How Interactive Product Configurators Improve Customer Experience
As online shopping gains significant momentum, consumers expect a superior virtual experience. In the 21st century, personalization is making a huge stand. That's why allowing consumers to customize their products is the key to high conversion and retention rates.
An interactive product configurator is a powerful tool that doesn't just allow customers to explore items from all angles–it helps them create a perfect product by playing around with different configuration options.
Designing a top-notch customer experience puts eCommerce companies ahead of the competition, keeping the appeal of brick-and-mortar competitors to a minimum.
What is a product configurator?
A product configurator is a program that allows customers to change the configuration of the product online before buying. The elements they customize vary from color and size to features and materials. A product configurator can be as simple as a list of dropdown selector boxes, but the best product configurators provide a visual representation of the configured product that updates as different options are selected. There are two primary categories of visual product configurators:
- 2D product configurator – changes the picture or list of features according to the consumer's preferences.
- 3D product configurator – changes the picture according to the consumer's preferences while allowing them to explore the product at all angles.
Configurator tools vary in their complexity. For example, a t-shirt configurator can offer such options as color, style, and material. Meanwhile, a laptop can have a huge variety of features to customize, such as memory, size, video card, etc.
eCommerce companies focus on creating products that match customers' needs. Product configurators simplify the process tremendously, allowing each customer to communicate their desires through customizing the product in real time.
More than 65% of customers expect companies to understand their needs perfectly. For a good shopping experience, consumers are ready to spend 17% more. A product configurator can help companies achieve this experience by being:
With the help of product configurators, customers don't need to spend time browsing your entire catalog, looking for a product that matches their needs.
With a configurator, shoppers can find the right product with a minimal number of clicks. This reduces the frustration factor and leaves the customer feeling satisfied.
In addition to being highly convenient, interactive product configurators are fun to use. Customers are much more willing to play around with 3D images of the product to find the best match than to sift through hundreds of static images.
Besides being an excellent way to help consumers find what they want, the fun factor keeps them on your website, thus improving its rankings.
- Easy to Use
Product configurators are intuitive. The customer doesn't need any special knowledge to configure the product. The program provides all the available options and stops the user from making a mistake.
By streamlining your customers' experience with a product configurator, you don't just boost the conversion rates–you improve your retention efforts and turn customers into brand ambassadors.
Product configurators simplify complex products by allowing users to interact with them before making a purchase. Looking at products in real time allows customers to understand how they work, pushing them down the sales funnel.
Your business needs a product configurator: here's why.
Besides improving customer experience, a product configurator can simplify the manufacturing process for your company and cut costs substantially.
With complex products, getting a customer's input in advance and creating a "perfect" item is less expensive than trying to offer a variety of products in hope that they match the consumer's needs.
Other benefits for your eCommerce company include:
- Fewer returns — by making sure that customers get exactly what they hope for, the configurator can minimize order returns. Even with complex items, integrated product logic eliminates errors, thus making sure that the customer gets the right product. A 3D product configurator can reduce the return rate by 35%.
- Easier time for sales teams– if you're selling a complex product, training the sales team to understand its nuances can take a long time. By allowing customers to configure products on their own, sales reps can focus on other aspects of the conversion process.
- More data – when customers play around with product configurations, they generate a vast amount of data. Your marketing team can take advantage of this information to design the next campaign.
- Shorter lead time – when the customer submits a configuration, you receive contact details and a list of the customer's preferences, allowing your sales team to amplify and personalize conversion tactics.
- Better omni-channel access – the ability to access products from any device, anytime and anywhere, increases mobility and gives sales reps a powerful tool to help customers make a purchase decision.
- More add-on sales – customers are more likely to buy additional products when they can see how they benefit the core product in real-time 3D.
- New brand ambassadors – customers who are fully satisfied with the product configurator experience are likely to recommend your e-store to their friends and family, thus boosting your sales with word-of-mouth marketing.
Overall, a product configurator can benefit sales and marketing teams while improving your company's work process and helping you steal market share.
Improve customer satisfaction by improving product visualization.
While eCommerce businesses are thriving, brick-and-mortar stores still have their appeal. Today, about 57% of consumers prefer to shop online, while 31% still choose brick-and-mortar stores when possible. The main reason is the ability to touch and feel the product before buying.
Product visualization is an integral part of a successful customer journey. An interactive product configurator can maximize the immersive product experience for online consumers. While it can't yet provide the tactile experience of touching a product, this tool makes the shopping process much more realistic.
This experience results in high consumer satisfaction rates and boosts the company's profitability, putting it ahead of the competition.
Transform your customer experience with Threekit.
A product configurator may be a nice option for eCommerce businesses today. However, in the near future, it's likely to become a necessity.
The ability to demonstrate products in real-time while giving customers a variety of customization options can improve conversion rates, boost retention, build brand loyalty, and much more.
At Threekit, we help our eCommerce clients realize their full potential by capitalizing on product visualization opportunities. Ready to help your business thrive with an interactive product configurator? Get in touch today for a consultation or demo.