Why do Customers Prefer 3D Product Configurators?

3D Solutions | 10 min read |
A 3D glove configurator on an e-commerce site

With the rise of e-commerce and social media, customers now have access to unprecedented information and choice. They can easily compare prices, read reviews, and research products before making a purchase. As a result, they expect more from brands than just a generic message or product. They want a personalised experience that speaks to their specific needs and caters to their interests. Needless to say, this expectation, mixed with advancements in technology, has led to a shift from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more personalised approach.

This shift in approach can be seen in the rise of mass customisation. What does that mean? It means that consumers can now create products that are customised to their unique preferences and needs. And guess what? This is all thanks to experiential technologies, like 3D product configurators.

So what exactly are 3D product configurators? Well, they are basically digital tools that allow customers to interact with a product in a virtual environment. They're super user-friendly and enable consumers to customise different aspects of a product, like its size, colour, and material, in real time. This way, buyers can see how their customisations will look before they even make a purchase.

To say that mass customisation with the help of 3D configurators has become increasingly important in today's market would be an understatement. What caused this change? If we had to guess, we’d bet on the change in customer psychology.

In the past, the majority of products were designed with a one-size-fits-all approach. This meant that products were created to suit the needs of the masses without considering individual preferences or needs. However, in recent years, with the rise of tools such as 3D product configurators and social media, there has been a shift in consumer behaviour. Customers are now expecting products to be tailored to their individual styles.

But what caused this change in customer behaviour? To understand that, let’s look at what drives this need for personalisation.

Why do Customers Crave Personalised Products?

Curious person thinking
Curious person thinking

People are getting smarter and more informed about the products they buy, which means they have higher expectations. They don't just want generic stuff that everyone else has. They want something that speaks to their individuality and personal style. Something that is completely theirs. When they buy something that's personalised, it's like they're saying, "This is me, and this is what I like."

Moreover, this trend toward customisation has been driven, in part, by the rise of social media. Social media has created a culture of self-expression, where individuals are encouraged to share their personal style and interests with the world. This has led to an increased desire for products that allow individuals to express their individuality and unique style. And to cater to their demands, brands are now leveraging tools like 3D product configurators that allow customers to express themselves and co-create products that align with their tastes and preferences.

To help you understand this craving better, the following are four key factors that drive the need for personalised products from a customer psychology perspective:

Desire for control

Have you ever bought something and wished that you could change a few things about it? Maybe the colour wasn't quite right, or it didn't have the features you wanted. Personalised products give you the power to make those changes and create something that's exactly what you want. You get to choose the colours, features, and materials that best suit your needs, which gives you a sense of control and autonomy over your purchasing decisions. It's like being your own boss of your shopping choices! And this is important for customers nowadays because it allows them to feel like they're making an informed decision based on their specific needs and preferences.

This sense of control that brands provide their customers with ensures that the customers feel more invested in the outcome. And when they are more invested in the outcome, they’re more likely not just to be satisfied with the product, but it also increases their chances of making a purchase, thereby boosting sales.

Freedom to express

The need for self-expression is a fundamental human need. Every customer has this urge to feel unique and express their individuality through different mediums. One of these mediums is through buying and co-creating products that speak to them and their taste. Tools like 3D product configurators allow customers to do just that by giving them the freedom to create a product that is tailored to their specific preferences. When a customer designs a product all by themselves, they get to experience self-expression and feel like they're standing out from the crowd. It's like having their own personal stamp on the product that sets it apart from the rest.

And when customers express their individuality through their products, they get a sense of ownership and pride in the product they have helped create. This sense of ownership builds confidence in customers and makes them more likely to go ahead with the purchase. Furthermore, brands that offer this level of customisation, can differentiate themselves from their competitors by providing their customers with a unique value proposition.

