Threedium | The Future Of Augmented Reality In E-Commerce 2023
In today’s Web3tv interview, we’re with Mike Charalambous, the CEO of Threedium, and we’re going to discuss how in 2023, Threedium are building the most automated infrastructure for any brand to scale 3-D commerce so they can increase their sales and delight their customers and the future of augmented reality in e-commerce.
Mike is a passionate entrepreneur with international experience and the launch and development growth of new innovative businesses skills which are now being or bringing across to envision and shape the future of three dimensional internet.
Mike Charalambous, CEO of Threedium Backstory
After beginning his professional career as part of the tech team and then joining Moody’s as a risk analyst, he then moved back into providing product launch strategies for consumer electronic brands and it was about that time that he started exploring and seeing how consumer behaviors were becoming ever more immune into traditional media formats.
He then started his own company called Frenzy Media which ultimately created a SaaS platform for brands to introduce gamified ad formats so instead of just seeing a boring static banner you could actually interact with it and could play a game which if you won would allow you to claim a specific discount or a reward.
Then when he went to a large tech event in London in he met some guys that said they could get real time 3-D on the web and fast forward to 2023 we’re now sitting um as one of the leading 3-D Augmented Reality commerce engines providing full digital transformation and empowerment to all major brands within luxury fashion, jewelry, and consumer electronics and gone from a five people team to a thirty five people team with offices in in in the UK, Paris and Serbia.
What Drew You To 3-D?
I was not born within the 3-D world so I just organically got into it but the more you dig deeper the more you explore the possibilities of 3-D it is quite fascinating because if you think about it, it’s almost like a living organism within the web and therefore gives you a plethora of utilities once you’re able to extract its full power and allows you to have real time and dynamic displays on a product. It can allow you to connect it with different consumer behavior data so it can again in real time interact and correlate with specific consumer behaviors on the web which enables you to create so many new content generation techniques from using the same model.
So with the same 3-D model a brand can generate static renders, it can generate cgi, they can generate real-time 3-D and AR product displays and configure 3-D ad formats and with the same ad and with the same 3-D format as well you can even convert it and optimize it so you can create gaming assets so all of a sudden you can also be gaming ready. So it’s such a fantastic world and what really excites me is the ability to create the next generation content factory with 3-D being the backbone of all that and I think we’re still in day one so there’s so many more frontier technologies coming in tying nicely with 3-D from AI to VR to blockchain.
The fact that we are so early on and we are right in the middle of all this, we wake up every morning and we’re like okay what’s going to happen today and how are we pushing boundaries. What great ideas do our are brands and partners have so that we can go and innovate together and really there’s no stopping and it can never get boring.
Tell us more about um Threedium and then tell us more about your elevator pitch to your ideal client
Threedium is all about trying to make 3-D accessible and inter-operable and give the ability for brands to generate huge benefits in their value chain using our technology.
We have built a huge tech stack within our ecosystem of 3-D technologies ranging from 3-D compression algorithms so you can compress very heavy 3-D models into super lightweight 3-D models that they can go and render and we have created an AI that allows you to turn images or videos into 3-D stills. It’s a great foundation and it allows us to do a lot of cool things also shortern lead creation times.
We have also launched our patent pending 3-D ad formats which basically are being used by biggest publishers in the world and we’ve generated this gaming bridge that ultimately allows you to take the same 3-D format that a brand is using within our ecosystem to power their e-commerce solutions and optimize it and convert it and massage it automatically so it can become a gaming asset and they can consider ways start selling the same kind of product within a gaming world.
This is our most ambitious product to date because it’s an infrastructure that ultimately connects e-commerce with gaming commerce for brands at scale and on top of all these things because we are embedding everything into a very robust and agile infrastructure we allow the brands to connect this with any kind of data analytics software that they’re using so that they’re able to extract very precise user behavior data as to how users interact with their 3-D displays on e-commerce or avatars interact with their products within games.
This then synthesizes into a much more accurate data center that will enable them to either predict future trends or understand exactly how they can optimize engagement within their channels once people coming in interact with their product and so our goal is basically to build the world’s most scalable and easy to use integrated 3-D infrastructure and to be become the backbone of 3-D for any of these large enterprises that we work with.
Taking at a step further, while we are currently working with the big brands, our goal is to our make our technology accessible to smaller brands.
What Are The Main Industries Threedium Is Currently Working With?
Right now the majority of the enterprises that we work with are sitting within the sectors of luxury such as jewelry, fashion, consumer electronics while we’re also slowly seeing kitchenware becoming a very interesting category that is benefiting a lot from 3-D.
The reason we’re focusing on these industries is because from our own personal understanding of friction in the market, we’re seeing these industries tend to see the biggest benefits while implementing 3-D into their workflows and commercial strategies because they can see straightaway a bigger uplift on their conversions, a bigger increase in the amount of time and engagement a user has with their products, larger potential drops in product returns and also it helps them alleviate a lot of their supply chain struggles and logistics.
