A Sydney-based startup is leveraging the power of 3D printing to put customers’ minds at ease when it comes to buying expensive items online.
StyleRocks, an online marketplace that sells customisable jewellery, now allows customers to buy a 3D model of their purchase to make sure the item’s dimensions and design are exactly what they are after.
Pascale Helyar-Moray, who started the website in 2011, told StartupSmart consumers want more customisation and flexibility these days when it comes to high-end purchases.
“The number of mass customisation websites has more than doubled in the last five years,” she says. “The ability to have something that is exactly right for you appeals to all of us because there’s six billion people in the world today and we’re all looking to make our mark.”
The 3D-printed model – which is made of white polymer – is available for $29.95 and redeemable against the product. Helyar-Moray says this new option will help minimise the risks around incorrect purchases for no extra cost to the customer.
“One of the challenges being online is people can’t touch and see the product,” she says. “What we thought would be a really good way to bridge the online and offline world is to offer the 3D printing service.”
Helyar-Moray says the jewellery sector is very traditional and should be open to more innovation.
“Jewellery is one of the last bastions of the offline retail world,” she said. “Everyone can buy a toaster online – but jewellery is a very physical product. It requires comfort and trust in the jeweller.”