Angelo Coletta recognized his passion for entrepreneurship at a young age. In 1997, he founded his first company. Since then, he has developed a system integrator, founded a ticketing service company, and completed three profitable exits. Today, Coletta is tackling a billion-dollar problem in the skyrocketing trend of online shopping.
According to Statista, e-commerce sales rang up to $4.2 trillion in 2020 and are expected to total $6.5 trillion by 2023. Unfortunately, the more people shop online, the more products they return. The National Retail Federation reported that consumers returned 16.6% of products purchased online in 2021, adding up to over $761 billion in lost revenue for businesses. Clearly, consumers love the convenience of shopping on their devices, but they miss the personal experience of interacting with products before buying them.
In 2017, Coletta leveraged his marketing and e-commerce experience to bring a personal touch to online sales with an innovative platform called Zakeke. “We help brands provide engaging experiences in their online stores,” he explains. “Innovations in 2D, 3D, and augmented reality allow shoppers to customize and personally interact with products online. We’re behind the scenes making this complex technology simple for retailers to implement.”
How 3D and augmented reality are revolutionizing retail
Most retail shopping today happens on mobile devices. With the aid of 3D-generated models, customers can see the products they are purchasing from any angle and zoom in to inspect each detail. Augmented reality (AR) enables them to view these 3D models in real-world settings via their device’s screen. They can virtually try on apparel, hang a painting on their living room wall, and sit in a new vehicle. In other words, 3D and AR offer all the benefits of shopping in stores from a mobile device.
Zakeke is using 2D, 3D, and AR to change the e-commerce landscape with a one-stop shop solution for visual commerce through product customization and configuration. Both products are based on the belief that, while online shopping is convenient, customers still greatly value customized experiences when they purchase products.
Zakeke’s Product Customization
The Product Customizer is designed for retailers who want to offer customers a personalized online experience hand-in-hand with their products, and is ideal for creating customized apparel or items through web-to-print online stores. Customers can make their items completely unique by adding text, changing fonts, selecting colors, and uploading images, and additional features in the Product Customizer’s software allow them to rotate and reposition graphics.
After shoppers have the product exactly the way they want it, they use the real-time 3D View function to generate 360°, realistic, 3D models of the product. Customers can then use AR to transport their 3D models to real-world settings on their smartphone screens, enabling them to display decorations in their home.
Zakeke’s 3D Product Configuration
The other tool in Zakeke’s belt offers similar, though more empowering benefits. The 3D Product Configurator is designed for retailers offering modular products, and enables consumers to be personally involved in virtually every aspect of a product’s creation. Because the items are modular, customers can add on or take away any interchangeable components as they wish, easily swapping pieces to alter the look or function of the item.
For example, when ordering a car through Zakeke’s 3D Product Configurator, customers influence every detail — from the stitching on the interior to the flecks in the paint color. They can quickly and simply swap out sunroofs, steering wheels, tires, gauges, sound systems, and other features. Each time they make a change, they can virtually enter the car through AR technology and view their creation from every angle.
If customers design shoes with the 3D Product Configurator, they are able to choose the material, primary color, accent colors, laces, and whether or not to hide the seams. After creating the shoes of their dreams, they can inspect a 3D model and use AR to model the footwear with any number of personal outfits.
Currently, Zakeke is serving over 7,000 customers globally across 400 different industries. “We integrate the technology into any brand’s e-commerce platform or online store,” Coletta says. “We’ve found ways to involve 3D and AR in fashion, jewelry, furniture, decor, gaming, gadgets, sports equipment, and so many other industries. No matter what the product is, engaging consumers with a uniquely interactive and visually appealing shopping journey is bound to enhance their experience.” In today’s on-demand world, online shopping isn’t going anywhere. Ironically, the cutting technology from Zakeke makes it feel just a little more retro. For more information or to give the innovative tech a try, readers can visit Zakeke.com.
Opinions expressed by Artist Weekly contributors are their own.