3D Product Configurators Can Transform the E-commerce World

3D Solutions | 8 min read |
Representative image of a 3D bike configurator used in e-commerce

How many times do buyers say, ‘I wish this product were available in a different colour’ while browsing online? Probably a lot more than we can think. Ordering online has its various perks, such as not leaving your comfort zone or not worrying about the time of the day. These perks encourage almost 75% of buyers to make an online purchase at least once a month. As per the Global E-Commerce Market research, the e-commerce market is expected to grow up to $62,415.2 billion by 2030, with an 11.0% increase annually over 2021-2030. This makes it essential for businesses to carefully design their e-commerce strategies and boost online sales and profitability. One of the ways to do this is by offering personalisation. And that’s where 3D product configurators come in.

E-Commerce Product Configurators

An e-commerce product configurator is an online tool that allows buyers to choose from different materials, colours, etc. It gives them the liberty to create a version of the product that meets their specific needs. An interactive configurator can be used independently or in various digital spaces such as virtual showrooms, websites and e-commerce platforms. These online configurators enable customers to personalise their desired products according to their needs and requirements, giving them a higher sense of ownership. This is why 80% of customers prefer buying again when brands offer customised experiences.

For instance, a brand sells bean bags and offers different colours, shapes, sizes and materials for the bean bag; buyers can check out all the customisation options and modify the bean bag accordingly. A configurator also lets customers have a clear understanding of the pricing variations that different options may come with.

Features of E-Commerce Configurators

While the ability to customise the products may help brands convert more customers, it becomes infeasible to offer this at the scale that e-commerce demands. Collecting the specifications from thousands of customers manually can be time-consuming and error-prone. In many cases, customers may not be able to articulate their preferences accurately enough without a clear visual representation. This makes almost 66% of buyers say that 3D product visualisation increases their buying confidence and assurance. 3D configurators make it easier to tackle this challenge alongside other robust features, such as:

Detailed Viewing

Moving ahead of 2D static image presentation can be essential. Detailed 3D interactive viewing can enable customers to get a much better virtual view as it lets them rotate and view all sides of the product. In addition, zoom-in options allow them to comprehend the product in greater detail.

Unique Customisations

A configurator enables customers to tailor their products according to their preferences. Potential buyers can switch colours, textures, designs and materials to meet their product expectations. This gives customers an interactive and engaging experience, encouraging them to shop again.

Accurate Price Calculation

3D chair configurator displaying accurate pricing in real-time
3D chair configurator displaying accurate pricing in real-time

Customisation allows buyers to change various components of a product, which may lead to price differences as some colours or materials differ in shade or texture. An e-commerce product configurator provides customers with accurate price calculations based on their personalisation.

ERP and CRM Integration

Integrating e-commerce configurators with enterprise resource planning and customer relations management applications can be crucial. Integrating these systems can ensure a complete end-to-end solution leading businesses to provide a seamless customer experience for their online shopping.

Benefits of Product Configurators in E-Commerce Business

As mentioned before, buyers prefer making purchases when 3D interactive solutions are involved. Almost 95% of buyers prefer a three-dimensional interactive experience over online videos. This e-commerce solution can benefit businesses in more ways than one.

Enhanced Customer Service

Impeccable customer service is a key factor for any business to sustain and thrive in competitive and ever-changing markets. When it comes to offering enticing online shopping experiences, companies can use online configurators to boost customer satisfaction by giving them the creative liberty to tailor their products.

Reduced Product Returns

When it comes to physical shopping, almost 9% of products are returned, as per statistics. In comparison, online purchases lead to 20% of product returns. This often happens because the product expectations are not delivered when purchased online. An interactive 3D product configurator helps buyers to understand and personalise their products to ensure it meets their expectations, thus benefitting businesses with reduced product returns.

Higher Conversion Rates

Representative image of higher conversion rates
Representative image of higher conversion rates

A 2D static image doesn’t give a complete or in-depth understanding of the product, while a video may provide a slightly better product comprehension. But 3D product configurators enable customers to understand products better and customise them in their own way. This helps sellers in boosting conversion rates by almost 94%, increasing business profitability.

