Are 3D Product Explorers & 3D Product Configurators Similar?

3D Solutions | 7 min read |
3D product explorer and 3D product configurator

With the influx of start-ups today, many brands and businesses are selling similar products and services. In this competitive market, brands must up their product presentation game to stand out from the other players in the market. One of the essential ways to do this is by leveraging the latest technology and trends. We live in a digital age, and every individual today can easily access their devices - mobile, tablet or desktop - to shop online. It’s critical for businesses to understand the impact of technology on daily lives today and move to digital platforms to sell their products and services too.

How Can Brands Engage their Customers Online?

One way to bridge the gap between online shoppers and in-store buyers is by incorporating a virtual showroom. A virtual showroom provides a user-friendly digital space where customers can interact with the products in a highly engaging manner. If they enjoy the experience of the virtual showroom, customers are also more likely to visit the business’s physical store. Furthermore, digital showrooms can increase repeat visits by 70%. Visitors can view the products in an immersive environment and customise their products according to their needs. This is possible with the help of 3D product demos and 3D product configurators.

3D product demos and configurators can be integrated into virtual platforms like a digital showroom or e-commerce website or be used independently. These tools add various intriguing features that enable product understanding and enhance the customer’s buying experience. Let’s explore these products in more detail.

What is a 3D Product Explorer?

Representation of a 3D product explorer
Representation of a 3D product explorer 

A 3D product explorer is a tool that helps customers view and explores products in a detailed manner. Viewers can rotate the products 360 degrees without missing out on any product parts. Businesses can make the most of this tool, as almost 52% of customers are known to comprehend products much better with the help of an interactive 3D product demo.

This engaging online tool has various enticing features that boost customer delight, such as:

X-Ray Vision

When customers try to purchase products that have complex features or functionalities, traditional online methods may not be enough. Showcasing 2D static images in such cases creates a knowledge gap that an interactive 3D explorer could fill. Features like X-ray vision give buyers an opportunity to view internal product parts to understand the product better.

Information Hotspots

It’s not unusual for customers to get stuck with product-related queries while viewing products online. Often, they are required to drop their queries online and wait for a response. On the other hand, a product viewer provides information hotspots for better product exploration, which could assist businesses in quick query resolution and enable customers to make a faster purchase without any hiccups.

Additional Context

Brands and businesses can give their target audiences a deeper insight into their products with an interactive viewer. They can attach or add informational materials, such as technical data or business cases, to give the product more context and provide their target audiences with greater insights. This will assist buyers in comprehending the product usage and comparing it with their needs before making the purchase.

What is a 3D Product Configurator?

Representation of a 3D product configurator
Representation of a 3D product configurator

While a product explorer can certainly help businesses enhance their product presentation, adding the charm of a 3D product configurator can take it a notch higher. An interactive product configurator enables customers to visualise products in 3D and tailor them according to their needs. Businesses can leverage this tool to reduce inventory as the need to stock different choices for the same product can be reduced or eliminated.

Businesses can also elevate their customer experience with a 3D product configurator with its eye-catchy features like:

Material Picker

Offering various product choices and giving customers the liberty of customisation can create a positive impact on the business while providing customers with an engaging shopping experience.  Almost 80% of customers prefer shopping from brands that offer such personalised experiences. Using a configurator, they can choose from different designs, textures and materials and build the finished product as per their requirements and preferences. This gives buyers ownership of the product creation process.

Price Calculation

As mentioned, a configurator allows customers to customise different product specifications, from colour to material. These specifications would alter the price of the finished product too. An interactive product visualisation tool lets customers calculate the exact price of the final product depending on their customisation, providing accurate costs in real-time.

Measurement Check

Interactive product visualisation enables customers to check the measurement and size of the product against realistic backgrounds before making a purchase. Customers can visually try out the product - be it a garment or a piece of furniture - and make a more informed buying decision. Understanding the right measurement and size also helps reduce product returns in the future or eliminates it completely.

Are Product Explorers and Product Configurators Similar?

It’s easy to confuse a product viewer with the customiser, especially since these tools share some similar characteristics and features:

similarities between 3D product explorers and configurators
Overview - Table stating similarities between 3D product explorers and configurators

Detailed Viewing Mode

Businesses can enhance a buyer’s online shopping experience with these 3D tools that offer in-depth viewing in a 3D environment. A static 2D image may not give a perfect view of the product, but a 3D product view with zoom-in options can ease the customer’s product understanding.

360-Degree Product Rotation

Apart from in-depth viewing, customers can also rotate the products 360 degrees to not miss out on any product-related details or customisation. This assists businesses in elevating the customers’ product viewing and buying journey, enabling more informed purchases.

Enhanced Product Presentation

3D tools help businesses take their product presentation a notch higher. Enhancing product presentation can be essential as it increases customer convenience and delight. An explorer offers unique interaction to consumers, while configurators allow them to experience product personalisation.

What Are the Key Differences Between Product Explorers and Product Configurators?

Along with their similarities, 3D explorers and configurators also have a few differences that enable businesses to use these tools independently.

differences between 3D product explorers and configurators
Overview - Table stating differences between 3D product explorers and configurators

Product Engagement

An interactive explorer allows potential customers to understand products better with its features like X-ray vision, info hotspots, etc. A configurator may take product engagement and interaction a notch up by enabling customers to personalise their desired products according to their requirements and desires.

Product Customisation

Businesses can experience an almost 45% boost in sales using configurators as they provide personalised experiences. However, unlike a product customisation tool, an explorer cannot assist consumers in customising or changing any aspects of the products.

Price Variation

Both tools offer in-depth product details. However, in an explorer, customers can view the ready information as there won’t be any change in the product. On the other hand, prices can differ in a product configurator due to changes in the product texture, shape or design.


It is critical for businesses to elevate their customer service, so they can strengthen their brand image in the customers’ minds. Offering enhanced product portrayal and a chance for audiences to interact with the products can improve customer experience, enhance brand recall and boost sales. With tools like a 3D product explorer and a 3D product configurator, businesses gain an edge over their competitors and improve product presentation.

At Exhibit 360, we assist our clients in transforming their product portrayal practices. Reach out to us if you wish to drive more engagement and sales with our interactive 3D virtual showrooms, product demos and configurators that enable you to create a superior customer experience. To learn more about our services, contact us today!

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