What does a product configurator do? Learn more about product configurators

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What is a product configurator? What about a 3D product configurator?

A product configurator is a software program that lets you build products to meet customer requirements. A web product configurator is an excellent tool for websites that offer customizable products and services. It allows buyers to mix and match features, colors and sizes to create their perfect product.

The virtual product configurator is a revolutionary tool that enables you to easily create customizable 3D products with a 360-degree view. With it, you can showcase all the possible combinations of your product and collect additional information from your customers in a very appealing and interactive way. You can choose from a wide range of customization options such as:

  • Different materials and colours
  • Different components
  • Different sizes of the product
  • And much more

 

To help you better understand how this tool works, we have created a comprehensive article on everything there is to know about this increasingly popular technology. You will also learn how easy it is to configure your own product with a web-based 3D product configurator tool.

 

A live example of a 3D product configurator

Here is a live demonstration of a fully functional 3D product configurator technology created with Visao’s product configurator software. You will see that it is possible to change the color from orange to black simply from the menu tab at the bottom left. It is also possible to see the 3D model in your space by using the augmented reality product configurator technology feature at the bottom right.

 

What can you do with a 3D product configurator?

Product configurations are used to streamline the buying process by giving customers more control over their final product. In fact, the interactive digital platform lets buyers get an instant visual product configuration of their unique solution, an automatic pricing, and even view realistic animations that showcase the best features, all on one screen.

A good product configurator technology has a lot of benefits for both users and business owners. For instance, it’s a very useful tool for online stores because it helps them to create a unique approach to each of their clients and increase the overall sales. It is also a compelling way to reveal specific features that cannot be seen well with images. They can also be a good way to increase conversion rates by offering more products or a wider range of options.

However, if you don’t know how to create a good product configurator for your store, it can lead to many issues. In fact, a 3D product configurator requires a lot of time and effort, more so than with pictures and videos. That’s why Visao has developed a web platform that allows you to create your own 3D tool without having any previous experience on the technology.

 

Which industries can benefit from a configurator?

Companies in all industries can benefit from implementing a configurator. They are an effective way to help customers narrow down the options of a product, and they encourage customers to spend more time with your brand.

They are particularly effective in industries that sell many variations of one product, such as furniture, shoes or cars. These industries have a lot of room for improvement in terms of increasing conversions and average order value.

 

E-Commerce

Product configurators are used by eCommerce sites to make the buying process easier for customers. They can navigate through different combinations of features to see how the product will look or perform before making a purchase decision. In fact, an e-commerce 3D product configurator is a great asset for any business. Not only does it provide detailed information about a product, but it also allows customers to customize their purchases and make informed decisions before adding items to their carts. Precisely, the ability to change the color, size, shape, and other aspects of a product makes an online store more attractive and entertaining as it gives them the chance to get exactly what they want with just a few clicks. To summarize, product configurations combine the best of both worlds for eCommerce websites. It gives them the power to engage your customers on a personal level, while offering them the ease and convenience of shopping online.

Retail

3D product configurators are all buzz in the retail industry. It’s a great way to showcase your products and make them more appealing to customers, especially if you sell customized products. The most obvious benefit of 3D product configurators in the retail sector is that they enhance the customer experience, allowing them to imagine how a product will look and fit in their home.

Offline Use

It’s also important to note that a configurator isn’t just an online tool. It can be effectively used offline as well. For instance, a 3D product configurator can be used for trade shows as well as for vendors on the road.

 

How can I use 3d product configuration for manufacturing needs?

The benefits of 3D product configurators for manufacturing companies with huge and complex machines/automations are undeniable. In fact, they are just as useful for manufacturers (during the planning phase or for after-sales services) as for marketers and designers. During the planning phase, viewing your design in 3D allows you to interact and clearly visualize your product, allowing you to spot flaws and design errors that would otherwise go unnoticed. Spotting these errors early in the project allows you to rethink the design and avoid potentially significant costs. It also allows you to visualize multiple options and elements such as material, color and more, while avoiding the high cost of prototyping.

As for the marketing and sales benefits of using a 3D product configuration, you can learn more about that here. Don’t hesitate to ask Visao for a demonstration of our 3D product configuration tool today!

 

What are the advantages of 3D product configurators for customers?