Reduced Inventory

Making lots of different variations of a product may call for extra inventory. But in an e-commerce configurator, brands can enable customers to design their own products to meet their expectations and needs. This eliminates the hassle of keeping an extra inventory, thus helping businesses cut costs and reduce waste.

Brands Using E-Commerce Configurators

Due to its various benefits, brands have started using online configurators to boost their sales and offer a seamless purchasing experience. Incorporating an e-commerce configurator today is vital as it is predicted that almost 22% of purchases will be made online in 2023. Let’s take a look at the brands that are leveraging this online solution.

Ikea

Ikea is a Swedish company that manufactures and sells kitchen appliances, ready-to-assemble types of furniture and more. They incorporated a 3D configurator to give customers a detailed view of the product along with easy visualisation tools to customise various product aspects. Customers could also view the products in their home setting with the powerful combination of augmented reality that gave them a better sense of how the product will look in their space.

Nike

Nike is a US-based company that markets and sells various accessories and shoe products. Nike has incorporated 3D product configurators into their websites to provide buyers with an enhanced overall online shopping experience. The configurator offers detailed image viewing with various configuration options to tailor customers’ product needs better. Customers can accordingly choose a show of their preferred design and colour, instead of simply picking the generic options.

Steelcase

Steelcase provides a variety of offerings in architecture, furniture and technology. For remote workers searching for a chair tailored specifically to their requirements and design preferences, Steelcase offers a 3D product configurator, which enables them to personalise aspects such as lumbar support, upholstery, and arm length. With the ability to zoom in for detailed views or zoom out for a full perspective, the online 3D tool allows customers to select their model, make customisations and then download the finished product.

Jweel

Jweel is a personalised jewellery marketplace, where buyers can create personalised pieces on their 3D product configurator. They can choose from pre-set basic rings and pendants and proceed to customise the material and add engraving text or a picture or even create their own unique ring design from scratch. In addition, buyers can zoom in and out, rotate the jewellery and even view it on a 3D model of a hand.

Guerlain

Guerlain is a top French brand known for its exceptional fragrances, cosmetics and skincare products. They leverage the power of 3D configurator technology for their holiday campaigns by allowing potential buyers to customise lipsticks and fragrances directly on the company's website. Customers can select their desired colours and scents as well as personalise the packaging with special messages or designs.

Best Practices for Product Configurators in E-Commerce

E-commerce product customisation offers enticing benefits to both businesses and customers. However, a buyer’s overall engagement can be magnified if these simple mantras are kept in mind.

Simplify the Process

Brands should ensure every customisation option is displayed online and that the process to personalise is easy to understand. This simple process can be achieved by adding a user-friendly interface to make the whole personalisation experience worthwhile.

Offer Quick Loading

Businesses should ensure that their website or any other e-commerce platform loads fast to showcase the variety of options. Customers will try to switch between various customisation options, and slower loading time will have them drop off instead of finishing the process quickly and checking out.

Collect Relevant Data

Representative image of viewing and collecting relevant data
Representative image of viewing and collecting relevant data 

Data can assist brands in thriving if they make the most of the relevant data available. Businesses can use the relevant data stored by the configurator to make efficient product decisions. Depending on the buyers’ customisations, brands can upgrade their product offerings and customisable options.

Improve Processes Continuously

Brands and businesses can make the most of a configurator if they constantly keep updating the tool. They should take into account customer feedback and technological changes to improve and upgrade their existing product configurator tools.

Conclusion

Online sales encourage customer convenience in terms of time, accessibility to the product and more. However, 2D images don’t work the same way anymore. People need more engaging interaction with the products online. Almost 82% of visitors prefer viewing products online in three-dimensional possibilities. Therefore, 3D product configurators can be leveraged for online shopping. Exhibit 360 offers end-to-end configurator solutions to ease and enhance your online selling techniques. To learn more about our services, contact us right away!

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