eCommerce Product Configurator: What, Why, Who, How
Before we delve into the heart of the ecommerce product configurator, let's start with a common scenario that many of us have experienced.
So, think for a second, have you ever eagerly unwrapped an online purchase, only to be met with the stark reality that it fell far short of the dazzling catalog images? This is the dreaded buyer's remorse – a familiar customer experience we all aim to avoid. Surprisingly, this remorseful phenomenon contributes to a startling statistic that American buyers pull the trigger on only 58% of the items in their online shopping carts yearly.
Now, let's switch roles for a moment: you're behind the digital counter, the online business.
If your potential customers grapple with the same disappointment, your business could be in hot water. In this era of one-click shopping, customer loyalty can be as fleeting as an Instagram story. If they're uncertain about your products' actual look and feel, they may never grace your online store with their presence again.
Today, we'll delve into how online product configurator tools are revolutionizing the shopping experience in ecommerce stores and examine their broader impact on the entire e-commerce landscape.
Ecommerce product configurator empowers customers to create unique products that resonate with their tastes and needs.
It can transform your online sales by enhancing the online shopping experience, increasing average order value, and meeting customer expectations. By enabling customers to create personalized products, you can improve customer satisfaction and, ultimately, achieve greater success for your ecommerce store.
From 2D to 3D and augmented reality, a product configurator offers diverse configuration options for every level of personalization and immersion.
AI and machine learning are shaping the future of ecommerce personalization, making it smarter, more intuitive, and hyper-personalized.
When implementing an ecommerce configurator, user-friendliness, customization options, 3D rendering, mobile-friendliness, seamless integration are the key ingredients for success.
See how Zolak can help you power-up online furniture store for growth and revenue.
What Exactly Is an Ecommerce Product Configurator?
The traditional sales process on ecommerce websites often involves selecting products from static visualizations. However, with the introduction of ecommerce product configurators, the sales process takes a significant leap forward.
Product configuration is like giving customers a special tool to personalize their shopping experience. It's that interactive process where shoppers make choices about various product features. These choices go through a sort of digital customs checkpoint enforced by a trusty "configuration rules engine." This engine acts as your online bouncer, ensuring customers' choices are compatible with the product's specs.
Whether you're selling the perfect pair of sneakers, interior items, or any other ecommerce product, configurators streamline the selection process and ensure that each choice aligns with the product's specifications and compatibility.
Now, you might wonder why this matters so much. Well, it's a game-changer for both e-commerce businesses and online customers.
Why Should You Care?
Your customers are the judges, ready to score your performance. According to a Sales Force, a staggering 57% of these discerning judges would ditch your ship and jump onto a competitor's boat if they offered a smoother, shinier ride. That's how high the stakes are.
In another study, 84% of customers believe ecommerce companies have a moral duty. What's this duty? To reduce returns. Returns aren't just a logistical headache; they're a buzzkill for customer satisfaction.
However, this is where it gets interesting: 76% of these savvy shoppers spill the beans and admit they'd be less inclined to return items if online retailers simply gave them what they wanted—clear images and product descriptions that are right on the money.
In sum, your target audience demands nothing short of excellence. If you fail to deliver, they won't hesitate to switch allegiances to competitors.
Advantages of Using Product Configurators in Ecommerce
Time is money, right? And when online shoppers can instantly personalize their products, they're more likely to hit that "Buy Now" button. This instant gratification boosts conversion rates and enhances the overall online shopping experience.
Shoppers nowadays aren't satisfied with one-size-fits-all products. They want personalized, unique experiences. Product configurators in e-commerce deliver that for both customers and your business.
For Your Customers
Personalize products. Whether choosing the shade of blue for their sofa or customizing their dream car, product configurators give customers a sense of ownership. It's like co-creating, thereby turning a purchase into a unique expression of their style and needs.
Shopping that feels like a game. Online product configurators transform the often-mundane act of scrolling through options into an engaging adventure: each click brings shoppers closer to their ideal purchase.
No-fuss returns, more savings. Customers love getting precisely what they want. With an ecommerce product configurator, there's no room for disappointment upon delivery. Fewer returns mean happier customers and cost savings for your business.
For Your Ecommerce Business
Save time and money. Product configurators streamline operations by automating order processing, reducing errors, and minimizing the time spent on customer inquiries. This translates to cost savings and increased productivity.
Staying ahead. In today's market, customization isn't just a bonus; it's an expectation. Offering product configurators keeps you in the race, attracting customers who seek personalized experiences.
