The past few years have presented many challenges in the retail world. Retailers have faced soaring labour expenses, increasing costs of goods, and a decline in consumer spending due to prolonged interest rate hikes. These economic disruptions have left retailers with no choice but to find innovative ways to maintain profitability while navigating sharp budget cuts and resource limitations. The burning question on every retail executive’s mind is, “How can my team do more with less?” This article, based on the talks with CEO of Grozeo (a retail technology service provider), Khaja Hussain, will explore how retailers can redefine productivity, particularly in image creation, to thrive in these trying times.
The Traditional Methods and Their Pitfalls
Most retailers have relied heavily on traditional photo shoots for over a century to create product imagery. However, this age-old approach is riddled with challenges. Long timelines, complex logistics, and prohibitive costs make it increasingly difficult to meet the demands of today’s fast-paced retail environment. A report in partnership with Dimensional Research reveals that 96% of retailers continuously struggle with image creation.
To create product images through traditional means, retailers typically have to order product samples, scout locations, hire photography crews, and deal with many unexpected expenses and hurdles. The result? Retailers often find themselves exceeding their budgeted allocations. On average, retailers spend over $500,000 annually on photo shoots, with a staggering 68% regularly exceeding their budget limits. In the current economic climate, such continual overspending is neither sustainable nor acceptable.
Embracing the Future: Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI)
The future of image creation in retail lies in computer-generated imagery (CGI). This innovative and scalable technology offers a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional photography. CGI streamlines the image creation process, drastically reducing timelines and costs. With a single 3D model, retailers can generate many images without the need for a conventional photo shoot. This includes simple packshots, immersive lifestyle imagery set in various contexts and seasons, and 360° spins, allowing shoppers to view products from every angle.
The advantages of CGI are genuinely boundless, and retailers can create an unlimited number of images, all without the logistical and financial burdens associated with traditional methods.
Achieving Remarkable Results on a Smaller Budget
Retailers leveraging CGI are achieving impressive results. They are producing scale images while reducing net unit costs per image. In essence, they are accomplishing more with fewer resources. Retailers embracing CGI technology are experiencing a remarkable 63% reduction in turnaround times and up to 85% savings. However, the benefits go beyond cost savings and increased efficiency. Retailers are also meeting the heightened consumer expectations for high-quality imagery, improving performance metrics.
For instance, retailers like Delamaison have witnessed a 6% increase in total sales and a remarkable 66% rise in their add-to-cart rates after adopting CGI for image creation. These numbers illustrate the transformative power of CGI in helping retailers thrive amidst economic challenges.
To Build or to Buy: The CGI Dilemma
With the potential of CGI technology becoming increasingly evident, retailers must decide whether to build an in-house CGI team or partner with technology experts. According to Coresight Research, 40% of retailers have already invested in CGI capabilities, while an additional 58% plan to do so in the future.
Building an in-house CGI team is a significant endeavour, entailing hiring new talent and bearing the burden of overhead costs and research and development expenses. These capital-intensive commitments must be carefully weighed against the benefits of reallocating resources to areas like supply chain and marketing, which may yield more immediate sales results.
On the other hand, working with a technology partner offers flexibility and cost savings. Retailers can focus on their core competencies, leaving the complexities of cutting-edge technology to experts. This approach allows retailers to create solutions that align with customer needs, driving more sales with lower costs.
In an era of economic disruption, retailers face the formidable challenge of accomplishing more with fewer resources. Redefining productivity is essential for survival and growth in this climate. One area where retailers can make significant strides is image creation, where computer-generated imagery (CGI) offers a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional photography.
Retailers embracing CGI are experiencing faster turnaround times, substantial cost savings, and improved performance metrics. Whether to build an in-house CGI team or partner with technology experts is a decision each retailer must make based on their unique circumstances.
Ultimately, adaptability and a willingness to explore innovative solutions are the keys to thriving amidst economic disruption. By redefining productivity and leveraging cutting-edge technology like CGI, retailers can weather the storm and emerge more substantial and more competitive in the ever-evolving retail landscape.
About Khaja Hussain
CEO of Grozeo
Khaja Hussain, CEO & Co-founder of Grozeo, is a visionary serial entrepreneur and the
Director of London’s Pride Ltd, a dynamic company overseeing diverse ventures. He has
expertise in Investment, Administration, and R&D and is instrumental in launching and
managing successful business endeavours. His latest venture, Techtadd, excels in digital
marketing and software development.