E-commerce has opened up endless possibilities for showcasing products online, but the limitations of traditional photography have held some brands back. Real human models are expensive, inconsistent, and restrictive. That’s why forward-thinking e-commerce businesses are now embracing virtual models as the future of product visualization.

This article will explore the game-changing benefits virtual models bring to e-commerce. We’ll examine how they enable customization, cost savings, speed, consistency and inclusion for online businesses. 

Read on to learn how virtual models can take your product pages to the next level. 

More Flexibility and Control

With virtual models, e-commerce retailers have much more flexibility and control compared to human models. It is easy to make:

This full customizability allows brands to showcase their products in the best possible way. Some examples include:

The possibilities are endless when full customization of virtual models is possible.

Lower Costs

The data suggests that human models tend to be more expensive than virtual (AI) models for photoshoots. The cost of photoshoots involving human models compared to virtual models reveals significant differences, especially in terms of financial efficiency and logistical simplicity. 

The below table presents the cost comparison between human and virtual models.

Aspect Human Models Virtual Models
Hourly Rates $50-$250 Not applicable (Virtual models have fixed cost structure)
Agency Fees 20% extra on top of hourly rates Not applicable
Average Cost Per Shoot Ranges from $6,178 to $17,952 depending on location $2,000 for 5 products
Additional Costs Costs include studio rental, equipment, and transportation Costs related to studio rental, equipment, and transportation are eliminated
Flexibility and Customization Limited by logistical and financial constraints Offers limitless flexibility and customization options
Pricing Structure Variable, depending on various factors such as model, location, and agency Fixed, regardless of location


These findings suggest that for businesses operating in the fashion  and modelling industry, especially those frequently updating their product visuals, leveraging virtual models and photography can transform cost structures and operational efficiencies. 

Brands can thus allocate resources more strategically, focusing on creative and marketing efforts that enhance brand engagement and customer experience.

Faster Shoot Times

Real model shoots require significant coordination, scheduling, and production time. With virtual models, product images can be generated extremely quickly without delays.

Traditional Photoshoot Timeline

Planning and Preparation:

Shoot Day (8-10 hours):


Virtual Photoshoot Timeline




With virtual there are no delays for services, travel, or production. New products can be visualized right away to get to market faster.

Consistent Brand Imaging

Using virtual models ensures complete consistency across all product imagery and brand touchpoints. With human models, maintaining cohesion is challenging.

Human models change physically over time:

Their performance also varies from shoot to shoot:

There is also a lack of control over styling factors like makeup, hair, and clothing fit.

This means recreating a consistent look is impossible. Images feel disconnected because real models are inconsistent.

In contrast, virtual models remain identical every single time. Posing and expressions can be perfectly replicated by saving digital presets. There is absolute control over model styling and adjustments in post-production.

The result is hyper-consistent brand imaging, unachievable with humans. Customers develop familiarity with the consistent face of the brand.

Inclusive Representation

Traditional modeling lacks diversity. Virtual models enable inclusive representation of all groups.

Limitations of human models:

This leads to underserved audiences feeling excluded.

Virtual models have no limits when showcasing diversity:

Virtual models allow underrepresented groups to finally see themselves in marketing materials and e-commerce. Shopping feels more welcoming and inclusive.

Use Cases and Examples

Category Use Case
Fashion and Apparel Virtual models wearing the latest clothing and accessories aligned with fashion trends. Models can strike dramatic poses suited to haute couture pieces.
Jewelry and Watches Intricate jewelry and watches visualized on virtual models. Models’ hands and poses can draw focus to featured products.
Makeup and Skincare Close-up shots displaying makeup products applied with perfect technique. Consistent model faces to showcase skincare results.
Furniture and Home Goods Virtual spaces are decorated with furniture, bedding, towels, and more. Models interacting with products demonstrate utility.
Sports and Outdoors Athletic clothing and equipment are being used by models. Outdoor gear suited for camping, hiking, and travel situations.

There are many use cases where virtual models can elevate an e-commerce brand’s product photography. Fashion, beauty, lifestyle, specialty retailers can all benefit from implementing virtual model technology.

The Future of Virtual Models in E-commerce

The use of virtual models in e-commerce is still in the early stages but rapidly gaining traction. As the technology improves, adoption will accelerate across all retail sectors. Here are some predictions for the future of virtual models:

The next 5-10 years will see transformative growth in utilizing virtual models for e-commerce. This technology will ultimately become standard practice as the benefits and capabilities evolve. Brands that embrace it early will have a competitive advantage.


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