3 Environmental Benefits of a BigCommerce Product Configurator

Shopping on a BigCommerce product configurator on a mobile device

Adding a BigCommerce product configurator to your BigCommerce website can go a long way toward significantly reducing your impact on the environment. Plus, the methods our product configuration software uses to help the planet will also benefit you, your business and your customers. 


Many eCommerce store owners seem to believe that their business needs and interests are fundamentally opposed to those of the environment. But having an eCommerce website doesn't automatically put you at odds with the planet. 

The Earth and your BigCommerce store can thrive and grow together. It may sound impossible, but it's actually easier than you might think. 

Here are the three most noteworthy examples of how our BigCommerce product configurator's sustainable practices lessen the burden on Mother Nature while producing incredible (often threefold) benefits for your business.

1. Decrease Product Waste

Having a BigCommerce product configurator can help you drastically reduce the product waste your business generates through overproduction. This practice is devastating to the environment in a number of different ways. 

First, overproduction of goods requires running manufacturing equipment longer than necessary. This is known to create harmful emissions

Then, they're transported to a warehouse or store. The fuel needed to transport them heavily contributes to air and water pollution, as well as climate change. 

Many of these goods will eventually be tossed in landfills. These piles produce carbon dioxide, water vapor and large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times worse than carbon dioxide for the effects of climate change. 

Even worse, landfill trash is often burned rather than properly disposed of. This causes air pollution and creates more greenhouse gases that further contribute to climate change.  

How can a BigCommerce product configurator help?

A BigCommerce product configurator is an easy and beneficial way for businesses to begin curbing the damage. Having a user-friendly SaaS platform allows you to provide consumers with the ability to configure their own products and customize them however they like. 

All that time spent on your site and all the choices they make while they're there can provide you with powerful data. You can make accurate predictions when you know:

  • What customers like the most

  • Which options and product customization combinations are most and least popular 

  • How many of every item you typically sell in a given period

You'll have a much better idea of how many of each product to order to minimize waste. This will significantly decrease overproduction as your results get more accurate. 

Environmental benefits

Less overproduction means less manufacturing, less needless transportation and fewer items ending up in landfills. This one change can lower three major causes of environmental damage at once. That would be a huge help to the planet, and your environmentally-focused customers will love it.

eCommerce benefits

The less you overproduce, the less money you waste on products you might not sell. You'll also have lower transportation costs because there will be fewer items to move. 

Even just the money saved on warehousing costs for unprofitable surplus item storage would likely make it all worth it!

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2. Increase Energy Efficiency

When dealing with custom products, the options and combinations can be extensive. 

Traditional 3D product photography would require an in-person photo shoot with each of the physical products. Plus, customers expect five to eight images on each product page.

Taking that many photos would be energy-intensive and wasteful. Between the packaging, the transportation and the massive amounts of energy it takes to properly light a studio to take the kind of detailed images you'd need, it's a lot more than you'd expect. 

Luckily, our product designer is much more efficient. 

How can a BigCommerce product configurator help?

Instead of photographing every product individually, we use JPGs, PNGs, CAD files and other file uploads to create 3D product models for each one. Then we can alter them to generate images for every product variation in your catalog. The 3D models become templates for other visualizations, as well. Our platform automates the creation of different visuals to save time, money and energy. 

You can create:

  • Interactive augmented reality (AR) files

  • 360-degree images with zoom, spin and rotate functionality

  • Interactive hotspots

  • GIFs for social media

  • Video tutorials

  • Explainer videos

  • And so much more — all from one initial file 

Our Virtual Photographer™ creates visuals that can be rendered to match customization choices in real time. So you don't even need pre-made images for every option. 

Environmental benefits

Taking one set of images to create CAD files rather than dozens or hundreds makes a huge difference. You'd consume a fraction of the energy using our BigCommerce product configurator than using traditional photography. 

eCommerce benefits

You'd also save money on transportation and packaging by not using in-person photography. Plus, generating images on our platform can save you 90% compared to traditional images.

 Not only can you save money, but you'll make more money too:

  • 360° visuals increase conversions up to 50%.

  •  Consumers are 20% more likely to buy products when using a 3D configurator. 

  • People expect higher pricing for these product visuals, and they're willing to pay more for custom products because they value them more.

  • You'll make more when you use our visuals for digital marketing because 3D ads with 360° rotation see threefold engagement compared to standard ads.

  • AR alone has increased conversions, product pricing, customer retention and customer experience for our users. 

Click here to learn more about Threekit's BigCommerce product configurator. 

3. Decrease Returns

Shopper opening package of environmentally-friendly products she customized in a BigCommerce product configurator

eCommerce sales have a huge rate of return — much higher than brick-and-mortar sales. This leads to five billion pounds of waste in landfills and 15 million tons of excess carbon emissions annually in just the US

That's not even including all the manufacturing and transportation that goes toward the total impact. It's a huge burden on the environment. Having a BigCommerce product configurator can reduce those numbers.

How can a BigCommerce product configurator help?

Having such powerful visuals with this wide variety of functionality and features helps customers visualize the products better and know what to expect from them. Since 22% of items were returned because the buyer didn't get what they thought the product images showed, higher-quality images significantly reduce returns

The ability to experience the products with AR also made 66% of shoppers feel more confident in their purchase. This has been shown to lead to 300% more conversions.

Environmental benefits

The fewer returns there are, the less pollution there is from transporting the same item back and forth. Also, these items often get tossed in landfills or burned. So it prevents that issue, as well. 

Customers also won't have to buy yet another item to replace it, which can double the damage. 

eCommerce benefits

Customers who have more confidence in their choice and are more satisfied with their product, thanks to the personalized experience provided, are far more likely to return and become loyal customers. 

This can benefit you by boosting:

  • Referrals by 50%

  • Lifetime value by 306%

  • Profits up to 125% 

  • Brand loyalty 

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What's Good for the Goose...

A BigCommerce product configurator is an easy and beneficial way for businesses to begin curbing the damage. The EPA believes that we can keep producing the things we need without continuing to cause destruction to the Earth. 

Many businesses are starting to agree

That’s not just because they see the writing on the wall. It’s also because they have found that sustainability is surprisingly cost-effective. 

A BigCommerce product configurator is the first step on the road to a lot of savings and a better world. 

Get in touch to learn more about how Threekit's product customization platform can help your business.