Displaying online wares

Studies show people prefer to see products in all aspects when they’re shopping online.

By ADAM GONN
September 30, 2012 18:09
2 minute read.
Innovations.

Laptop and Clock 370. (photo credit: RotaryView)

 
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Online retail keeps on growing and growing, to the extent t hat some technology analysts claim that Amazon is the company that Google most needs to fear. Most businesses today have overcome the main obstacle of the early days – how to display their wares.

While there are a range of different solutions available, one company thinks that there is room for one more, and earlier this year Microsoft named Israeli company RotaryView (rotaryview.com) as one of 10 companies that it has admitted to its startup- accelerator program, including giving RotaryView server space to help speed development of its system.

“Case studies show people prefer to see products in all aspects when they’re shopping online, helping them decide more confidently whether to buy,” Gev Rotem, chief executive and co-founder of RotaryView, said in a press statement.

While several companies offer the option of making 360-degree videos of products, most are complicated; usually a certain level of programming skills is needed, which is quite expensive. And this is where RotaryView argues that they differ from the rest, as their patent-pending technology is both quicker and easier to use, and hence cheaper for the retailer.

All the retailer has to do, the company says, is, using any type of digital camera, take a series of photos of the product while it is spinning around, so that the shopper can see all sides. The photos are then uploaded to the RotaryView’s website where a 360-degree image is created for the online retailer to display on his site. The image can also be shared via social media networks or email, and on other websites.

Using a more traditional approach, the retailer needs to hand the product over to a 3D imaging service provider, where a photographer shoots the product and hands the photos over to a programmer, who turns them into a finished 3D image and uploads it to the retailer’s website.

Israeli graphic web designer Lior Epstein told The Jerusalem Report, “It’s definitely a good idea, it is well designed and certainly easier than having to create a 3D model. But I’m not sure if it will lead to increased sales for the retailer,” he added.



To use RotaryView’s platform, a subscription is necessary that covers the cloud storage and processing; the price depends on the number of products that the retailer wants to display. The most expensive subscription costs $49 per month and allows up to 100 products, the cheapest version costs just $4.90 per month and allows up to 10 products.

While that might seem expensive, RotaryView is so sure about the greatness of its product that – at the time of writing – it is offering retailers a complete refund, if after three months they aren’t completely satisfied with the increase in sales.

In September, RotaryView launched an app version of its product, which allows the user to upload the photos straight to the RotaryView site. The announcement was made at Microsoft’s offices in Palo Alto, California The release of the app version led to a dramatic increase in the number of users from all over the world. And here the support from Microsoft came in very handy – since the system was developed on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, RotaryView was able to continue functioning and provide a service to all of its clients without the system crashing.

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