Harnessing the Power of Digital Twins for eCommerce

Updated on: May 28, 2024

3D Design

7 minute read

As we gradually step into the middle of 2024, we have witnessed a lot of transformative advancements in the eCommerce industry. Be it 3D product modeling, product visualization, adoption of AR/VR, and the like. One such technological marvel is a digital twin, or a virtual replica of a product. It is undoubtedly a cutting-edge technology that has transformed online commerce and ushered it towards digital transformation.

As mentioned, digital twins or replicas of eCommerce products offer more than just a dynamic shopping experience to customers. They also provide valuable insights for marketers or business analysts into consumer behavior and preferences. This further enables them to tailor their service offerings to their customers’ tastes.

This interesting resource will unravel the power and impact digital twins have over the eCommerce realm and how they cater to the evolving needs of modern consumers. We will also discuss the various ways e-tailers are using this technology and what the future has in store for it. So, stick with us until the end. It is going to be a thrilling read, for sure.

Let’s begin!

What is a digital twin?

Before proceeding with the bigger details, let us first gain a basic understanding of what digital twins are. As mentioned above, digital twin is the virtual representation of an object, or a prototype, existing in the real world. This digital replica accurately replicates or simulates its physical counterpart using Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things. These virtual twins have multiple applications across diverse industries, such as manufacturing, construction, urban planning, fashion, scientific research, healthcare, aerospace, and so on. Among all of these, the most notable industry is eCommerce.

What are the components of digital twins?

  • Physical entity: First, is the physical object or the counterpart based on which the twin is created. The digital replica can represent anything, from a single product to complex systems.
  • Digital replica: This is the actual 3D product design developed by 3D technologies and data. Digital replica: This is the actual 3D product design made using 3D technologies and data. The digital twin 3D model is dynamic and constantly evolves with real-time data from its physical counterpart. This is important for its accurate simulation of the real-world object’s attributes.
  • Data collection: Data is the backbone of any digital replica. The data can be collected through IoT devices, sensors, or other data collection systems. For eCommerce virtual product replicas, the data includes consumer behavior, buying pattern, tastes, preferences, etc.
  • Connectivity: The seamless exchange of data between the physical object and its digital replica happens through the Internet. This connectivity is vital for real-time control and continuous monitoring of the twin.
  • Data analysis: Algorithms and simulation tools based on ML (Machine Learning) are leveraged to churn the data from the physical entity. This is further used to improve the twin and identify any potential issues.

Curious to know what advantages the eCommerce sector can avail of from these digital product twins? Let’s find out.

What advantages do digital twins have in eCommerce?

There are several advantages that eCommerce marketers can get from having digital replicas of their products. Simply put, the concept has revolutionized the sector and how customers interact with businesses. The best part is that the adoption is not limited to bigger enterprises and brands but has also influenced start-ups or SMEs. Numerous small and scaling online businesses have leaned on the concept of having a virtual replica of their products or processes.

In this section, let’s shed some light on the benefits and advantages that digital twins bring to eCommerce.

  1. Improved and personalized consumer shopping experience

    • Interactive product visualization

      Prospective buyers can interact with virtual product replicas within a 3D-generated digital environment. They can rotate the product in multiple angles, get 360-degree views, zoom-in or out, check cross-sectional views, and more. This 3D product visualization helps them understand the product more than by viewing static product photos.

    • Real-time product configuration

      Digital twins for eCommerce products empower prospects to configure or customize the products in real-time. They can personalize each product based on their taste and preferences. They can add variation to the model, change color, texture, or material, add features, or modify specifications. These product configurators eventually reduce product return rates as well as lower the need to create multiple prototypes.

    • AR-based virtual try-ons

      This is probably one of the best attributes of virtual twins. Powered by AR technology, customers can check a product, whether a furniture piece, an electric appliance, or a furnishing item, to see how it looks within their home settings. As the virtual “try-on” concept further evolves, we have consumers try eyewear, apparel, and even cosmetics on them and get a preview of them. This amazing level of personalization helps buyers make more informed choices.

  2. Business operations efficiency

    • Supply chain management

      This is advantageous for full-fledged eCommerce businesses where supply chain and logistics are predominant. By simulating the entire supply chain process, the twins can reduce bottlenecks, lower lead times, and identify inefficiencies in the process. The logistics part can also be optimized, thus enhancing the overall supply chain performance, and empowering the business to operate smoothly.

    • Inventory optimization

      Businesses can optimize their inventory more effectively with real-time data provided by these twins created digitally. Apart from predicting consumer behaviors, the replicas also accurately predict demand and product availability, thus helping inventory managers optimize stock levels. This further reduces the hassles of overstocking and understocking, leading to cost savings.

    • Quality management and control

      Online businesses can monitor the quality of their products during the product manufacturing process with the twins. Since they can identify potential manufacturing defects and design inconsistencies in real-time, brand owners can rectify these issues before they reach consumers. This proactive approach taken by the virtual prototypes or twins, boosts brand reputation to a great extent.

  3. Competitive edge

    • Innovation with rapid prototyping

      With rapid prototyping and testing, digital twins empower brands to develop and test new products in a digital environment. These 3D digital product twins developed using 3D printing technology reduce the effort, cost, and time associated with multiple physical prototypings. This not only expedites the production cycle but also enables companies to experiment with design variations and functionalities. All of this can be done before the product finally reaches the market, ensuring consumers receive only the best ones.