Person overwhelmed looking at the laptop
Person overwhelmed looking at the laptop

With the increased number of products available in the market today, it is inevitable for customers to experience decision fatigue, where they become overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. Needless to say, this can lead to indecision and delay in making a purchase. However, personalised products can help alleviate this problem by providing customers with a more focused set of choices. By using a tool like a 3D product configurator, customers can co-create and design a product specific to their needs and preferences. This allows customers to filter out irrelevant options and make a more informed purchase decision.

When customers feel that they have made an informed decision based on their specific needs, they are more likely to feel satisfied with their purchase. This is especially beneficial for brands as it helps reduce the number of returns and increase customer satisfaction.

Need for connection

Personalised products create a bond between customers and brands. They have the ability to create a deeper emotional connection between the two. When customers can design a product to their unique needs and wants, it makes them feel as though the brand is speaking directly to them. It shows that they care about what their customers really want. It's like they're saying, "Hey, we see you, and we want to help you get exactly what you want." This creates a sense of connection that is difficult to achieve with generic products.

When customers feel like a brand is addressing their unique needs, it creates a sense of validation and appreciation. It also generates a feeling of exclusivity and uniqueness, which can make customers feel special and valued. This sense of validation can lead to increased loyalty and repeat purchases.

Understanding customer psychology is key for brands looking to succeed in the market. By recognising these four underlying psychological needs that drive consumer behaviour, brands can create products and experiences that resonate more deeply with customers, making them more likely to buy.

How 3D product configurators help fulfil this craving?

Many popular brands, including Ferrari, Nike, and BMW, have recognised the growing demand for personalised products and are willing to invest in fulfilling their customers' needs. These brands understand that customers are willing to pay a premium for products that are tailored to their preferences and have implemented strategies to provide this level of customisation. One of these strategies is the use of 3D product configurators.

So, how do 3D product configurators help satiate this craving for customisation? They help in the following ways:

Provides real-time visibility

3D furniture configurator with real-time visibility
3D furniture configurator with real-time visibility

In traditional shopping environments, customers are often required to imagine how a product will look based on a limited set of product images or descriptions. This can lead to uncertainty and hesitation in the purchasing decision, as customers may be unsure of how the product will look in real life. However, with 3D product configurators, customers can see the product from all angles, explore different color and feature options, customise the size and shape of the product, and so much more to their preferences. The real-time visual allows customers to see exactly how their product will look before making a purchase, which can provide a greater sense of confidence in their decision-making.

Allows to create individual-specific designs

3D product configurators allow customers to take an active role in the design process, which gives them a greater sense of control over their purchasing decisions. Customers are able to select and modify various product features to fit their specific preferences, such as choosing the colour, size, and materials. This enhanced level of control and confidence can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, as customers feel like their needs and preferences are being heard and addressed by the brand.

Reduces choice paralysis

Choice paralysis is the feeling of being overwhelmed by too many options. When customers are presented with too many options, it can be difficult for them to make a decision, and they may even decide not to purchase anything at all. But with the use of a 3D product configurator, this issue can be easily resolved. How? Well, 3D configurators provide a structured and visual way for customers to personalise their products. Instead of being presented with a long list of options, customers can see and interact with a visual representation of the product they are customising. This can help them narrow down their choices and make decisions more easily.

Delivers a personalised shopping experience

One of the key benefits of 3D product configurators is that it offers customers a personalised shopping experience that is hard to compete with. By allowing customers to customise various aspects of a product, such as colour, size, and features, they can create a product that fits their specific needs and preferences. This personalised experience can create a special emotional connection between a brand and the customer, leading to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction. It also allows customers to easily navigate through the customisation process and make changes without any confusion or frustration. This can be particularly helpful in reducing customer frustration and increasing their confidence in their purchase decision.

Wrapping Up

To sum it up, 3D product configurators are most definitely here to stay. And brands that want to stand out of the crowd while also increasing sales and customer satisfaction will have to take steps toward implementing this tool in their business model.

If you’re one such brand that is looking to integrate 3D product configurators in your business strategies, then Exhibit 360 is the place for you. We provide unique and innovative 3D product configurator solutions that will help you increase conversions, better communicate with your customers and reduce returns. Contact us to learn more.

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