies in this field are not simply trendy, but they’re expected by the consumer and should be welcomed wholeheartedly by businesses looking to regain their brand advocacy and customer loyalty. Join us as we explore these innovative 3D technologies, and look at the myriad ways in which they can create excitement, powerful engagement and emotional customer connections to restore your brand loyalty and help you outperform your competition.

Enhancing your Customer Service for Loyalty

Before we look at how to restore your customer loyalty, first we must look at how making improvements and upgrades to your current customer service model can correlate directly to this outcome. Superb, well considered services = customer loyalty, and this is something that should be thoughtfully considered and built into your marketing and retail planning to create the strongest results possible.

Rather than simply taking the latest tech developments and throwing them into action in your brand marketing, employing customer empathy, which should be a key part of your customer engagement planning, ensures that you have a deeper and much more considered understanding of your customer’s intent, motivations and interests, and can therefore utilise technology to accommodate them in the most effective ways possible. 

ServiceNow’s report also showed that aside from the decline in loyalty, 31% of consumers are keen to spend money on brands that provide top-tier services, rather than hunting around for sustainability features or better pricing elsewhere. This is a key factor for brands to consider as bargain-hunting has become a commonplace activity in the UK’s economy today, with people constantly looking to save money where they can in this current climate of ever increasing costs across food, housing and utilities.

When looking into how your brand can employ 3D technology to enhance your customer service, the Harvard Business Review offers up a smart and succinct piece of advice; “you must understand where and how customers desire digital experiences in the customer journey rather than merely focus on the digital journey as the end-all-be-all.”. With such innovations to choose from, from AI-led chatbots and phone lines, digital signage and shop assistant avatars, to personalised app notifications and email marketing, if you want to add these innovations to your service output, you need to first assess where your customer’s pain points are and then look at relevant ways that these tech initiatives can alleviate and enhance them.

Take Slovakian bank Slovenská sporiteľňa for example: they recognised that a large portion of their customers were having trouble finding the right services in their branches, and wanted to find a smart way to help them identify the right financial product in the most engaging way possible. Taking those insights, they created Vesna, their incredible AI chatbot avatar. After developing the software for over 2 years, looking at all the ways their customers were experiencing frustration and leaving the product journey, they uploaded over 150 scenarios that they encountered in their research to help fulfil the financial requirements of their customers. To date, Vesna has answered over 10,000 customer queries at their main branch in Bratislava, removing the issues of human error and a lack of available staff, and has greatly enhanced the digital experience of customers old and new alike. 

Looking objectively at your customer base and taking into consideration their key pain points, allows brands to find smart and engaging ways to bring 3D and innovative technologies into their customer loyalty strategies. Vesna is a perfect example of this, showcasing how relevancy, a desire for a more digital lifestyle and intelligent technologies can collaborate to bring about huge success.

Enter 3D Technology

In our podcast episode ‘Reimagining Retail’ from The Phygital Lab, Tony Madden spoke with Giovanni Zaccariello, SVP of Global Visual Experience at Coach about what Retail Designers can do to move their work into the 21st century, and his insight was clear and concise as ever; 

“‘[The] experience, and how you make [the customer] feel is the thing that has much more longevity”. Focusing on experience and empathy, this approach creates significant and powerful associations in your customer’s mind, building positive connections which grow into lasting loyalty. With this in mind, we’ll break down the following tech innovations into 3 categories: Visual, Phygital and Service.

Visual 3D Technologies

Walking into a retail space these days needs to deliver a punchy and almost immediate WOW factor, and this is something that 3D technologies can produce almost effortlessly. 3D and holography sparks the brain in a way quite unlike its 2D counterpart, as it feels wholly new and futuristic, much more engaging and exciting to watch. Initiatives like holographic POS displays serve to highlight key products in-store and attract crowds thanks to their distinctive style, making them a great choice for showcasing the latest product releases. Moreover, not only can you create beautifully rendered product visuals for 3D display, but you can also use them to spotlight promotional offers and key product features, thereby driving sales.

