Rollie Nation, an Australian fashion brand founded in 2012, is best known for its stylish shoes currently being sold in over ten countries worldwide.
Vince Lebon, the company’s founder and footwear designer, started Rollie Nation with a mission to create the perfect travel shoe that would be light and comfortable. That required both creativity and innovation, which became a part of the brand's DNA from the very start.
When you sell products in a physical shop, it’s easier to make customers fall in love: they can touch, feel and experience the product the way they want. And when it comes to online shopping, it’s no surprise that recreating that highly tactile in-store experience takes more than a couple of static pictures.
Hoping to redefine the virtual shoe-shopping journey, the Rollie Nation team set out to look for digital-first solutions that would put the excitement back into online shopping. Communicating product innovation was a key consideration for this design-led brand. They needed a way to showcase each pair from every angle, with the ability to zoom in and out for a detailed close-up and to spin the item around for a 360° view. With 3D product visualization and augmented reality solutions, Rollie Nation was able to achieve that and much more.
After learning that Shopify was natively integrating 3D, the team decided it was time to experiment with the immersive technology and upgrade their eCommerce game.
“A lot of companies were selling their own platforms and I wasn’t interested in that. I wanted to work with someone who was working with the native application in Shopify and that’s where Modelry led the most. You weren’t selling me a service, an app that plugs in. It’s not an iframe that gets loaded into a page, it’s something we can plug and play directly into our Shopify store. Also, the cost was a factor and CGTrader was commercially priced, allowing us to roll it out at scale. I didn’t want to have it tested with many shoes and then have to find another vendor later,” remembers Vince Lebon, the company’s founder.
As with any other creative work, customer involvement is needed to ensure the final result fully meets customer expectations, and it’s no exception in the 3D modeling process. Having worked with 3D modeling in the past, Vince understood how crucial the quality assurance process was.
Modelry has a very robust 3D model revision platform, where you can upload the 3D model, point to certain things, and say “fix this, fix that“. I think that is a game-changer in this space, instead of emails or me having it to bring in Photoshop and point to certain things. That was really well done. And you have AR built directly into the platform, which is really nice because you can start to look at the use case of how you actually have it.
- Vince Lebon, Founder, CEO, and Designer at Rollie Nation
When choosing their first products to bring to 3D, the Rollie team decided upon a new product category that was going to be introduced to the market. Since it was just launched, it was essential to let shoppers experience it in a new way.
The initial results were impressive: the selected sneakers’ category became the company's third highest-selling category within the first two months after the launch. As Vince states: “I believe that 3D had a significant part to play with that just because people thought it was super cool. They could spin it around, they could see it in their space. It was a great way to showcase our new designs and amplify the new product offering.”
Rollie Nation implemented 35+ models in their online shop. 3D and AR implementation allowed Rollie Nation to:
Implementing 3D and AR solutions helped Rollie Nation streamline business processes in multiple areas: from product design to selling wholesale to selling directly to consumers.
3D and Augmented Reality solutions allowed Rollie to improve their online shopping experience, showcase the products in a better light, this way helping the consumers to experience products and the brand better and allow them to interact. Since the pandemic made brick-and-mortar shops shut down, the ability to experience the entire collection in 3D in their home became the company's competitive advantage.
The company has been successfully using QR codes in its line sheets and has streamlined its order placing process.
As Vince recalls: “Just yesterday, I was talking with one of my sales reps in New Zealand and he had a customer that asked, “Can you Photoshop this new color?”. I just did it in 3D and sent it to him. He was placing a thousand pairs order on that shoe without seeing a physical shoe and he said “I don’t even need a sample as it looked that good”. 20 years ago, without Photoshop, he would have needed to send a fax! Now, in literally 15 minutes, he was able to give an official order and felt comfortable and confident that he could place it from a 3D image.”
Being a designer himself, Vince contributes to the creation of new collections. Leveraging 3D prototyping, he can now accelerate the development of new collections and test out different materials directly in 3D. It helps streamline a lot of the creative work as it gives a good understanding of design limitations and the end result.
Vince believes that 3D/AR affect many different parts of the customer journey and push people all the way through. “If you created an attribution model, 3D would attribute to a lot of the sales throughout the customer journey and the funnel. A lot of numbers may not show up initially but I honestly believe that it is going to have a very big effect. Even when I show it to some of my friends, they are blown away by how realistic and cool it looks. So you get cool credibility, you get people talking about it to their friends, and word of mouth will also play a big part in driving more sales through the 3D effect,” shares Vince.
Vince strongly believes that 3D and Augmented Reality will have a huge effect on multiple business areas, especially since it’s becoming widely accessible, and it will change the way we interact with products and brands.
When you think about what imagery did to online and what videos did to Instagram… 3D is going to do the same thing because 3D is literally just a new way of communicating something. I believe that Google Shopping is going to play a big part in leading the 3D way. I think the fact that Google, Android, and Apple are investing so much in 3D is very exciting.
-Vince Lebon, Founder, CEO, and Designer at Rollie Nation