3D Product Configurator for e-commerce

3D Product Configurator for e-commerce

Staffan Hagberg, Chief Marketing Officer
Staffan Hagberg, Chief Marketing Officer

So far we have had to go through photos, user reviews and videos to be safe in our online purchase. But as 3D technology improves, it becomes clear that ordinary photos and videos are no longer enough. Customers want control over their purchases while manufacturers do not want to lock capital in large unsold
stocks. A web-based product configurator enables customers to interact with the product in real time by enabling
them to customize it to their liking.

Let us delve into how it works and why you should consider implementing a 3D product configurator in your
e-commerce.

What is a 3D-configurator?

If you run an e-commerce store and sell products where customizations are possible, but not the opportunity of using a 3D configurator, you are likely to lose sales. The technology has become a bridge between sellers and customers, and it has already begun to revolutionize the e-commerce industry.

So, what is a configurator?

A 3D product configurator is an interactive tool that enables customers and consumers to customize products to match their own preferences. But, what sets 3D product configurators apart from other customization tools is the fact that technology makes it possible to make changes and see changes and choices in real time. They can choose custom options, colors, textures and much more – all via an online configurator. It saves
production costs and cuts down on product cases because customers make all the necessary changes before production (more on this coming down further).

E-commerce has become the new standard, and traditional methods (photos and videos) are no longer enough
to satisfy the ever-growing pool of online merchants. E-commerce is limited in the sense that you can not
really see or feel the product before buying.
Therefore a web configurator is a perfect tool to reduce the gap between sellers and customers – and deliver
the most cost-effective solution.

What exactly does a product configurator do?

What does a product configurator do?

A major problem with traditional e-commerce is that it must first be delivered. It happens that customers feel dissatisfied with their purchase if the product does not meet expectations – and then choose to return the product. The customer has lost time, the dealer has a dissatisfied customer and transport has negative effects on the environment.
With a product configurator that problem disappears, and the options are endless. You can use it to try on clothes on models with different body types. You can choose materials and textures for furniture and much more. In fact there are even aircraft configurators where you can choose custom seats, windows, colors, etc. These 3D models are hyper-realistic and allow users to see the product from all angles.

Why is a 3D product configurator a must for e-commerce 2022?

As we have already mentioned in this article the e-commerce industry is booming, and as there is often a lack of information about the product, customers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied. Returning products that do not meet expectations is a boring experience that most people can relate to. Another important aspect that e-retailers are well aware of is that a return warehouse and the ecosystem around returned goods with too high costs, which is not beneficial for their ROI.
Animech’s product configurator can solve all these problems, and in addition give your e-commerce bragging rights. Many large e-commerce companies have already started using 3D technology, and their conversion rates have skyrocketed since then. A good example that you can look at is Animech and Fjällräven’s new Kånken configurator.

So, if you do not want to fall behind, it is high time you considered investing in a 3D product configurator. Aside from improving your overall net margin, it will also contribute to better customer retention, loyalty and brand awareness.
These are just a few benefits of having capabilities, so we can explore other benefits that come with using 3D product configurators

What are the benefits of 3D e-commerce product configurators?

We have already briefly mentioned some of the benefits associated with product configurators. The good news is that there are so many more benefits to using 3D technology and we will go in depth with these as well as discuss all of these below. Here’s why you need to start using product configurators on your e-commerce site:

It increases commitment

3D product configurators increase your engagement with customers in more than one way. The first, most obvious is that customers can engage with your site in a completely different way. They will be drawn to your service as it gives them more control over their purchase.
However there is another angle that you may not have considered until now – 3D product configurators make your customers spend more time on your site. The more customization options you offer, the more time they will spend playing with settings, colors, textures and other features. And because they are so committed and have more control over the process they are more likely to return to make another purchase, or even recommend it to their friends, colleagues and families.
In addition, time spent on the site, engagement and returning visitors are some of Google’s important ranking
factors, and will therefore also help increase search engine visibility.

Product configurators enhance the customer experience and customer satisfaction

Is there anything better than imagining a particular product and being able to configure it to suit your needs and desires? How many times have you bought one for a nice product, waited for it to come, tried it on and then realized that it did not fit, that the color was wrong or that the texture was not right?

