October 07, 2022

How to Win More Customers with Product Configurators

Nicolina Savelli
Marketing

What is a product configurator?

Configurators enable manufacturers to modify existing products to suit specific customer requirements. Users are directed towards creating an end-item product via product description, option rules, and calculation. It's an effective way to allow customers to build and visualize your products to ensure buyer confidence, pricing, and reduce returns.

Nothing is worse than waiting weeks for a customized product only to find out that it doesn't quite suit your customer's needs once they finally receive it. With product configurators, buyers can explore their options and be confident in their purchase before they ever hit the "Checkout" button.

What does a product configurator do?

In the home furnishings industry, product configurators allow eCommerce buyers the option to customize various features of a product. This includes the option to select different fabrics, dimensions, sizing, footing, finishes, and more. Through product configuration, D2C businesses can ensure buyer confidence through their eCommerce stores, and make sales they otherwise would not without the help of visualization technology like product configurators.

Product Configurators: Beyond Home Furnishings

Product configurators have been leveraged by big brands for some time. Automobile manufacturers like Volkswagon adopted these technologies early on for vehicle customizations. Naturally, when you're investing in something like a car, you want to see exactly what you're getting before committing to such a large price tag. But today, product customizations are no longer limited to large purchases. Nike is very aware of how the consumer has shifted away from mass-produced uniformity towards personalized purchasing behaviour. Nike By You provides an online configurator which allows you to customize any part of the shoe. A variety of colors are available, and it is easy to see the sneaker on and from below.

The bottomline is, that product configurators are no longer a "nice-to-have" feature for eCommerce; in fact they are the most highly requested feature by consumers shopping online and D2C home furnishing brands are missing out on this lucrative opportunity to drive more sales.

Why Product Configurators Are Important in eCommerce

Before we dive into the key benefits, it's important we cover some of the overwhelming statistics in favor of product visualization and 3D product configuration. For example:

  • 82% of visitors to product pages choose to activate 3D view
  • Product configurators generate 66% higher conversions than 2D solutions
  • 3D product configurators increase the likelihood to purchase by 11x

Given what we know so far about the benefits of product configurators, let's dig into some of the perks of having a product configurator for eCommerce:

Reduce returns

Customers requiring personalized products may have a less than ideal chance of returning them. Among companies that use configuration, firms have reduced online returns by 80%. The gap between expectation and disappointment is significantly lower if a customer has an integral part of the construction process. Personalizing the product enhances an emotionally-rich relationship with that product and ensures each aspect of their purchase is precise before it reaches them.

Increase margins

The use of 3D configurators increases your profit margins. Specifically, if gives you the opportunity to charge more for your products. The Motley Fool recently reported that bespoke products have a 30%-50% increase over retail prices. By giving customers the option to create a uniquely designed product adds value they would not be able to find elsewhere, while increasing customer loyalty and repeat purchases.

Understand customer needs

To develop the perfect products companies need to understand popular customizations, fabrics, footings and finishes used and more. Home furnishing companies can use product configurators to collect metadata on each configuration, and retarget buyers with marketing to their preferences, or simply provide a better selection to meet customer's needs. 

The opportunities are endless when you have an inside look at your customer's specific likes and can offer them experiences and products they love over and over again.

Reduce manufacturing errors

Not only are product configurators vital for the customer but they are also extremely beneficial to the manufacturer. As configurators allow customers to build individualized products, this software can also reduce costly errors during manufacturing. Each order has documented metadata that is stored and ensures each specification is exact.

Build a personalized, unique experience for each lead

In the early days, the barrier was not as big to entry in eCommerce as with many e-commerce tools without code. Today, the online store industry is booming and brick and mortar retailers have started to place all their inventory into online shops. The eCommerce market is growing by the day. In an environment where many items become commonplace, one thing that is extremely important in the home furnishings industry is to make your products and experiences unique.