Digital Mannequins are another brilliant visual that can ramp up your engagement quota; we’ve spoken before about the democratisation of the beauty industry, and this amazing technology is a powerful way of bringing this to the forefront of your customer offering. Placing digital mannequins in front of your customers allows them to not only see how the clothing moves and looks on real world human bodies, but also allows them to configure the model itself to reflect their own skin tone and size. Seeing yourself reflected in a brand’s marketing significantly influences purchasing decisions; reports indicate that customers are likely to abandon their shopping carts if mannequins or models don’t resemble them, as it triggers a subconscious concern that if they don’t look like the model the clothing is displayed on, it won’t look good on them.

This doesn’t apply strictly to Fashion either, with sectors like tech and automotive also able to benefit from this visual technology. Showcasing products in 3D with an exploded view of the internal workings, wirings and key features that motivate purchase is a genius way to engage and enhance the customer experience, in turn promoting enduring loyalty. It’s one thing to see a new car in front of you, it is another thing entirely to see a 3D holographic visual of that car being exploded into various parts to showcase the new hybrid engine, configurable brake callipers or sustainable vegan leather interiors. It’s about being able to enhance the details that customers want to see, and making them attractive and appealing enough to drive their purchase forwards. 

Phygital 3D Technologies

Ramping up from the purely visual to the interactive, phygital 3D tech is playing a key role in levelling up customer loyalty. Empowering your customers to physically engage with 3D visuals, manipulate and play with them, adds a whole new dimension to retail, driving excitement, advocacy and most importantly, loyalty.

Take the HYPERVSN 3D Modeller, a futuristic piece of kit if ever there was one. Using the automotive example above, imagine moving from being able to just view the insides of the car to actively changing and configuring it yourself. The ability to open up and expand parts of the car that you want to take a closer look at, explore different colour combinations or features, brings a whole new element to the shopping experience. Proven to increase engagement time by around 40%, it’s a uniquely satisfying and innovative product that can breathe much needed new life into any environment. You could even use it in training hospitals to give students the ability to really explore the inner workings of the human body, and take detailed looks at how organs are affected by various afflictions like heart valve congestion or the workings of the digestive system.

Moving away from edutainment, you could infuse your Product Catalogue with 3D magic using phygital product catalogues, where customers can virtually scroll through your items and see high-resolution 3D visuals with enhanced key features and promotional offers. Bringing the digital and physical together is a truly futuristic experience for the average shopper, and injects a sense of excitement into their buying journey, not only encouraging repeat purchasing but also creating powerful brand loyalty. 

Service 3D Technologies

Enhancing your customer service with 3D technology is a sure way to grab attention and build loyalty, especially when utilising augmented reality. AR is a powerful tool that is slowly being adopted more and more into the customer facing journey, and while it’s not new technology, the ways in which it’s being used is becoming increasingly fascinating.
Imagine walking into a furniture store like IKEA, finding a coffee table that you love, and then being able to scan a QR code that places that very coffee table into your own home. Not only does this enhance your ability to visualise what it looks like which drives purchasing, but it also ramps up the convenience factor at the same time as reducing the returns rate.

Supermarkets can also benefit from using AR in intelligent ways that customers want to see; nutrition and pricing is top of the list when it comes to food purchases, and stores that can implement AR in their aisle setups displaying nutritional details and price comparisons could see massive returns in customer purchasing and loyalty thanks to the sheer convenience and ‘cool factor’ this technology brings. 

❗ By carefully considering the frustrations of your customers, you can introduce intelligent 3D technologies into the mix and really enhance their experience with your brand. Not only would this dramatically improve your brand awareness with customers sharing their experience on social media and raving about it to their friend groups, but their loyalty to your brand will increase exponentially thanks to the uniqueness of your offering and the seamless customer experience they have with you. Customer empathy plays a huge role in this, and is a key point of research that needs to be baked into your marketing and retail strategies from the start to get the most out of it. Customers are quick to sniff out insincerity, and just throwing a 3D display in front of them won’t give you the long standing returns in loyalty or revenue that you want to see – putting sincerity, thought and care into your brand experiences will ensure you reap the benefits for years to come. Demonstrating consistent customer awareness, empathy and a commitment to delivering a convenient digital experience is what will drive your customer loyalty to the stars, and ensure that you outperform your competition, every time. 


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