So we help them with the use of 3-D to communicate dependencies on shipping products back and forth, for product prototyping or for inventory management purposes so it gives us a very strong business presence.
What Are The Types Of Challenges Threedium Is Helping Organisations Overcome?
As an example, one of out biggest customer’s challenges was that they wanted to stay relevant and create a hyper personalized experience for their high-end customers but at the same time meet their very aggressive sustainability quotas.
So we licensed them our infrastructure and were able to configurate for them a 3-D experience that would enable either the shopper or shop assistant or visitor to their e-commerce website to be able to see the product in real- time 3-D, and be able to customize it with their own colors or personalize the label with their names.
The goal was to see whether their community would engage and support something like this because it was a huge transition going from fully seeing a product physically and touching it and exploring it versus going fully digital and exploring it and seeing it on a 3-D avatar without having being able to touch or feel the texture of the product.
Because of our high fidelity 3-D viewers, we were able to replicate a one to one look and almost feel and this enabled the brand to actually have a very successful launch and they were able then to introduce this 3-D configurator of their new collection across all of their flagship stores in different jurisdictions and they didn’t even have to ship the physical products.
So you can imagine how much money they saved on supply chain around logistics, around inventory management and on top of that they sold out so it really allowed them to have a much bigger gross margin on the collection.
We are also now integrating blockchain technology into the configurators so brands can authenticate and certify their whatever they created is one to one.
What Was The Initial Customer Reaction To This New Experience?
Before we launched, we were very conscious that when it comes to these super high in luxury brands, their customers are not really avid users of this technology so we wanted to ensure that the experience was going to be easily comprehendible but at the same time it was going to be smoothly adopted and accepted. So we spent a significant amount of time training the in-store shop assistants to understand how to use it and how to explain it to customers and the benefits that it had it versus actually seeing the real product.
Our first line of defence was to bring down the barriers of resistance from the in-store shop assistant so once they understood it, it was much easier to have these advocates to go around and start introducing the story about why do it is this way and what are the benefits for the users. We first rolled it out into physical stores so that people could familiarize with it better and then we introduced it online and this actually generated nice word of mouth and actually there was a lot of user-generated content as well with people taking videos and photos and saying how amazingly innovative a brand was.
So What Differences Are You Seeing In Terms Of Brand Spend As A Result Of 3-D Technology
In general we are seeing the average budget spend on brands we are working with increase on online commerce compared to physical commerce. E-commerce is becoming an increasingly important revenue stream, especially post-pandemic and it is important that visitors to their e-commerce store have a great experience straightaway.
What Do You See As The Future Of Avatars In E-Commerce?
While avatar technology is still in its infancy, brands are now looking into different possibilities as to how they kind of generate new engagement points with those digital identities. Ultimately it would be great for a person’s avatar to be try on a piece of jewelry or item of clothing for looks and sizing purposes or even to purchase in both the physical world and digital world.
What Is The Interaction Between 3-D And The Metaverse?
What we are preaching as a company is that the whole notion of metaverse to brands is not a gamified world necessarily but rather a moment in time where we’re seeing a shift in consumer behaviors, a moment in time where users are not just willing to spend on physical products but they’re also willing to spend on digital products. It’s at that moment we as humans are actually placing almost equal value of ownership on digital collectibles as we put on the physical collection.
The moment we see mainstream consumers willing to spend a hundred thousand dollars on something that is purely digital that’s when we’ll see the formation of a dual economy for the brands because right now they can generate products that they can sell directly to consumers but they can’t now generate products that they can sell directly to avatars or to consumers that want to build a digital collection for whatever purpose.
So what we are building with the brands basically is a whole new notion of gaming commerce irrespective of where this is going to be carried out whether it be within Sandbox, Decentraland, Fortnite, Roblox or any other desktop game build. The important aspect for the brands is that they understand that right now they have this amazing opportunity shaping up for them with the same 3-D model that they’ve designed. They now have a physical product they can repurpose and then start selling it as a product that has superpowers within the game.
Our goal is to actually build this amazing very scalable, automated infrastructure that connects a brand’s products with gaming commerce across all these different game development studios and they can then synthesize really good strategies as to how they sell or use their products to inspire gamers in those different environments.
If I Am A Brand Approaching The Use Of Web 3.0 Technology For The First Time, What Would Be Your Advice?
The answer will not be the same for everybody and reason being is that the first thing that any brand regardless of which sector they come from, they need to understand their target audience and the purpose for using the new technology.
I’m tired of seeing companies spending thousands to create an AR filter where you put your phone on their products and you have volcano or a dancing peak coming out of it. You’ve added zero value, people forget about it and it has zero return on investment.
Whatever you are using the new technology for has to provide value and have tremendous utility and they need to understand as well that if they want to go down the path of digital transformation and this notion of Web 3.0 is that their customers are no longer customers but a community.
They no longer expect to be treated as customers but rather brand campaign protagonists if you like so this is the first thing that the brands need to embrace and understand that if they’re going to go down this path.
For more information, go to https://www.threedium.io/
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