The Ultimate Product Manager's Guide for Selling Configurable Products
As a product manager, you’re faced with the unique challenges of bringing new, on-trend products to market that grow your brand and your sales. Increasingly, this means developing configurable products that let your shoppers customize in real time. Developing this complex, manufactured-to-order product is just the first step. Selling it is the ultimate challenge.
Your enemy throughout this journey? Complexity.
Configurable products mean complex processes that are often costly and time consuming. Production can be overwhelming, especially when it involves manual work, existing systems that can’t handle product variations and all the supply chain challenges involved with adding new items.
"Threekit makes the impossible possible for Crate and Barrel—through image creation technology that unlocks massive scale and quality to keep our customers engaged and delighted."
Geoffrey Mark Associate Director of CGI Strategy
When a customer asks you to bring their dream product to life, how will you respond? The answer is Threekit.
We’ve outlined the most common challenges facing Product Managers today along with strategies on how to get more of your unique products into the hands of your customers.
The Product Configuration Conundrum
Showing customizable products in real time
Selling configurable products means selling a near-limitless stream of product variations. Showing customers every variation of your product can be tricky. As you guide them through design reviews and feedback cycles, you want them to visualize every possibility. Your ability to pivot quickly is the difference between that product remaining an idea or becoming a reality.
of your product options won’t see the light of day without real-time configuration
Unfortunately, these complicated review cycles often rely on manual updates to 3D or CAD designs, which can siphon valuable time through software inefficiencies. Plus, the burden of this complex process falls on your shoulders – from incorporating feedback, sending files to print, producing parts lists, specs and assembly instructions – to creating a bill of materials for the manufacturer and handling any advanced configurations. At the end of it all, you may not even make the sale. If your customers are coming up with ideas faster than you can configure them, you need to find a better way.
Show every product possibility with Threekit
Threekit’s exclusive technology platform allows you to design and produce product variations quickly, so your customers can see every product they can imagine. With our visual configurator, you’ll create variations in real time, developing the 3D base models that sell more product options and more products overall.
How? Well, we’re a true product configurator.
This means we don’t just show shoppers an amazing customizable visual on the front end. Our platform has a robust rules-and-logic engine that dictates how customers can build the features they want, while enabling the processes required to actually manufacture that product once they’ve clicked the buy button.
Plus, you can guide the entire process based on previous configurations and your personal experience with your customers.
"We loved hosting our website on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, but we had a vision to make it even better. Threekit made that vision a reality, and the results speak for themselves.”
John Gonsalves Vice President Direct to Consumer & Digital
A Closer Look at TaylorMade
TaylorMade wanted to give customers the ability to configure their own personalized golf clubs while leveraging their existing ecommerce platform. Threekit’s product configuration platform provided the synergy to realize that vision.
- Brand new personalization tool created for TaylorMade’s flagship SIM2 golf clubs
- Improved online customer experience
- Direct-to-consumer business growth
more website visits than forecasted in first six weeks
sales target reached in 30 days
The SKU Dilemma
Endless SKUs = endless problems
Consider the millions – or even billions – of SKUs needed to cover every potential configuration of a specific product. Few ecommerce platforms and commerce systems are equipped to handle that many SKUs, especially if only a small percentage of those variations get sold. And while adding SKUs can be a sign of growing product lines, they can also raise a slew of new challenges:
Visibility is often reduced, which impacts tracking, forecasting and strategic sales planning
The possibility of picking errors grows with such large batches of product, which can slow fulfillment and lead to poor customer service
Supply chains can become inefficient, as each SKU demands a production pause that may affect delivery time and profits.
Bottom line, a flat SKU structure just doesn’t work for creating limitless variations, as it won’t scale effectively. You need the ability to add SKUs dynamically, while side-stepping the drag and mess of a manual SKU/BOM process between order and fulfillment. You’re more likely to sell a product if you can show all the variants in real time, giving every unique design a shot in the spotlight.
Create SKUs on demand with Threekit
Threekit can help you ease SKU proliferation and the headaches that go with it. Our platform delivers a range of interactive visual experiences, from 3D visualizers to augmented reality, that let your customers design a virtual product to their exact specifications before it becomes a reality. This reduces manual review cycles by eliminating slow and costly custom renders and expensive photography, while simultaneously reducing the number of SKUs being added to the system.
The Limited Product Experience
Delivering the immersive product experience your customers crave
Your customer experience should be more than just a transaction. Customers feel a sense of agency when they become a part of the process rather than waiting for the design to magically appear. In fact, they’re demanding it. A whopping 67% of online shoppers say they prefer ecommerce sites with 3D and AR capabilities to those with simple product images.
Threekit product configuration is 100x less expensive than traditional product photography.
While your team is managing long, demanding review cycles and the mountains of behind-the-scenes manual work, your customer remains on the sidelines. If they’re not directly involved in the design experience, taking an active part in customizing the product, their ownership diminishes along with their confidence in the outcome.
Your customers want to review visuals in real time, they want to interact with the product in their own space, and understand all the possibilities. This is just not feasible within a traditional sales cycle. But it is with Threekit.
of furniture marketers say they have implemented 3D configuration or augmented reality on their site or are looking to do so in the next year.
If you have a highly customizable product, you have to show all of its glorious configurations without missing a beat. If your current experience doesn’t lift expectations and fully engage your customer, you’re missing out.
Create a category defining customer experience with Threekit
Threekit’s exclusive technology lets you create a personalized experience that will engage your customers during every step of the buyer’s journey. And you have a say in how that experience comes to life – in configurable 3D, in high-res virtual photography and augmented reality.
Threekit customers can expect up to 40% improvement on conversion rates
As you work with your customer on a new product configuration, you’ll consider different variables and possibilities throughout the design process. You can now show each iteration, gather feedback and update on the fly.
We’ve made it easy to integrate your catalog into our platform for immediate configuration. Most importantly, once you go live with Threekit, you’ll start selling more.