There is a growing importance to be among the early adopters who leverage configurators for online shopping, otherwise you will lose out to those who do.

Grow your sales and revenue

Product configuration software is designed to level the playing field for small to big companies in the industry. This tool focuses on growing revenue using 3D and digital assets in a company. This versatile solution allows users to create products with 3D elements in product photos, exhibitions and product configurator software. 3D source is functionally versatile. Contains important features including rules based setups, real-time product visualizations, costs and prices calculations. Users can design 3d drawings as well as 2D drawings.

Enhance the customer experience

3D software configurator integrations product visualization and augmented reality to enhance customer experience as much as possible. It enables businesses to build a user-centric experience and scale it as desired. Using the 3D configurator customers will control the product throughout their purchasing cycle to determine which products they want. The Real Time Product Visualization feature helps the customer define the desired colour, shape, material and accessory.

What Features Should You Look for in a Product Configurator?

Educate and entertain your customers

First off, it's important to make shopping fun! Once they reach your product configurator, ensure you give the customer all the necessary information during the configuration process. It is important the user is focussed and has a simple and engaging user experience.. Ensure all of the data is available at their fingertips, fabrics, styles, finishes etc. should be simple to locate and fun to interact with. 

Offer customers full price transparency

When you use a product configurator pricing can easily be neglected. This defeats the purpose of a product configurator because the majority of customers want to know how much value they can get and at what price. The pricing of products is extremely crucial as a final stage of the design process and the problem is easily solved by identifying features that are costing more or less. By adjusting the prices at all stages of product configuration you can assure customers are more confident in their selections. 

Allow customers to view their products in a seamless 360° view

The ability to view products in 360° view is a very good practice in today's market for product configurators. Naturally, your product configurator should mimic the shopping experience. If you buy offline, your customer will look at your products from several different angles, which is why it might help to enable a 360 ° perspective. (PS Live Furnish product configurators have this feature). So, online shopping can reflect an in-store shopping experience. 

Allow customers to save their configuration and pick up where they left off

Make it clear to the customer they can go back to the product configurator and make a purchase at any time. In some cases, the initial visit does not guarantee an actual sale. The aforementioned rule is commonly known by many as a marketing rule. The rule of 7 requires seven interactions for an average purchase. You're not just enhancing user experiences by giving customers more choice but you're also closer to closing the deal.

How to Create a Product Configurator

Typically, product configurators require engineering and development, or a specialized software to execute. This can often take months or even years to get a configurator up and running on your eCommerce website. Live Furnish has made the process of launching a product configurator for your eCommerce store extremely efficient, with a 60 day guarantee (and as little as 14 days) to get your configurator up and running. We also make it easy for you to design and create your own configurator without involving a developer. All our configurators easily integrate on any website in a matter of minutes with an embed code.

So, if you're looking for a solution that makes customization quick and easy, integrates seamlessly into any eCommerce website in under 60 days, and is the lowest cost on the market, you can book a demo with our team to get your product configurator up and running in no time.

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The Best Product Configurators for Home Furnishings

Mantle Furniture

Product configurators for home furnishings should have a number of key features depending on the product you hope to achieve. Many standard configurators come with the ability to change colors and fabrics, but don't provide further customization such as changing the size of a piece of furniture or 360 degree spins. If you're hoping to achieve sales and drive customers to convert on your product configurators, these are essential features to include. We created this product configurator for Mantle Furniture that includes how all of these features work together to provide the best product visualization possible for a potential customer.

Mantle Furniture Product Configurator Mantle Furniture Product Configurator

Product Configurators: A "Must-Have" for eCommerce

The home furnishings and eCommerce industry is fiercely competitive, and the best way to ensure your brand stands shoulders and above the competition is through product visualization. By safeguarding buyer confidence with product configurators, you can relax knowing that each sale and detail of your product is exactly what your customers hope for. This not only means greater conversions from new buyers but repeat purchases, resulting in long-term customer loyalty.

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