Virtual product configuration - a vitality of e-commerce development

Virtual product configuration - a vitality of e-commerce development

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

As e-commerce becomes more and more of a norm, the demands on companies to offer tools that enable a higher accuracy of ordered goods increase. This also results in the company saving money on returned deliveries, something that companies in many cases offer free of charge.

There are several types of product configurations on the market. Its uses may differ and vary depending on the company’s range.

  • Web-based product configuration
  • VR product configuration
  • AR product configuration
  • A couple of examples of areas where this type of technology can be implemented, and fulfill the function.

  • The car industry
  • Interior design
  • Production
  • Fashion industry
  • Architecture
  • Retail
  • Web-based product configuration:

    A web-based product configuration enables the customer to design and modify distinctive features to suit the individual. An example of this is Fjällrävens Kånken’s use of the tool where the user is given full access to the design at a 360 ° angle. This creates a deep interface, where new trends can be developed based on how customers use the tool. Nike also receives a lot of data from how users design, and can use this information to further develop its value proposition.

    This form of technology can be applied to both B2B and B2C, but its uses and accuracy are based on the business success in sales

    VR product configurator:

    This is a more revolutionary type of product configuration than the previous option. The tool uses VR technology, which enables an even wider interface of users, leading to the possibility of 3D models being manipulated endlessly. The disadvantage is that this tool is limited, as some form of VR device must be used. But Web VR is underway and the spread of VR headsets is increasing. For that reason
    this is seen as a step into the future.

    A product configuration in a VR environment can be used when someone is to tailor a product and see what it looks like in a virtual reality. But above all it is good when configuring a room. For example furnishing a room, or decorating a laboratory, so that you can experience the feeling of space and how everything is connected

    AR product configuration:

    AR, as a tool for product configuration, is another groundbreaking method for offering customers previews of goods. Augmented reality means that technology enters our world, which makes the tool easier to apply to reality.

    AR technology renders 3D models that in combination with surface detection show a digital version of the product in real time. The ability to create visual drawings is well suited for presentations of products and where the audience can establish a visual connection to the product.

    With the motivation for the applicability that AR generates, the technology is well suited to the private consumer. This can be referred to IKEA’s own application, IKEA Place. Here the consumer is given the opportunity to place furniture and other interior design products in their home.

    The number of companies offering AR technology in the clothing and cosmetics industry has increased sharply in recent years. It has been speculated that in the future AR mirrors will also be sold to private individuals, and where one of the benefits will be to make it possible to try on clothes at home before ordering. Animech has a unique AR module that can convert configured 3D models to
    AR, and can be used completely without downloading an app or other programs, but works directly in the browser.

    How does the consumers react to the tool?

    The most important question to ask is how the final prospectus relates to the implementation of technology in both a physical and digital environment. A company called Invesp conducted a survey on this particular topic to find an answer.

    The following was the result:

  • It turned out that 61% of those who buy on the internet preferred to shop on a website that offers the technology.
  • 35% of users thought the technology was an incentive to shop online more frequently.
  • 77% of customers stated that the opportunity to preview and design at their own discretion was preferable.
  • 40% of customers preferred to pay a higher price if the product they bought could be previewed through some form of virtual solution.
  • 73% of customers who took part in the technology within a mobile product configuration reported a high level of satisfaction
  • What the result will be of an implementation of virtual product configuration:

    To survive in today’s e-commerce landscape you as an entrepreneur need to understand your customer, the market and the need. It is required that the process as well as the delivery of your value proposition is personalized according to your customer.

  • A product configurator helps you as an entrepreneur to visualize your value proposition when texts and ordinary images are not enough.
  • Reduce the number of complaints and returns – and increase the user experience. Thanks to the help of the tool the customer offers a preview of the product, resulting in a higher accuracy.
  • Increase your ROI as a result of higher accuracy
  • Product configuration provides many solutions to problems that usually arise continuously; for example lack of content and a deficient user experience
  • Move quotation work from your salesreps to your customers. Save valuable time and let salesreps focus on valueable activities and qualified sales instead of administrative “dummy work” updating quotes.
  • The cost of implementing the technology:

    The cost of implementing a virtual product configuration can vary considerably. What dictates the cost is mainly based on the depth of complexity the business needs in the system. Other factors that also come into play are how photorealistic the products in the configurator need to be.

    Although the price can differ greatly there is a criterion, a type of consensus, created among businesses as a result of competition.

  • Basic solution- €30.000+
  • Standard – €60,000+
  • Extended – €100,000+
  • If you are interested in implementing a virtual product configuration in your business, and have questions about exact prices, you should contact companies to delve further into what this is based on. The possibility of customizing systems is deep, and it may result in a price that can differ significantly depending on need.

    Concluding remarks

    Virtual product configuration is the future and will soon be fully implemented in the retail and e-commerce industry. The tool has a deep interface and works sophistically on many different levels, regardless of product or service. As the technology develops further the price will also fall gradually – where supply and suppliers grow.

    We can only speculate on how this will shape the e-commerce we experience today, but can say with certainty that it is a game-changer