Here are the top 5 reasons why you should consider using a product configurator for your company’s products:

1. Increase conversion rates and sales

Product configurators are easy to use and can make your customers feel like experts, helping them feel more confident about their sales order. This results in a higher conversion rate and sales volume. In fact, companies that use product configurators see an average of 38% increase in sales conversion rates. Plus, the average order value is also higher for customers who use product configurators as they are willing to pay more for a personalized product. Finally, some 3D configurator softwares allows customers to connect their data with CPQ softwares. The CPQ software will then provide a quote to the customer based on this information.

A good example of a sales product configurator is IKEA’s site. Here, customers can design their own furniture and place orders for the pieces they need. The product configurator is an essential part of the shopping experience for IKEA, because it helps make customers feel like they have more control over the sales process. The more control customers feel they have, the more likely they are to complete sales.

2. Stay ahead of competition

A product configurator can also help you stay ahead of your competitors by offering unique features they don’t have. Users can get exactly what they want without having to compromise, while business owners can set their own quotes, sell products at higher values and reduce the number of sales returns. Moreover, not every business owner thinks selling more and gaining customer satisfaction are enough reasons to create a product configurator for their commerce store. Some of them are not even aware of what a product configurator is, let alone how it can help their business sales.

3. Increase customer satisfaction

Product configurators increase customer satisfaction by giving customers the power to choose exactly what they want from a product or service. If you provide your customers with the ability to customize their products and get exactly what they want, they’ll be more satisfied with their purchases. They won’t have to return or exchange items that don’t fit or aren’t exactly what they wanted, which means less returns and fewer sales-related complaints. In fact, when you’re able to offer customized products, you can charge more for them.This is because your customers are willing to pay more for products that are customized and perfect for them.

5. Improve customer loyalty

Product configurators can help you build a loyal customer base by giving your customers an easy way to design products or services to their exact specifications and better connect with them. By creating this unique experience for each customer, you can encourage them to continue doing business with you and become brand advocates who will tell others about your company. Additionally, customers will feel more satisfied with their purchase because they were able to make the final decision on how their product would look and function.

6. Create an innovative brand image

By using a product configurator, you can demonstrate your company’s technological and design prowess. This will make your company appear more innovative and cutting edge, which is important to stand out in the market. Customers will be impressed with your ability to offer them so many customization options with just one click.

 

What is the difference between a B2B and B2C configurator?

A B2B configuration tool is basically designed by a company or corporation to help its customer (a business) develop customized solutions according to their specific requirements. On the other hand, B2C refers to consumers who use such a tool to customize the product according to their needs. Of course, the configuration of each of them will be completely different as they target different types of users.

 

What are the types of product configurators?

The types of product configurators vary in many aspects and are a complex technology. There are no clear rules that define the types of configurators. In this section, we will briefly examine two common forms of configurators, namely online and offline.

Web product configurators

The most popular of the two types is the online configurator, which allows users to customize products with a choice of predefined options, all via an online platform. Precisely, a web-based or eCommerce product configurator is an online tool that lets users customize products without having to leave the website. Product configurators WebAR technology is also a great plus for allowing users to see their product in their environment. It provides a quick and easy way for visitors to find the specific features they want in a product and purchase it. It is also an excellent tool for reducing customer support costs, as it allows customers to get answers to all their questions before making a purchase. With this tool, you can also provide full support for your products before they are even purchased. In addition to giving customers more control over their purchase, they can save time by not having to wait for an employee to build their order. A digital configurator also allows customers to easily create and share their customizations with others, because there are no rules when it comes to imagination!

Most common applications include product configurator kitchen, apparel, footwear, consumer electronics and vehicle manufacturing.

Offline/ Mobile product configurators

Mobile product configurators are particularly used by brick-and-mortar stores or for on-the-move business services. For example, offline product configurators can be used on mobile devices for personal selling demonstrations or on large TV screens at trade shows where wifi may be an issue. This option creates a seamless interactive experience on the go.

 

How do I know if I need a product configurator for my company?

When deciding whether or not you need a product configurator, you need to consider your company’s business model and overall goals. If you have a physical retail store with  customizable inventory that can be sold online directly from the site, then you likely do not need a product configurator. However, if you are an e-commerce site that does not have physical stock in store, then a product configurator can be a great way to make your products more appealing and easier to purchase.

