With merchants and brands increasing investments to align with digitalization strategies, efforts are being thwarted by a variety of compatibility issues. For example, 3D assets that are being used for supply chain collaborations “are unsuited to use elsewhere” or are “being stored in incompatible file formats and different, disconnected data sources,” noted PTC in a statement today, adding that file sizes of these 3D assets “are so large that their use in product development and sales and marketing scenarios is hindered without extensive manual rework.”
By way of a solution, PTC has teamed up with VNTANA “to empower retail, apparel, footwear, and accessories companies to seamlessly scale their use of 3D in product design, development, and downstream consumer experiences,” the companies said.
PTC’s FlexPLM now enables automatic optimization of 3D assets “by leveraging VNTANA’s patented algorithms, making it significantly easier to use and collaborate with those assets than previously possible,” PTC noted.
Bill Brewster, senior vice president and general manager of PTC’s Retail Business Unit, explained the impetus by this new solution. He said as e-commerce has been bolstered by the global pandemic (as consumers turned up the dial on online shopping), the supply chain has experienced disruptions that have “created an acute need for remote, visual collaboration — forcing brands and retailers of all sizes to rapidly increase their use of 3D assets for design, development, and digital engagement and sale.”
PTC said the demand for 3D in retail “increased dramatically in 2020, with recent research suggesting that more than 90 percent of brand and retail leaders believe that the pandemic accelerated the need for digital product creation.”
PTC noted that this growth has been compounded by “pre-existing market forces such as digital-native consumers, increased social media shopping and a timeline for capitalizing on trends that can be measured in weeks rather than years” while the scope of 3D strategies “has also evolved.” This evolution has taken product development from physical samples to digital alternatives to now “bringing products to life on e-commerce websites with augmented reality applications,” the company said.
Ashley Crowder, co-founder and chief executive officer of VNTANA, said the company is “specifically designed to solve these business challenges as brands look to make more use of their 3D assets across the retail value chain.”
“With this collaboration, FlexPLM users can easily collaborate on 3D models and instantly share a web-standard version that can be used not only for in-house design reviews and supply chain collaboration, but also across social media, e-commerce, and digital advertising, which have proven to double online conversion rate and reduce returns by 40 percent, the CEO added. “We are excited to reach the largest pool of retail PLM users through our work with PTC.”