Supply chain supercharge. With an ecommerce product configurator, you receive exact specifications for each order. This precision streamlines production, minimizes waste, and optimizes your supply chain.
Green eCommerce. Product configuration is also eco-friendly. By producing exactly what customers want, you reduce excess inventory and waste, contributing to a more sustainable business model.
Building customer devotion. When customers get exactly what they want, they're more likely to stick with their purchase. In this sense, an ecommerce product configurator fosters loyalty, turning one-time buyers into repeat customers.
Saving money on returns and exchanges. Returns and exchanges can be costly and time-consuming. Configurators significantly reduce these hassles, saving you money and resources.
Boosting sales. When customers can personalize their products down to the tiniest detail, they feel a deeper connection to what they're buying. This emotional bond can lead to higher conversion rates and fewer abandoned shopping carts.
Types of Ecommerce Product Configurators Based on Dimensions
1. Static 2D Ecommerce Product Configurator
These website product configurators are like the foundation of customization. While it may not offer the full 360-degree view found in some advanced configurators, it excels at its primary task—letting your customers tinker with colors and materials.
Surania, the swimsuit producer from Spain, has taken customization to a new level with their product configurator. They offer a smorgasbord of options which range from shapes and sizes to fabrics. Customers can pick the fabric, and each swimsuit gets sliced into smaller parts.
2. Interactive 3D Ecommerce Product Configurator
Taking it up a notch, these ecommerce configurators bring products to life in a 3D environment. One of the key benefits of a 3D product configurator is the ability to provide a realistic representation of customizable products. Unlike static visualization, where customers can only see a flat image, visual product configurators immerse customers in a real-world setting, enabling them to view the product from different angles and truly understand the various product variations available.
For example, Sofacompany is a Danish DTC furniture brand that understands the importance of allowing customers to create a truly customized product. Their product pages offer 360-degree views, a product configurator, and 4K zoom. By allowing customers to craft their own customized products and provide a rich visual experience, they have redefined the standards of customer engagement and satisfaction in the world of furniture shopping.
3. Augmented Reality (AR) Product Configurator
AR product configurators blend the digital and physical worlds. These configurators use AR technology to superimpose customized products into the real environment through a smartphone or tablet camera. Customers can use mobile devices to place a virtual sofa in their living room to see if it matches the décor.
IKEA saw the potential in AR and ran with it. IKEA Place helps customers virtually place furniture in their home and see if it fits seamlessly. Customers no longer need to ponder whether that sofa will squeeze through the door or if that desk will fit in the workspace. They can see it in real-time, right in their own living spaces. It's a transformative approach that not only improves the customer experience but also reduces the risk of post-purchase disappointment.
Types of eCommerce Product Configurators Based on Industry
From the auto industry to electronics, furniture, and even the world of fashion, configurators are the unsung heroes.
Furniture lovers indulge their inner decorators, sculpting sofas, beds, and chairs by mixing materials, hues, and shapes to fit their unique style.
One such furniture company, Dream Sofa., allows its shoppers to choose a style, whether it's contemporary, classic, midcentury, or modern. Then, they can select the size and fabric, with options ranging from durable, luxurious materials in a wide array of colors and fashionable designs. Lastly, customers can personalize their piece with choices like wood staining, tufting, and more.
Deloitte found that 81% would pay more for personalized clothing, 79% for customized footwear, 76% for personalized furniture, and 77% for customized fashion accessories and jewelry.
Zolak is a SaaS solution for furniture retailers that provides real-time product configuration. Customers can take a photo of their own room and customize it to their preferences while simultaneously fully exploring furniture products from various angles.
With the fashion configurator, individuals can become the designers of their own wardrobe, thereby selecting fabrics, styles, colors, and sizes to create pieces that reflect their unique tastes. Once users have made their selections, the Fashion Configurator generates a digital rendering of the final product, allowing them to preview their creation.
Nike has taken the concept of configurable products to new heights with its custom shoe designer. Here, customers are not just selecting shoes; they're crafting unique sneakers that are a direct reflection of their personality and style preferences.
From selecting the model to choosing shades, engines, and add-ons, customers can create their four-wheeled masterpiece. Visual configuration tools allow them to see their choices come to life, providing an unprecedented level of engagement.
Take Ridley Bikes, for example. Their online product configurator empowers customers to choose one of Ridley’s available bike models and then personalise it by choosing their favourite color, finish, and other components, like the wheels, saddle, and handlebar width.
