Gain valuable insights from Alexandre de Vigan, Founder, and CEO of Nfinite, as he shares his journey and expertise in this exclusive interview.
The rise of digital technologies and the increasing demand for sustainable solutions have created new challenges and opportunities in various industries, from energy and transportation to finance and healthcare. However, many organizations struggle to leverage the full potential of these trends and face complex trade-offs between innovation and risk management, cost and impact, short-term results, and long-term value.
To explore these issues and learn from the experiences of leading entrepreneurs and experts in the field, we are delighted to welcome Alexandre de Vigan, the Founder, and CEO of Nfinite, a pioneering company that helps organizations accelerate their digital transformation while reducing their carbon footprint. With over 20 years of experience in strategy consulting, entrepreneurship, and sustainability, Alexandre has a unique perspective on how to navigate the intersection of technology, business, and the environment.
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Alexandre, please tell us about your background and what ultimately led you to entrepreneurship.
After completing my law degree, I became a lawyer specializing in Mergers and Acquisitions. Although I found the work enjoyable, I felt a lack of fulfillment in my ability to bring about significant changes in the business world. I decided to depart from the law and pursue entrepreneurship to have more influence over business outcomes. As a result, I am presently the founder and CEO of Nfinite.
Tell us more about Nfinite and how it sets itself apart from other online merchandising platforms.
Nfinite is a comprehensive e-commerce platform that empowers retailers and brands to produce, exhibit, and supervise an infinite number of premium product visuals instantly, without the need for photography. Through cutting-edge photorealistic computer-generated imagery (CGI), it provides an advanced range of product images, such as interactive and lifestyle visuals, to establish engaging and immersive shopping experiences for shoppers.
Can you walk us through how Nfinite helps businesses optimize their online merchandising strategy?
The current state of e-merchandising is inadequate, leaving retailers in need of a remedy that can match the needs of e-commerce merchandising. E-merchandising faces obstacles with an outdated content stack that obstructs the production of high-quality and flexible imagery, which can provide genuinely immersive product experiences for online shoppers.
Nfinite comes as a comprehensive Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, offering an end-to-end solution for creating, displaying, and managing unlimited product visuals promptly. It utilizes advanced CGI and 3D technology to assist brands in establishing more dynamic and seamless online operations across various channels. Nfinite outperforms traditional photography by reducing costs, increasing market agility, minimizing product returns, and enhancing sales conversion rates.
How does Nfinite stay ahead of the competition and continue to innovate in the fast-paced e-commerce space?
Being the industry pioneer in e-merchandising, we take pride in designing next-generation technology and product imagery for the home furnishing, consumer packaged goods, and big-box retail industries. Our mission is to empower brands and retailers by enabling them to produce appealing product visuals that connect with shoppers in a matter of minutes, not months. With our advanced 3D CGI technology and a proficient global team, we have established ourselves as the industry leader in providing photorealistic product visuals for some of the world’s most prominent retailers.
Can you tell us some important insights from the recent research that you conducted with Coresight Research? What changes should marketers anticipate with the rise of CGI and 3D product imagery in the e-commerce sector?
According to the survey, lifestyle product photos/images and interactive images are among the top three most utilized product visuals for e-commerce, with over three in five (63%) brands and retailers employing them. Other insights from the research are as follows:
- Managing and producing product visuals is a challenge for 41% of brands and retailers due to high costs.
- Over half (55%) of brands and retailers reported that more than 10% of their online sales in 2021 were returned because the product visuals displayed did not match the delivered products.
- Almost all brands and retailers who invest in CGI for product visuals believe that it has benefited their production and management of visuals to some extent, with 49% reporting significant benefits. The most significant benefits, cited by roughly half of brands and retailers, are reduced product returns and improved market speed.
- 40% of brands and retailers reported that they currently invest in CGI, and 58% plan to invest in the future, while 60% plan to invest in AI for visual product content automation.
- The survey demonstrates that CGI and 3D image creation are essential for brands’ and retailers’ product visualization strategies, offering numerous benefits over traditional photography, such as speed to market, reduced product returns, and increased sales conversion. The cost-saving benefits of CGI can also help brands and retailers survive in an era of macroeconomic turbulence.
