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Product configurators: efficient tools to help you sell


Product configurators in 2D or 3D are an excellent way for e-commerce websites to offer prospects the ability to customize products and visualize a realistic rendering before buying.

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These last years marketers have been able to create more and more granular segments. The rise of microtargeting, thanks in part to social networks, has led to increasingly personalized advertising messages.

However, customization is a strategy that is still underutilized at the product discovery and selection stage. A 2D or 3D online product configurator is one of the best ways to offer to your customers the liberty to customize your products. They can then try different options and see the result directly on your website.

It can be a good way to increase customer satisfaction, if your production line allows it of course. Once customized, products exactly match your customer’s expectations, or are at least as close as possible.

From a customer-centric perspective, a product configurator empowers customers to create a product in their image.

We are all unique, with different tastes and personalities, and what we buy reflects that. Beyond its protective value, an iPhone case reflects the tastes of its owner and act as a way to override the standardization of this type of product.

 

configurateur-produit-poussette

Example of a product configurator for strollers (Bugaboo)

What are the benefits for brands?

    • Better engagement rate

Many people like to fiddle with interactive elements on a web page. A product configurator is ideal in this sense, you can manipulate the product to see it from all angles, modify it as you see fit … It gives a more engaging experience than a simple product description.

    • A better understanding of the desires of each customer

A product configurator can be seen as a very effective tool to capture data on purchasing intentions from your prospects. Thus, you can use that collected information to follow up with them in an extremely relevant way and thus get higher conversion rates.

    • Collect “qualified” leads

Most of the time, a contact form or registration system is integrated into product configurators to save your creations or obtain a quote. A good way to grow your lead database! And users who have spent a significant time tweaking their product are most likely to want to get it.

    • Increase your sales revenue

In fact, a product configurator integrates an upsell strategy by nature. How? By cleverly suggesting more expensive options or extras to users.

 

configurateur-produit-maison

Online House Configurator

What are the benefits for end users?

    • Visualizing

A product configurator allows your prospects to visualize what such and such combination looks like and give them an idea before buying. A more hyper-realistic rendering makes this even more true. It’s particularly the case with car configurators where appearance is essential.

    • Browsing a catalog in a fun way

A product configurator simplifies the presentation of product catalogs that can sometimes be very large: it is actually the equivalent of thousands of pages referencing all the possible variations, combined in one playful and intuitive interface.

    • Getting pricing information

Depending on what options are chosen, the total price can vary greatly! Even if prospects only use your configurator for a future purchase / project, it can still give them an idea of the price, sometimes instantly, and therefore the budget they need to set aside.
On the contrary, PC configurators for example allow to buy online directly at the end of the configuration.

 

configurateur-produit-cuisine

Schmidt 3D configurator: We appreciate the level of detail on this one. It helps you picture yourself in your future kitchen!

User experience and product configuration

A few things are to be borne in mind while creating a product configurator.

With many different combinations and levers of customization, configurators can quickly become complex. That’s why it’s important to think about user experience. The goal is that users don’t feel lost, paralyzed by too many choices or simply frustrated by the complexity of the configuration. Most often there is:

  • Segmentation in several stages. It makes sense to go from the most global to the most precise. For instance, configurators for cars always have details and extras at the end…
  • These stages can themselves be subdivided into several sections corresponding to customizable parts of the product
  • Suggestions and pre-established models, again, to guide users
  • Indications and choices with a maximum of visuals: Illustrations are usually much more effective than words… to highlight areas for example

configurateur-meuble

Product configurator for furniture (mobibam)

Also, sharing and saving your creations are common features among product configurators, just like a call-to-action to contact a sales rep which is the next step after being done configuring, in case it is not possible to order online directly.

Finally, loading time is something to watch closely. Configurators are among these web applications that can easily become “heavy”. Yet, we know that 1 added second in terms of loading time is equivalent to a reduced conversion rate of 7%. Loading time is of course related to user bandwidth and their device / computer. However, the type of configurator can also play a role. There are 2 main ones to consider.

2D vs. 3D product configurator: an important distinction

2D configurator

Less resource-intensive for customers, these product configurators allow for hyper-realistic rendering. We can recognize a 2D product configurator by the way products are displayed. It seems to be like a slideshow. Even if many images of various angles are used, rotating a product doesn’t feel 100% smooth.

2D layers are usually used to display various configurable elements.

configurateur-produit-volkswagen

A 2D product configurator for cars (Volkswagen)

3D configurator

On the other hand, a 3D configurator gives the impression that the displayed scene or object was created for a video game.

These configurators are more relying on the user’s processor and less suited for mobile use.

bateau-configurateur

Example of a 3D product configurator (Malibu Boats)

Note that a 3D product configurator can also use Augmented or Virtual Reality.

With the former, users would for example be able to visualize in their living room a piece of furniture while customizing it at the same time. Or have the feeling of being present in the kitchen that they’re personalizing through a headset with the latter. Our team is also able to develop these types of solutions for you.

Sectors most adapted to online product configurators

Product configurators are especially common in these sectors:

  • Automotive : virtually all carmakers have one!
  • Fashion : for shoes, sneakers especially
  • Real estate : for a room in a house (kitchen for example) or house itself
  • Furniture
  • Printing: T-shirts, mugs, …

configurateur-produit-sneaker

Thanks to Nike iD, launched in 2012, customers can design their own shoes from a wide range of models. Almost everything is customizable via an easy-to-use interface.

Product configurators we worked on

Our team worked on several product configurators in 2D and 3D. Here is for example, a configurator to create custom terraces:

configurateur-terrasse

After personalizing your custom terrace and selecting the type of floor, this configurator automatically gives you a budget estimate

Regardless of the type of configurator you are considering , 2D or 3D, our team master the latest technologies that can bring it to life.

We take special care to craft the best experiences for end users. And we ensure the compatibility of our product configurators on different browsers and devices.

For any question, do not hesitate to contact us, we would be delighted to discuss an innovative project of this type and bring our know-how to the table.

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