Aliexpress vs verklighet

This ruins your customers’ shopping experience. And if that happens in your e-commerce store they will probably never shop again or leave a negative review and scare away new customers. By adapting the product, research functions and alternatives the customer can learn how to use the product itself before making the purchase.
It gives them the creative freedom that they do not get anywhere else. Some of the world’s most famous companies have already started to take advantage of this technology. Volkswagen is a good example: their VR configurator lets you choose from different colors, vehicle designs, wheels, rims, seats, materials, foils and much more.

It shortens the sales cycle

The sales cycle represents the timeline for when your customer first found out about the product to the moment they converted to paying customers. There are several steps in the sales funnel because customers generally do not buy anything at first glance.
But if you use 3D product configurators on your e-commerce website, they will know more about the product and your service only by playing with different options. Therefore, you do not need to print informative videos and emails or use other marketing techniques to turn into customers.
The better you inform your customers about the product, the faster it will buy. With product configurators, they can learn all about faster products.

Product configurators reduce the return rate

We’ve touched on this benefit several times throughout the article, but it still deserves its own piece, so it’s important. Because e-commerce is so limited in terms of product availability and visualization, product returns have become the norm. For some companies this is okay because returned products can be reused and resold, either as B-stock or as regular products. But what if your company sells complex products that are tailored to your industry, and in
the event of a wrong order can not be reused (things like makeup or something else that needs to be discarded when opening) for other customers? You need to offer a good return policy because it is ethical and improves
customer loyalty.
But you lose large sums on having to discard or reuse the mentioned items. A product configurator solves the problem – provided you use a high quality configurator.
With 3D configurators your customers can get acquainted with the product, and they have the opportunity to get exactly what it is. Even if this does not completely eliminate returnings it will definitely reduce them significantly.

Improved marketing: It helps track customer behavior

E-commerce owners know that the key to having a successful business store is knowing their customers by heart. And like all other online tools product configurators develop different actions on the site that can then be tracked and analyzed.
Say you sell furniture and you sold 300 units of the same item. You can go back and see which customization options were more popular than others. Then you can use this data to optimize future campaigns, know which product versions to show in ads or how to improve your offer in general.
Not only that, but you can also see how long it takes for them to customize a product, how much they use each customization tool, and learn more about sales dynamics in general.

It reduces inventory costs

Unused inventory is probably the biggest waste of money in the e-commerce industry. But refilling with different items is necessary, because your customers want different options. So you proactively invest in stock and storage space, without knowing what products will be sold and how long it will take to clear the stock.
If your store has a 3D product configurator all these problems are significantly minimized. When a customer customizes a product you only start production when they are done creating. Instead of trying to predict what your customers will buy you can just wait for them to make the purchase decision – and make products they really want

This increases the average contract size

Studies show that customers are willing to spend more money on customizable products. The study also shows that customers are happy to pay a 20% price premium for custom products and are willing to spend up to 25%
price premium for products built specifically for their needs.

Customers expect a 3D configurator

3D product configurators are becoming the norm. We already have hundreds of industry leaders who use the technology – some of them, for example Willab Garden already started using it a couple of years ago, and have now set the standard for how sales of conservatories and greenhouses are made in the Nordic countries today.
Since e-commerce is here to stay customers will want more options to make sure they are completely satisfied with the product.

Demand directly to production: Increase manufacturing efficiency

Product customization, user experience and enhanced conversions are just a good part of how product configurators can improve your business. Believe it or not, this technology can also improve your manufacturing processes. A good product configurator should automate the design-to-manufacture process.
3D models should be able to automatically convert to 2D production-ready files that follow a suitable format. And it should possibly do an automatic sizing.

Conclusion

3D product configurators will become standard in the e-commerce industry in the coming years. And you should hop on that train as soon as possible to reap the rewards. Remember, however, that it is not enough to just get a 3D configurator. It must be of high quality otherwise there is no point in having it in the first place.
At Animech we offer our own development and qualitative 3D product configuration services. Our team consists of industry experts with long experience. We strive to provide our customers with the highest quality service and we work on your project until we are sure that you are completely satisfied with the end product.

Contact us via the form on our website and book a consultation call – let us together take your e-commerce to
the next level