Survey: Consumers Say 3D Product Images Sell, Lead to Fewer Product Returns

Results Show That 3D Is the New Business Normal and That Consumers Expect to See 3D Images of Products Before They Buy

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — August 23, 2010 — A strong majority of consumers say being able to see 3D images of prospective purchases online makes them more likely to buy those products, more likely to consider them high quality and less likely to return them, according to an Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) Design Survey conducted in early June.

At the same time, more than two-thirds of respondents suggest they would like to learn about products through 3D images that can be zoomed in and out, and they prefer web sites that allow them to see how a product works in the real world before they purchase.

“The business takeaway is clear: 3D is now mandatory table stakes for doing business – it’s expected by consumers embracing 3D images in movies, games and, soon, TVs and computers,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “The good news is affordable 3D visualization tools that drive sales and boost margins for merchants and manufacturers are now available to give consumers what they expect.”

Among the findings on 3D visualization and probable consumer behavior in a survey conducted by Infogroup’s Opinion Research Corporation (ORC):

  • More than 80 percent of consumers say online 3D images make them more likely to purchase a product.
  • 65 percent say they would be less likely to return a product after viewing it in 3D online.
  • 78 percent say 3D images make them “comfortable” that the product they are viewing is high quality.
  • About 60 percent say they would be more likely to purchase if they had 3D instructions showing how to assemble and use a product.
  • Though consumers say 3D makes them more likely to buy and less likely to return products, only 31 percent say they would pay more for a product they see in 3D online. In other words, they prefer 3D and expect to see it.
  • Preference for 3D images online increases with income: half of those with annual incomes below $35,000 prefer 3D images of something they are interested in buying, while 70 percent with annual incomes of $100,000 or more prefer 3D.
  • Consumers under 65 prefer viewing 3D website images of products they are interested in buying, while consumers over 65 prefer print brochures.

“There’s a mother lode of strategic business lessons in these results. Basically, 3D is the new business normal,” said Kross.

About the Survey

From June 5 through June 7, 2010, ORC conducted telephone interviews with 1,005 adults in a random sample of households (one interview per household). To ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population 18 years of age or older, ORC weighted the survey results by four demographic characteristics: age, sex, geographic region and race.

The sampling error associated with a sample size of 1,005 is no more than plus/minus 3.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. This means that if this survey were repeated 100 times with separate samples, the results for individual questions would be within plus/minus 3.1 percentage points in 95 surveys out of 100.

For more information regarding the survey, visit

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries – including the last 15 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects – use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

Autodesk and AutoCAD are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

© 2010 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.


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