To help you decide whether or not you need a product configurator, consider the following questions:

  • What is your business model?
  • Do you have physical inventory that can be sold online directly from the site? Or do you only sell online?
  • What are your goals for this website? Do you want to increase sales on an eCommerce website? Or simply display general information?
  • How complex is your product? Do you have many variations of the same product?
  • How many products do you have?
  • What is your budget for this project?

 

How to create a product configurator?

Creating a product configurator is not a simple task. Indeed, to create a product configurator, especially in 3D, you need to learn and have a lot of experience with game engines and 3D visualization software. That’s why Visao has created an online platform that allows you to create a 3D product configurator without any experience. You can read more about it on our 3D Viewer platform page.

 

How much does a product configurator software cost?

There are many different types of configurators and the costs vary greatly depending on the complexity of your product and the number of product options. In fact, prices can range from $3000 and $50,000. Some templates are expensive because they include professional features, while others are cheaper because they aren’t very customizable. In the end, it all depends on your budget and needs.

Learn more about our pricing

 

How can I prepare my 3D drawing for a product configurator?

Visao’s platform supports CAD models from all major softwares such as SolidWords, Inventor and Catia. As long as the exported file format is STEP or GLB, you’ re good to go! You can learn more about our conversion pipeline from CAD to 3D here. It is also important to prepare and list the elements of your product that can have many different configurations.

 

How do you know if your product configurator is successful? A product configurator checklist.

A great product configurator is critical to your sales. If customers can’t get a good look at their custom product, they have no way to buy with certainty. You also need to make sure that your product configurator is easy to use and understand, so that customers don’t get frustrated and abandon their sales shopping cart completely.

Here is a product configurator checklist with some of the most important criteria to consider when testing the success of a product configurator:

  • The number of clicks it takes for customers to configure and purchase a product
  • The length of time it takes for customers to complete the purchase process
  • How many options the product configurator allows customers to choose from
  • The quality of visuals and textures used to represent the product on the eCommerce website
  • The degree of clarity and understanding of the instructions for using the product configurator
  • The number of steps the configuration required to configure the product
  • The extent to which the process clearly indicates which options have been selected and which have yet to be chosen.

 

What are the main features of a good product configurator?

Product configuration tools allow you to present your products in greater detail than ever before, and they provide the potential for higher order values. There are no specific rules to follow to ensure the success of a product configurator, but here are some key points to consider.

A good product configurator should be:

  • easy to use;
  • able to handle large data sets;
  • provide useful and intuitive features;
  • reliable, with a proven track record of working.

 

The latter is especially important when it comes to configurators. In the B2B environment, product configurators are often a deciding factor in making or breaking the deal. If your product configurator doesn’t work as expected, then chances are that the deal will be lost.

 

How do I pick the best product configurator for my needs?

You need to consider a number of things before choosing the right product configurator for your business. Here are some of them:

Functionality

The most important thing is to choose a 3D product configurator that can help you achieve your business goals. To do so, check if it allows you to create complex models with multiple components and modify their colors and textures, as well as add other advanced features such as transparency, UV maps, etc.

Flexibility

To get the most out of your product configurator, you need to choose a software that offers multiple export options and can be integrated with different online platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, etc. Visao‘s 3D product configurator allows you to do this as it is hosted on the cloud and is easily accessible through a URL link.

Customer Service

Since you will be investing in a product configurator, it is essential that you check to see if the vendor offers good customer support. If you have any questions or concerns about your product configurator, you want to be sure that there is someone who can answer them quickly.

 

Discover which services Visao offers

 

How can Visao’s experts help you?

Visao provides a web-based platform that allows manufacturers to use their CAD files to create interactive visualizations of their products for marketing, sales processes, trade shows and production. We also provide services to accompany you in the process of creating your 3D product configurators.

If you think your company could benefit from a 3D product configurator, don’t hesitate to contact Visao. Many different companies in the manufacturing industry trust us and our 3D specialists have years of experience in the field. In fact, our 3D specialists will take your basic CAD drawings and transform them into impressive photorealistic 3D product configurators. Once we have created your 3D product visuals, we can help you integrate them on your website or in any marketing/sales materials.

Ready to create your own 3D product configurator? Request a live demonstration of Visao’s 3D and augmented reality solutions.