Simplifying product customization and redefining online furniture shopping
The story of EQ3 began two and a half decades ago, when the founder, Peter Tielmann, had the vision to build a company with high attention to detail and customization for customers seeking clean, modern designs.
EQ3’s parent company, Palliser Furniture, had a strong tradition of craftsmanship, but the Canadian furniture landscape was missing modern aesthetic pieces built to last.
Soon after the launch, EQ3 was met with huge success. Customers understood what Canadian design is all about, and they loved it right from the get-go.
Thoughtfulness, progressiveness, and inclusivity are at the core of EQ3’s values. They focus on making furniture that’s timeless, not trendy. This unique approach positioned EQ3 well for growth, and they were ready for a new chapter.
When EQ3 started selling online, furniture e-commerce was a greenfield: barely a handful of companies had tapped into its potential.
Moving forward, they embraced digital transformation to introduce engaging online experiences, and this was where they faced a challenge.
One of the key components of EQ3’s product offering is customization. Some of their products have more than 30 million configuration options.
The question was: How could they simplify the customization process so that it wouldn’t become overwhelming?
Previously, they had lifestyle images and product photos from a small number of angles. But they felt that something was missing. They were looking for a solution to efficiently connect with people in a digital environment in a way that allows them to truly appreciate what the product looks and feels like.
EQ3 is a company committed to excellence – both in their products and in how they engage with customers. They needed a product visualization partner whose ability to innovate and scale matched their own and could help them future-proof their business.
Creativity and analytics run in their e-commerce team’s DNA. Besides the quality and scale that check the boxes, EQ3 was also looking at content versatility. How could they create beautiful product visuals for multiple use cases and marketing channels?
Focus on high-quality visualization and asset versatility
EQ3’s concept solution was to create an end-to-end engaging customer experience throughout their entire journey, from the first interaction with their website in the research phase to the purchase.
To do this, EQ3 was on a quest to find a visualization partner that could respond to their needs.
“I’ve worked with quite a few vendors who have sales and customer support teams. It’s not often that a sales team stays as accessible after signing the contract. Having a sales team that doesn’t disappear on you when you sign the contract is invaluable. Also, the fact that the project management and the customer success teams are experienced and constantly follow up on the next steps makes the partnership with Cylindo effective and enjoyable.”
– Aaron Levine, Vice President of IT and Digital Commerce at EQ3
One of the main reasons EQ3 chose Cylindo over alternatives was its focus on high-quality visualization and asset versatility. Unlike other solutions that produce single-purpose visuals that are considered product visualization expenses, Cylindo built a future-proof asset library for an array of use cases.
The concept of the 3D asset being truly an asset — as in one that can be reused to generate revenue is essential. The idea that I can now jump on opportunities for leveraging existing content at no additional cost and almost no internal effort at all is such a big win.
In parallel with high-quality product visualization, EQ3 enhanced other crucial components of the digital experience, such as the swatch ordering program and product information, descriptions, and dimensions.
Power-user of the Cylindo Platform
After implementing the 360 HD Viewer, EQ3’s customers can get much more accurate views in 4K detail that remove their doubts and bring them closer to making a purchase.
“One of the challenges in an e-commerce environment is having customers grasp a true-to-life understanding of the product, feeling confident that they have accurately captured it in their mind’s eye. That is – do they know what they are buying? This uncertainty is a friction point in the path to purchase, particularly for high-dollar items such as furniture. Scale, texture, dimensional relationships are all incredibly important, along with the ability to grasp all aspects of the product. EQ3 has reduced this friction point through Cylindo. We are now able to provide potential customers beautifully composed imagery with true-to-life textures and shadows in 4K. This comfort has resulted in an increase in customer decisiveness and confidence shown by a faster time to purchase and users traveling deeper in the funnel at a higher rate.”
– Dan Gange, Director of E-commerce at EQ3
Aware of the importance of product visualization in the digital realm, EQ3 has more than 450 products configured and shown using the 360 HD Viewer. “All of our best-selling products are visualized with the 360 HD Viewer from Cylindo with all of our larger products on the way,” says Dan Gange.
