What is 360 Product Photography Software?
This digital tool creates 360-degree rotating images of products, allowing customers to view the product from all angles without physically handling it. You use this software to combine all the rotation images into one file and make it interactive or just a simple rotation.
Some of this software help you with the whole process; capture, edit and publish 360 images for e-commerce platforms.
There are different solutions to create these 360 images.
Automated 360 photo solution
Automated 360 product photography allows users to capture 360-degree images automatically from all angles using specialized equipment, such as rotating turntables, cameras, and software.
Big companies that can afford to automate fully commonly use this solution. With a bit of manual reading, you can shoot amazing 360-spinning images.
This automated solution has its pros and cons. Here are some:
- Increases turnaround times
- Processes more orders in less time
- Consistent results
- You don’t need to be a photographer to operate it
- It takes less space to produce the images in some cases. This is dependent on the product size
- It’s pretty expensive to acquire the equipment.
- It needs different devices for the type of product
- If you need to solve a photography challenge, you can get stuck
- The learning curve is less steep.
- Less creative. It’s a volume solution.
This automated 360 photo solution ranges from $10.000 for small products to USD 40.000 for more oversized items to buy the equipment.
Traditional 360 photo solution
A traditional 360 product photography solution is a method where you shoot a full product rotation and then put them together with specialized software. This method involves traditional photography gear like a camera, tripod, lights, turntable, etc.
This traditional solution has its pros and cons too:
- More affordable to buy the gear.
- You can repurpose the gear for any product. Simple changes go a long way.
- No ceiling for creativity
- Consistent results. If you have the right photographer.
- The 360 images will have a creative touch. Different than everyone else
- The learning curve is steeper to get the proper results.
- You need a product photographer in some cases.
- You need more space to execute the photoshoot
- It takes more time to produce high-volume images.
This traditional 360 photo solution ranges from $3.000 to 10.000 USD.
When digging into 360 product photography, you should pay attention to the platform where the 360 images will be hosted.
Make sure your e-commerce platform runs in sync with the file output you receive from your 360-degree photography software before starting this technique. Usually, the output is an HTML, animated GIF, or video.
The most common e-commerce platforms ready for 360 photography are:
- WordPress and Woocommerce
- Adobe Commerce (previously Magento)
Depending on the platform and the 360 software you use, you would need a plug-in to run the interactive image on your e-commerce site.
Hosting the 360 image
Even though we are talking about one 360 picture, it is composed of 12, 24, 36, 48, or even more images. This means there is a need for more space and processing power from the server where your website is hosted.
E-commerce sites like Amazon don’t need 360 image hosting; they compose 360 images on their platform.
So, to make it simple, there are two options to host these 360 images on your eCommerce site:
This means that your images will be stored in the exact location where your site is hosted. The benefit of this is that you don’t need to pay for an extra hosting service for your 360 images.
The downside is that you need more hosting storage since these images are a compound of 12 – 36 images on average.
The other con is speed. As we said before, these are heavy images, and you could run into some slow-loading issues that can result in customers leaving your shop.
One way to tackle this speed issue is to have a CDN (Content Delivery Network) on your website.
360 image hosting
E-commerce platforms increasingly rely on 360 image hosting to provide customers with a better shopping experience.
If your website doesn’t manage the 360 images like Amazon, you should consider a 360 image hosting.
This type of hosting offers many benefits:
- Fast and reliable all the time. Your 360 images get replicated in different servers worldwide, so no matter where the client sees the image, it will load fast and smoothly.
- Quick sharing & integration. You get a link to your hosted media and share it on any eCommerce platform.
- Easy management. Uploading the images is as easy as posting photos on your social media.
This image hosting is ideal for those who don’t need the shooting or editing part of the process. This is only if you have the final 360 ready to post.
- Product visualizer from ATLATL
- PixRiot from Webrotate360
- SPINZAM from Orange Monkie
- Iconasys Stream Server
- SAAS Photo
- 360 Product View Creator
Many 360 image hostings offer 360 devices to produce great 360 product photography. Like, turntables, robotic arms, and lightboxes.
360 Product Photography Software
Many of the above-mentioned software provide all one solution, shooting, editing, and hosting. That’s why you will see some repeated names on this list.
- 360 Product View
- Magic 360
- Packshot Creator
- Webrotate 360
- Shutter Stream from Iconasys
The following options are available if you are thinking about using 360 images on your e-commerce site:
- Invest in an automated 360 photo solution
- Learn 360 product photography and buy the necessary equipment
- Hire a professional product photographer
If you already have the product images and need to compile and post them, you need to get an 360 image hosting. The other option is to use a web developer to help you embed the images into your website.
If you are still thinking about hiring a product photographer, I recommend reading my article in-house vs. outsourcing product photography