Marxent is a 3D virtual products platform that allows consumers to visualize and configure complex purchases in an immersive, customizable and interactive way. It has created a content management system to help retailers and manufacturers upload their content, to create 3D representations of their products. Marxent’s VisualCommerce™ platform uses file formats and geometric rendering to enable retailers and manufacturers to store and manage 3D models of entire product catalogs that can then be used to populate dynamic AR and VR applications. Users can arrange products into a scene in real time, or export high-quality versions of 3D products for use in print campaigns, completely replacing product photography.
Value Creating Product Capabilities: Augmented reality and virtual reality applications powered by VisualCommerce™ help buyers to visualize their ideas by allowing them to dynamically configure multiple items within a 3D scene. The experiences create a more exciting path-to-purchase for consumers, particularly when it comes to high-consideration or large scale purchases. The technology also helps retailers and manufacturers reduce marketing, visual merchandising and sales costs.
The ability to create a visual experience for the customer has the potential to transform the functioning of e-commerce model and open up an entirely new class of products like furniture which the users were not able to buy at home as they wanted to see the product and assess its fit in their homes. The same can now be made possible through an immersive experience of seeing the product placed in the vicinity of their homes.
Business Model: One of the biggest advantage of the VisualCommerce™ platform is, that it has been designed as cross-platform compatible supporting Google Tango, iOS, Android and HMD/Samsung GearVR and all emerging HUD and AR technologies. This enables efficient, scalable upload and distribution of 3D media files since the software leverages the readily accessible commercial technology such as smartphones and tablets, as opposed to sensors and video projectors often used to create immersive virtual environments.
It is a robust AR/VR SaaS platform that can be scaled to the enterprise through a pilot program which demonstrates value with an efficient time-to-market. Once validated, it’s the Pilot can be easily upgraded to a complete 3D inventory of products. Applications include sales demos, events, service and ecommerce. Publication options include custom branded apps (white label) or integration into an existing mobile app (SDK). The platform works for manufacturers and wholesalers, sales organizations, furniture & flooring manufacturers, car dealerships, home product retailers or manufacturers, multichannel retailers, e-commerce websites, catalog retailers, POS or POP displays.
Value Capture: As expounded by Beck Besecker, co-founder and CEO, the company did not try to create new demand but rather focused on existing areas where they could help their clients use this technique. Since investing in visualization, visual merchandising and customer experience have always been a core tenet of retail and direct sales models, it was easy to showcase the commercial use of this product and create a market as an enterprise-ready solution.
The company thus capitalized on an opportunity to enhance the regular visual merchandising model such as photography, paint samples, store windows and catalogs with a more involved 3D high-tech experience which sis waste-free, portable, device agnostic and has a limited footprint. There is a wide range offered in terms of services and pricing. For AR apps, it ranges from free do-it-yourself (DIY) services to custom Augmented Reality apps built for enterprise customers that run north of $300K.
Custom experiences are in the range of $25 – $30K. Marxent employs each custom project with a team of experienced developers, 3D artists, graphic designers and a project manager which has been a key to their success as it helps the customer to understand and adapt to a new technology and its uses. Examples of custom experiences include the Jurassic Park Experience, created for Universal Studios Orlando, the IKEA AR Catalog and the One Direction campaign by Zappar.
With the help of a modest venture funding of $4 million from Detroit Venture Partners the company has witnessed a growth of about 100% a year for the past three years. The company’s products have been used by Ashley Furniture, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and AZEK Building Products. It seems to be poised for growth since it has successfully co-opted the system and leveraged upon existing business-opportunities to make the initial headway. For its future growth, it will have to work on the marketing of its growth so that it becomes a value proposition for every industry to showcase their product to the end consumer. Having a good product and an innovative technology would not be of use if they could not create a market to apply it to. Little wonder that a company started in 2011 has been recognized by Edison Awards 2016 for disrupting retail and manufacturing Industries with its 3D virtual products platform.