The 360 HD Viewer was just the beginning. EQ3 started exploring different use cases to utilize the full potential of their 3D content library.
Having ready-made 3D assets made it simple for EQ3 to use them for a 3D room planning tool. Instead of spending more time, money, and energy on creating new assets, they were able to repurpose their high-quality 3D assets easily and use them in Floorplanner, a space planning tool that Cylindo integrates with.2
The furniture buyer journey is evolving right in front of our eyes. Convenience is the new currency. To enrich the online shopping experience, EQ3 introduced web-native augmented reality, which allowed customers to explore AR without downloading a mobile app.
After AR’s initial success, they updated the desktop product page experience featuring a QR code that pops up when customers click the “View in AR” button on a desktop. By doing this, they increased user adoption of AR. In addition to their product pages, they plan to use AR assets in the Google Shopping feed.
Ready-made images for shopping feeds and marketplaces
Generating product images for a Google shopping feed or other marketplaces can be daunting and cumbersome.
Using Cylindo’s Content API, a programmatic method of generating customized visuals, they were able to cut the process of providing Google shopping feed images from six months to 1-2 hours. Furthermore, they use Cylindo Create to generate images for third-party marketplaces such as Hudson’s Bay.
With Cylindo Create, EQ3 can easily generate imagery of multiple products in numerous configurations with a few clicks.
Hudson’s Bay is a Canadian department store chain, where 70-80% of all images EQ3 uses are created from its 3D assets from Cylindo. “Thanks to Cylindo Create we were able to generate these files significantly cutting down both traditional photography costs as well as processing time,” said Dan.
Leverage assets from other brands
EQ3 is a vertically integrated company, but in addition to its own product line, it sells products from other well-known furniture brands.
With Cylindo Connect, EQ3 leverages content from the platform, produced for brands that partner with Cylindo. Using high-quality visuals from other brands allows EQ3 to offer a rich visual experience across the board.
Enhancing the in-store experience
E-commerce isn’t the hero to retail’s villain. The future is omnichannel. That said, brick-and-mortar stores will evolve into experiential retail, relying on advanced technology to enhance the overall experience.
EQ3 uses the 360 HD Viewer to create an endless aisle that allows customers to browse and order products that are not showcased in-store. They can even order products that are out of stock.
(average order value)
Engaging customer experience and a 36% increase in conversions
Using Cylindo’s Analytics solution that comes with Google Analytics integration, EQ3 can easily track the success of its 360 HD Viewer and web-AR experiences and look at metrics such as conversion rates, transactions, and average order value (AOV).
After implementing the 360 HD Viewer, EQ3 witnessed staggering results:
36% increase in conversions
88% increase in AOV (average order value)
116% increase in page views
Furthermore, with the 360 HD Viewer, EQ3’s customers could visualize exactly what they were going to get, resulting in fewer product returns.
The best part is that EQ3’s team found a solution to simplify customization and empower visitors to explore different product configurations in a user-friendly way.
All of our best-selling products are visualized with the 360 HD Viewer from Cylindo with all of our larger products on the way.
Apart from a direct impact on conversions, EQ3 noticed a ‘halo effect’ across products. Individuals purchasing items that are not visualized by Cylindo were more likely to buy the items if they have interacted with the 360 HD Viewer.
Web AR results are even more impressive. Customers were fully immersed in the seamless web-native AR experience, right from the browser. EQ3 found out that a shopper who uses AR has a 112% bigger conversion rate compared to someone who doesn’t use AR. What’s more, AR users have a two times higher AOV.
Looking ahead, EQ3 plans to expand its partnership with Cylindo across even more use cases to build an outstanding end-to-end furniture shopping experience.
EQ3 is a furniture and home goods designer, manufacturer, and retailer with a unique Canadian approach that considers not only the design of a product, but the process. They focus on making furniture that’s timeless, not trendy. EQ3 strives to offer designs that not only solve problems but will last, so customers can trust that their pieces are made with the best materials, in collaboration with the best partners available.