From choosing the processing power and memory capacity to selecting the display size and resolution, every facet of the device can be tailored to suit customers' unique needs. Moreover, ecommerce configuration tools extend beyond mere technical specifications. Furthermore, consumers can delve into the aesthetics, selecting from an array of design elements such as color schemes, finishes, and form factors.
Dell's laptop configurator is a standout example, offering a personalized tech shopping journey that ensures customers get precisely what they want. By utilizing Dell's configurator, shoppers can select the exact specifications they desire, from processor power to RAM, storage capacity, screen resolution, and more.
Jewelry, by its very nature, is deeply personal and unique. It often serves as a symbol of love, commitment, or personal style. Jewelry configurators grant customers the ability to choose metals, gems, and designs that resonate with their unique taste.
Blue Nile's engagement ring builder, for instance, lets users create a one-of-a-kind symbol of love, turning a piece of jewelry into a cherished memory. Here, customers can select from an array of options, including the type of metal, the diamond's cut, carat weight, and even its clarity.
Home Renovation Configurator
Traditional approaches to home renovation often involve flipping through catalogs, visiting showrooms, and trying to imagine how various elements will come together in a space. This process can be time-consuming, frustrating and sometimes lead to costly mistakes. With the configurator tool, users can explore different design options, experiment with colors and materials, and make informed decisions before any physical work begins.
Armstrong Flooring's room visualizer, for example, enables users to see how various flooring options will look in their space. Users can upload photos of their rooms, choose from various flooring materials, and instantly visualize how each option would appear in their home.
Food and Beverage Configurator
The essence of a food and beverage configurator lies in its ability to offer a wide array of customizable elements. Some pizza delivery apps, for instance, let users craft their perfect pizza, topping by topping. This satisfies taste buds and enhances customers' loyalty by providing a tailor-made culinary experience.
One prime example of this culinary customization is Domino’s Pizza. Through their interactive configurator, they empower customers to become the architects of their pizza dreams. From traditional choices to exotic toppings, Dominos Pizza's interactive configurator ensures that every slice is a perfect solution to individual tastes.
Next Generation Ecommerce Product Configurator
Ecommerce personalization is on the cusp of a groundbreaking transformation. It's shifting from traditional static customization options to a dynamic and intelligent realm, all thanks to the power of AI and machine learning.
Due to its transformative nature, customers can now effortlessly snap a photo of their room and seamlessly dive into the world of customization right within the photo itself. They can rotate, move, and swap products, experiment with various colors, and witness their space transform in real time.
As AI and machine learning become increasingly integrated into ecommerce platforms, businesses are better equipped to create deeply personalized shopping experiences. As a result, you can achieve increased customer satisfaction and sales.
Compelling Features of the Eсommerce Product Configurator
The user interface of your e-commerce configurator should offer a seamless navigation experience, allowing users to make choices and customize their products comfortably. It's essential to display all the steps of the product configuration process. A well-designed and intuitive interface ensures that even non-technical users can effortlessly tailor products to their liking.
As your product range expands, your configurator should keep up. It must handle a growing number of products, options, and customers without compromising performance. Scalability ensures your ecommerce product configurator remains a valuable asset as your business flourishes.
Data is your configurator's secret weapon. It collects information about customer preferences and behavior, providing invaluable insights. This data can help you refine product offerings, make data-driven decisions, and continuously improve the customization experience.
Shopping happens on the go. A mobile-friendly configurator ensures that customers can personalize products from the convenience of their smartphones or tablets, wherever they may be.
No one likes a disjointed shopping experience. A top-notch configurator seamlessly integrates with your ecommerce platform, ensuring that the transition from customization to checkout is smooth as silk.
How Do You Get Started?
Integrating a product configurator into your e-commerce store is more accessible than you might think. In fact, many Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions and tools make it a breeze to set up. Alternatively, you can hire a developer to create a custom solution.
SaaS solutions often prove to be cost-effective and time-efficient. They are particularly advantageous unless you're dealing with prohibitively expensive software licenses. Moreover, not all tasks are equally straightforward when working with AI-based solutions, and finding skilled specialists can sometimes be a challenge.
One example of a revolutionary SaaS solution is Zolak. Zolak leverages AI-powered visual commerce to transform the shopping experience. It enables online furniture stores to create interactive showrooms on their websites, offering customers an immersive 3D shopping experience. With Zolak, customers can explore, combine, and visualize furniture products from various angles and customize them to their preferences. They can even experiment with interior design ideas using photos of their own rooms.
Get in contact with the sales representatives here to understand how Zolak can revolutionize your business through product configurations and enhanced customer engagement.