Why 3D Visualization Matters to Modern Buyers

Why 3D visualization matters to modern buyers

2020 Spaces2020 Blogs, 2020 Ideal Spaces, Business Management

3D Visualization

Over the course of the past couple of years, there have been three buyer personas that have emerged and really pushed along the massive growth that the home improvement and home remodeling space has seen. These buyers have taken advantage of the extra time they had during the pandemic and the shift to remote work to dive head first into home improvement projects.

In addition to their desire to improve and beautify the home spaces they spend so much time in – the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom, the home office, etc. – they also share in their approach of the planning stage, before any demolition or repainting starts. An expectation has grown that home renovators will be able to work online to investigate their options, try out different furnishings, and see how different things look in the area they’re renovating or building.

While some have maintained simple online tools, what really sets brands, retailers and designers apart is the availability of 3D visualization tools. These tools can do more than simply let home remodelers see what a piece of furniture looks like in different colors. These tools allow a remodeler to truly take a room in their home and add or subtract items from it virtually, to see what the results of a project would look like.

Understanding the buyer

While all home remodeling and renovation audiences have grown to appreciate the usefulness of 3D visualization tools, there are different features that resonate more with different buying personas. It pays to understand each audience so you can ensure your 3D visualization tools meet the specific needs of the personas most likely to buy from you.

The three buying personas that have emerged are Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Do-It-With-Me (MIWM) and of course, Do-It-For-Me (DIFM). There will always be variations on those themes, but for now let’s stick to these three.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

This persona is defined by the fact that all preparation, planning and purchasing is completed by the consumer, without assistance. These buyers are educated and either have the knowledge to undertake a renovation or refurbishment project themselves, or are willing to find that knowledge and learn on the job. These buyers are often repeat customers, or soon become them, once they have that initial project under their belt. Additionally, these buyers typically want to do things on their own without too much interference from a retailer, brand or designer. The opportunity here is to give them the frictionless experience they desire, which will inspire their loyalty to your brand.

Do-It-With-Me (DIWM)

With this persona, preparation and planning is completed by the consumer with the assistance of a designer, expert or salesperson. Many of these buyers want to do the work themselves, but also realize their limitations. They are motivated to learn from and work with an expert in the field. There is an excellent opportunity to work closely with these types of buyers and form a lasting relationship where they seek out and trust the expertise of your team.

Do-It-For-Me (DIFM)

For our third type of buyer, all preparation and planning is started and completed entirely by a designer, expert, craftsman or salesperson. This type of buyer either doesn’t feel they have the skills or the time to design, develop and build, remodel, or redesign their homes. They are the type of buyer that seeks out trusted experts every step of the way. They have a general idea of what they’re looking for, but want to trust an expert in the field to take the project from A to Z, only asking them to approve aspects of it, not to design it or purchase goods. The opportunity here is to gain the trust of a DIFM and build a relationship that lasts through any and all home projects they undertake.

So now that we have some insight into the buyer personas we’re dealing with, the question is how do 3D visualization tools help each type to move forward with a home renovation or remodeling project? What types of 3D technologies should you offer to cater to these audiences?

3D visualization tools

3D tools have become increasingly important as a part of the experience you offer customers and potential buyers, regardless of whether you’re a retailer, manufacturer or expert designer. You want to give the consumer the ability to see, in life-like 3D, what their idea could look like in their home. You want them to be able to virtually test out different types of furniture or equipment, and decide what they like best.

Obviously, you’re not going to want to set up the online portion of your business with three different tools - one for each persona. You are, however, going to want to make sure that the tool you use and the experiences you enable for buyers are able to satisfy the needs of each of these distinct audiences.

  • The DIY crowd believes that they have everything they need to take their idea and make it reality. What they want out of their 3D visualization tools is the ability to mock up their plans, see what works and what doesn’t, and be able to make purchases quickly and easily. They do not want interference, and in fact are turned off by any friction at all during the process. The 3D solution needs to allow them to design, build and buy, and if they have any questions, for them to be answered as a part of the process, typically in an FAQ.
  • The DIWM buyer really understands the value of the 3D technology. In addition to using it like a DIY buyer to put some reality around their ideas, the DIWM buyer sees it as a way to collaborate with an expert designer or builder, and to have them show within the 3D model what different changes or activities would look like. 3D visualization tools can help DIWMs understand the work to be done, learn how to do it and better see what the end project looks like. Using 3D to collaborate and get the support/education they need is an important part of the experience for them.
  • The DIFM buyer also builds off of how the DIY and DIWM buyers want to experience their remodeling or renovation project in 3D, but they need even greater support, and a more focused mix of online and real-world collaboration. The 3D experience for them can start with the design phase, but they will want the ability to have questions answered, connect with “real people” through the website, and to be able to take their model with them and transfer it over to an expert to complete the order. One of the real opportunities here for retailers, brands and especially builders and designers is for the 3D tool to be used as a way to let the DIFM buyer better understand what is being done at that moment in their project, how the design may evolve, and to approve any changes along the way. It really is an opportunity for the DIFM buyer’s mind to be set at ease by their vendors and partners through the continually updated visualization.

Competitive advantage

3D tools can help with color, location, size - you name it. By incorporating 3D visualization technology into your site, you enable buyers of all personas to see what an idea looks like, and then either get started from that idea, or share it with experts in order to collaborate, improve, refine and come up with a finished product. The bottom line is that 3D technology is becoming more of an expectation than a nice-to-have, and with the ability for it to be sticky and land you a qualified buyer, ready to go through the purchasing journey with you, you better invest in it, or your competitors will.

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