What are some of the biggest challenges that e-commerce businesses face, and how does Nfinite help address these challenges?
In the realm of e-commerce, grabbing and maintaining the attention of online shoppers is a crucial aspect that can influence their purchasing decisions. Because customers cannot physically see, touch, smell, or taste products, product images are pivotal in instilling confidence in their purchase decisions. Engaging product images not only elevates online sales but also contributes to establishing a brand’s reputation as professional and customer-centric.
A recent survey commissioned by Nfinite found that 96% of online retailers struggle with creating product images, which can be a challenging and ongoing investment for them. Retailers face several obstacles, including the cost of photo shoots and the difficulty of keeping images current as products change frequently.
However, the Nfinite platform eliminates the physical, technical, complexity, scaling, and budgetary challenges associated with visual production. By using advanced CGI technology, the Nfinite platform empowers retailers and brands to create, display, and manage unlimited product visuals. It has been demonstrated to materially increase web traffic and cart conversion rates while decreasing digital production costs.
What tech trends do you see emerging in the future of the e-commerce industry, and how is Nfinite positioning itself to stay ahead of the curve?
As consumers increasingly seek greater convenience and choice and want to feel a deeper connection with brands, 3D commerce is set to become the preferred online retailing method for brands globally. Technologies like computer-generated imagery offer a more authentic and engaging experience for consumers and can help online retailers achieve sustainability and efficiency gains without increasing costs or compromising time to market.
The Nfinite platform is driving transformative outcomes in e-commerce, resulting in significant increases in traffic, engagement, and sales. For instance, Nfinite’s Dynamic Display tool, which enables real-time product mixing and matching, has led to significant improvements in website and conversion performance, including a 2.5X rise in click-through rate, a 55% increase in conversion rate, and a 2.8X enhancement in repeat customer engagement.
How does Nfinite balance the needs and interests of both businesses and consumers using its platform?
Shoppers increasingly rely on high-quality photos to inform their purchase decision—88% of US consumers say high-quality product imagery is important when making online purchases, according to an Nfinite survey, The State of Shopper Sentiment. Retailers must reduce the time required to produce product visuals to remain competitive as business priorities and customer preferences shift rapidly. For example, photoshoots used to take around five weeks for French hypermarket chain E.Leclerc before the retailer partnered with Nfinite, according to the companies.
CGI technology has evolved, with more 3D photography studios emerging to help companies produce photorealistic product visuals at speed while improving image resolution to meet the interests of both businesses and consumers.
Can you discuss any recent developments or updates to Nfinite’s platform? How do you plan to scale its growth in 2023 and beyond?
Nfinite’s Dynamic Display is a groundbreaking feature that provides a new kind of immersive shopping experience for e-commerce. It enables shoppers to interact with a showroom, swap products in real-time, and add items directly to their cart, delivering a personalized shopping experience tailored to their preferences and context. This level of personalization has never been possible before, and it is revolutionizing the way online retailers engage with customers.
The impact of this immersive visual experience on click-through rates, conversion rates, repeat engagement, and average order volume has been significant. It is clear that retailers who prioritize delivering extraordinary experiences driven by visually appealing and inspiring content have the greatest potential to convert shoppers into customers. At Nfinite, we are enthusiastic about working with visionary online retailers who share our passion for creating exceptional customer experiences that inspire and convert.
What do you consider to be your greatest strength as a leader, and how do you leverage that strength in your role as CEO?
Successful business leadership requires time, focus, discipline, and unwavering self-belief. That said, humility and confidence are not mutually exclusive. While past business leaders may not have valued humility, employees today expect leaders to be empathetic and collaborative. I welcome my team’s suggestions to ensure we deliver value to our customers. Having a competitive spirit drives innovation and fosters new solutions to problems. Being relentless entails prioritizing the right initiatives and remaining focused in order to succeed, and I expect my colleagues to do the same. When faced with tough challenges, we seek the best resolution for ourselves and the team.
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