    • Improved product lifecycle

      The management of product lifecycle becomes much more effective with digitally generated twins being continuously monitored and updated. Right from the initial design and development phase, to the sale and post-sale support, these online replicas provide a more than comprehensive view of the products. Design engineers can analyze product performance and subsequent maintenance needs. This reduces physical returns and enhances overall customer satisfaction.

  4. Sustainability

    • Energy efficient

      Digital twins are developed using digital and 3D technologies, hence, the entire process is energy efficient. Unlike the creation of physical prototypes of product pieces, this process is entirely software-generated. This ultimately is an energy efficient process.

    • Waste reduction

      The reduced need for physical prototypes lowers material waste and by-products. Product developers can resort to 3D modeling software and generate the 3D digital models without generating a single material waste. Apart from this, better inventory management and supply chain optimization lead to fewer unsold products and rate returns. Thus, adding to the sustainability factor.

  5. Data-driven analytics

    • Consumer behavior evaluation

      Digitally created twins collect a chunk of Big Data, focusing entirely on how consumers interact with products, what inspires them, and what discourages them. Further insights include purchase patterns, preferences, and usage behavior. This wealth of data can be mined to refine product offerings, marketing strategies, and customer service approaches.

    • Predictive analysis

      The best leverage that an eCommerce brand has using digital product replicas is the ability to predict future trends. Using ML technology, the twins can analyze historical and real-time data and perform a near-accurate predictive analysis. This helps digital marketers anticipate market demands, develop target marketing campaigns, and plan for seasonal variations. In the long run, they can make better strategic planning and business decisions.

Well, that pretty much sums up the multitude of benefits eCommerce businesses get from adopting virtual replicas. From enhancing the customer experience, optimizing inventory, and enhancing operational efficiency, to providing data-driven insights, eCommerce brands get all these and more. As more and more R&D is done in 3D digital twin technology, its impact on the sector is all set to grow, offering unique opportunities to thrive in a competitive landscape.

How are online retailers using digital twins?

There are several high-value use cases where online retailers are putting online product twins to best use. Given the competitive edge they provide to online brand owners, adopting them on mass scale is the right choice. Let’s see a few of the instances.

Perhaps the best way we see online businesses leveraging 3D digital twins is by using 3D product models for customer engagement, as well as promotional activities. Global brands like Home Depot, Target, IKEA, Amazon, and so on have already adopted the technology for product showcasing purposes. They have AR-embedded QR codes that can be scanned through a simple smartphone, which will ultimately create a 3D-generated overlay of the product onto a real-world setting. This overlaid digital content is what gives customers the best understanding of the product, allowing them to make more informed choices.

3D asset models are also used in product configurators, allowing retailers to offer their customers a real-time product configuration or customization option. They can instantly change product attributes like color, model, texture, material, dimension, and finish tailored to their taste.

With engaging product 3D visuals rendered in a lifestyle approach, eCommerce product sellers can increase conversion rates by up to 200% and reduce product returns. 3D visualization or product rendering gives the digital assets or twins a photorealistic appearance that emotionally triggers their buying spree.

Another instance is the US-based retailers Walmart and Lowes testing out 3D digital replicas of their existing physical locations for renovation purposes. The assets accurately simulate the stores within virtual environments and allow operational leaders to try out different variations, display placements, shelving configurations, and staffing scenarios. This reduces months of work and helps the planners create an optimal layout for renovating the physical store.

How does the future of eCommerce look with digital twins?

Forward-thinking, visionary brand owners will increasingly invest in 3D technology that aids in digitizing their physical products. More and more 3D software that effectively converts 2D assets into 3D models will dominate the market. Immersive shopping experiences driven by AR/VR, ML, and Metaverse technologies will be much more preferred by next-generation customers. Among these, AI technology will steal the limelight.

Well, the future predictions show all these emerging trends for online commerce. This is partially driven by the forecast that by 2025, 75% of global consumers will be AR users. And to some extent, the trends are also driven by the urge to reduce operational costs, environmental impacts, optimize inventory, manage supply chains, manage over- or under-stocking, and so on.

By prioritizing digital transformation and the remarkable capabilities offered by digital twins, the sooner marketers them, the better. The message is clear to them. Collaboration with accomplished 3D design companies offering stellar product modeling and rendering services is mandatory for best-tailored results.


Summing things up, three-dimensional digital twins will redefine the eCommerce industry in 2024 and beyond. It is undoubtedly an innovative technology that, when used meticulously, can:

  • Enhance customer experience
  • Make the shopping experience more immersive
  • Optimize supply chain
  • Improve operational efficiency and sustainability, and
  • Offer predictive analysis

That said, every online retailer must adopt these dynamic virtual replicas of their physical products and meet the ever-evolving consumer demands. With time, we will see virtual replicas are further integrated with IoT, blockchain, Metaverse, and so on.

However, to harness the technology’s full potential, marketers and brand owners must work with professionals. Partner with a 3D modeling services provider and keep attracting and retaining customers in 2024 and beyond.

Contact Us

Sushmita Roy

A seasoned 3D professional with a creative focused, and a knack for diverse 3D designs, software and the technology. She's associated with ThePro3DStudio for long enough to prove her mettle and make every 3D projects successful. When she’s not busy working for a new project, she shares valuable insights from her own experience.