I love it when I go to an online store and can play with the product images. Getting to physically see, touch, and assess the product you’re about to buy is the one thing that’s really missing in the online environment from the retail store experience. 2D product images can only go so far in compensating for that. Interactive images take that experience and make it better. How much more awesome are rotatable, 360o product images?
Great interactive images help me decide if I really want to buy. The better view I can get of the product, the more likely it is to make it into my cart. The better view you’re able to give, the more likely your customers are to get to the checkout with your product. Let’s look at how you can give your customers a fully interactive experience with 360° product images for WordPress now!
3 WordPress Plugins for Adding 360° Product Images
These types of plugins seem to unfortunately be somewhat limited in availability, which is a shame. Some of you entrepreneuring plugin developers out there might want to take note! I’ve found one good one in the WordPress repository that’s available free. After that I had to turn to premium offerings. Let’s start out at the repo and move on from there.
This is a little bit of work to set up, but the carrot at the end of the stick (enhanced interactive images) are worth it. On activation, you’ll find a new 360 Views options under Media in your dashboard, and some optional options under Settings as well. Now here’s the catch.
The plugin adds a new folder to your WordPress install under wp-content/uploads named yofla360. First, you’re going to have to take a series of photos that give a full 360o view of the product when taken together and put them in their own folder. Then, using FTP, upload that folder to wp-content/uploads/yofla360. After you’ve uploaded the folder of images into that directory, it will appear under “Available 360o Views”. Using their provided demo backpack as an example:
Clicking “embed it” gives you a popup with shortcode in it. All you have to do is copy the shortcode and paste it wherever you want the 360 view image to display. 360 Product Rotation does all the work for you. Check it out:
This is an official WooCommerce addon available on woocommerce.com. If you’re a Woo user, this might be the perfect 360 product image plugin for you. If you’re not, then this one probably isn’t much use to you. Let’s look at advantages and disadvantages of this plugin over the free 360 Product Rotation plugin in the repo:
- Easier to implement- you still have to take and upload images, but you do that straight to the Woo product image gallery, no FTP required.
- Touch responsive!
- Place with a shortcode
- Integrate perfectly with WooCommerce
- I’m always hesitant to list price as a disadvantage- you get what you pay for, after all. But the reality is, some of us are on a budget. This plugin will set you back $50 for a single site license. It’s certainly not an unreasonable price- far from it- but it’s a consideration if you’re building on a tight budget.
Smart Product Viewer is available on the Envato Market. It’ll set you back $20 for a single site license with 6 months support. It has almost 800 lifetime sales and practically perfect user reviews, which is very encouraging. It’s also regularly updated, so there’s a high degree of confidence here that you’re going to get your money’s worth. Let’s again look at advantages and disadvantages relative to the free offering in the repo:
- Animations! In addition to the 360 rotational view, you get an animated option that the user controls using a slider. Check out their live preview to see what I mean.
- Fullscreen lightbox option
- Easier to implement, no FTP needed.
- Touch screen support!
- Only one, really. You upload your series of product images that the plugin uses to compile the 3D view directly to your media library. I can see this making one heck of a mess out of your media library, though the search feature introduced in WordPress 4.7 would mitigate that to a degree.
Do you know of any other 360 product images plugins? If so, let us know! We’d love to know what you use for these if you have something different up your sleeve. As I mentioned earlier, there seems to be a dearth of them out there. Also, what’s been your experience with using interactive images like this? What’s your customer feedback been like? Tell us about it in the comments!
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