Why do you need a visual product customizer?

When it comes to eCommerce, the less left to the imagination, the better.

When customers can’t see exactly what they’re buying, they’re less likely to make a purchase — and are less satisfied with purchases they make. Adding a visual product customizer to your website can reduce customer churn and increase sales.


Online shopping can be challenging. Browsing on the web, customers don’t get the chance to interact with products up close or get firsthand assurance that they’re buying something they like. When consumers can’t see the exact shade of red that a shirt comes in or have to imagine how the walnut finish on their credenza will turn out, doubt sneaks in and threatens the purchase.

What’s worse, consumers who order products that don’t match their expectations often undergo the costly process of returning their products, which leaves them feeling worse about the brand.

Visual product customizer software removes guesswork from the equation. As eCommerce trends toward hyper-personalization and customization, it’s vital that companies empower every buyer to make purchases that will neatly fit into their unique aesthetic.

What Mark Twain said about words applies to visuals as well. The difference between the right visuals and the almost-right visuals is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. Shopping online can deliver an electric thrill—or turn into a buggy mess. Visual product customizers let the lightning strike.


What is a visual product customizer?

A visual product customizer allows customers to manipulate the changeable parts of a product in order to see their personalized version. By adding digital layers to that customers can select and de-select with ease, visual product customizers let consumers see their choices coalesce into a final product without clicking through pages and pages of slightly different stock images.


Static pictures can move products that come as-is. But if your offerings come in different colors, materials, sizes, or shapes, adding a visual product customizer to your website can give consumers a new level of confidence in online purchasing.

For example, Threekit client Crate & Barrel uses visual product customizers to help online shoppers see exactly how their furniture and housewares will look when personalized by color, material, and size. Shoppers can also use their interactive sectional configurator to put together the perfect sectional couch for their space.

On average, clients who have installed visual customizers see a 40% jump in conversion rates, along with a 20% higher order value.

The evidence is clear: visual product customizers drive sales, prevent returns, and increases brand loyalty.


Jaunt  product customizer


Visualizing the Way to More Sales

Research shows that customers love pictures. More than 80% of shoppers cite product visuals as the strongest reason for purchase. But that can be a problem for customizable products.

Wares that arrive at customers’ homes as-is can be depicted with a single static image. But for products that offer customization or personalization, visuals need to be responsive.

A single item with six separate customizable features creates 720 possible combinations. Professionally photographing that many items would be cost-prohibitive and create mountains of work. Plus, what buyers wants to sift through dozens of images?

A visual product customizer allows companies to simply and artfully show consumers exactly how their personalized product will look in their homes.

American consumers stop short of buying more than half the products they put into online shopping carts, according to a survey from OnePoll. Every time consumers encounter ungainly checkouts, see repetitive boxes to fill, or have to remember old passwords, more and more choose to abandon the whole operation.


In other words, consumers will take just about any opportunity or second thought as signal to jettison their wares before clicking the final purchase button— and that’s if they make it that far.

Consumers don’t stick around on a site that offers an inferior experience. A recent survey suggests that 48% of consumers would switch content providers if the provider’s website were poorly curated.

Overcoming customer churn means providing appealing content that’s easy to use.


Desk configurator and customizer for Euclid furniture


Preventing Returns

Shipping costs are quickly becoming a casualty of the eCommerce revolution. According to a December 2020 survey by RetailMeNot, 82% of online shoppers prefer to use free, slower shipping options over paying a small fee to get their products faster.

That’s bad news for companies offering free shipping and returns as crowd-pleasing incentives. Returns are costly, but  they’re not going away. A 2018 survey found that 69% of online shoppers won’t click the purchase button if returns cost money. Keeping customers happy often means swallowing the postage and restocking costs that accompany returns.

And those prices aren’t going any lower. Even before that container ships clogged it up, the global supply chain was feeling the pressure. As prices continue to rise, online returns will eat a larger portion of profits.

The best way to reduce returns is to make sure there are no surprises. That’s where visual product customizers come in. If customers can see exactly what they’re buying, they’re less likely to return it.


Boosting Brand Loyalty

Today’s consumers, especially younger ones, want the products they buy to mirror their identity as well as their tastes. Brands aren’t merely ways to conspicuously consume or provide a shorthand for quality; they’re how consumers differentiate themselves.

Brand loyalty isn’t developed through digital media messaging alone. Many consumers link themselves with brands in part by how the online experience makes them feel.

Online product customizers add value to the experience by making shopping easy. The digital platform lets shoppers to spend more time with the products they’re interested in, and less time sifting through menus and catalogues.


C&B sectional customizer-gif


The Takeaway

Consumers want products as unique as they are. Whether it’s chairs, underwear, or cakes, online shoppers want to buy items that match specific tastes. But it’s not enough to offer the ability to individualize products — consumers want to see exactly what they’re buying.

Visual product customizers are the best way to present customizable products online. Created with intuitive interfaces and digital photography, they increase sales, prevent returns, and increase brand loyalty while making the online shopping experience more frictionless and enjoyable.

Get in touch with Threekit today for a consultation or demo.