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So far we have had to go through pictures, user reviews and videos to be sure of our online purchase. But as 3D technology improves, it is clear that ordinary photos and videos are no longer enough. Customers want to have control over their purchases while manufacturers do not want to lock up capital in large unsold stocks. A web-based product configurator allows customers to interact with the product in real time by giving them the opportunity to customize it according to their own preferences. Let’s take a closer look at how it works and why you should consider implementing a 3D product configurator in your e-commerce business.

What is a 3D configurator?

If you run an e-commerce business and sell products where customization is possible but don’t use a 3D configurator, you are likely to lose sales. Technology has become a bridge between sellers and customers and has already started to revolutionize the e-commerce industry.

So, what is a configurator?

A 3D product configurator is an interactive tool that allows customers and consumers to customize products according to their own preferences. But what sets 3D product configurators apart from other customization tools is the fact that the technology allows customers 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 waste as customers make all the necessary changes before production, more on this below.

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 shoppers. E-commerce is limited in the sense that you cannot really see or feel the product before buying.
Therefore, a web configurator is a perfect tool to reduce the gap between salespeople and customers and deliver the most cost-effective solution.

What does a product configurator do?

A major problem with traditional e-commerce is that the goods have to be delivered first. Sometimes customers feel dissatisfied with their purchase because the product does not meet their expectations and decide to return the product. The buyer loses time, the retailer has a dissatisfied customer, and transportation has a negative impact on the environment.
With a product configurator, that problem disappears and the options are endless. You can use it to try 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 the future?

As we have already touched on in this article, the e-commerce industry is booming, and because there is often a lack of information about the product, customers are increasingly dissatisfied. Returning products that do not meet expectations is an unpleasant experience that most people can relate to. Another important aspect that e-retailers are well aware of is that a returns warehouse and the ecosystem around returned goods entails high costs, which is not beneficial for their ROI.
Animech’s product configurator can solve all these problems and give your ecommerce business bragging rights to boot. Many large e-commerce companies have already started using 3D technology and their conversion rates have skyrocketed since then.

So if you don’t want to be left behind, it’s high time you considered investing in a 3D product configurator. Apart from the fact that it will improve your overall net margin, it will also contribute to better customer retention rates, loyalty and brand awareness.
These are just a few benefits in a sea of possibilities, so let’s explore other benefits that come with using 3D product configurators.

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

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’ll go in-depth with these and discuss all of them below. Here’s why you need to start using product configurators on your e-commerce site:

It increases engagement

3D product configurators increase your engagement with customers in more than one way. The first, most obvious one is that customers can engage with your website in a completely different way. They will be drawn to your service because 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 website. 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 engaged 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 site, engagement, repeat visitors are some of Google’s more important ranking factors and will therefore also contribute to increased visibility on search engines.

Product configurators improve customer experience and satisfaction

Is there anything better than imagining a particular product and being able to configure it to suit your needs and desires? We all know those AliExpress vs reality memes. And they became memes because the comparison is so painfully true.

incorrect e-commerce descriptions

How many times have you bought a seemingly nice product, waited for it to arrive, tried it on and then realized that it doesn’t fit, the color is wrong or the texture is not right?
This ruins your customers’ shopping experience. And if that happens in your e-commerce store, they will probably never shop again, they may leave a negative review and scare away new customers. By customizing the product, exploring features and options, customers learn more about the product and service itself before buying.
It gives them the creative freedom they can’t get anywhere else. Some of the world’s most famous companies have already started to benefit from this technology. Volkswagen is a good example – their VR configurator allows you to choose from different colors, vehicle designs, wheels, rims, seats, materials, foils and much more. See the case study here.

It shortens the sales cycle

The sales cycle represents the timeline of when your customer first found out about the product to the moment they converted into paying customers. There are several steps in the sales funnel because customers usually don’t buy something at first sight.
But if you use 3D product configurators on your e-commerce site, they know more about the product and your service just by playing with different options. Therefore, you don’t need to push informative videos and emails or use other marketing techniques to turn cold leads into customers.
The better you inform your customers about the product, the faster they will buy it. With product configurators, they can learn everything about the product much faster.

Product configurators reduce return rates

We’ve touched on this benefit several times throughout the article, but it still deserves its own paragraph, it’s that 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 sold again, either as B-stock or as regular products. But what if your company sells complex products that are tailor-made for your industry and, if ordered incorrectly, cannot be reused for other customers. You still need to offer a good return policy as it is ethical and improves customer loyalty.
But you lose a lot of money by having to discard or reuse these items. A product configurator solves that problem – provided you use a high-quality configurator.
With 3D configurators, your customers can familiarize themselves with the product and they have the opportunity to get exactly what they asked for. While this does not completely eliminate returns, it will definitely reduce them significantly.

Improved marketing

Every eCommerce owner knows that the key to having a successful eCommerce store is knowing your customers inside and out. And like any other online tool, product configurators provoke various actions on the website 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. You can then 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 them to customize a product, how much they use each customization tool, and learn more about sales dynamics in general.

It reduces storage costs

Unused stock is probably the biggest money waster in the e-commerce industry. But stocking up on different items is necessary because your customers want different options. So you proactively invest in inventory and storage space, without knowing which products will sell 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 now just wait for them to make the buying decision and produce products they really want.

It increases the average contract size

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

Customers expect a 3D configurator

3D product configurators are becoming the norm. We already have hundreds of industry leaders using the technology – some of them, such as 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 done in the Nordics today. As e-commerce is here to stay, customers will want more options to ensure they are fully satisfied with the product.

Demand directly to production

Product customization, user experience and improved conversions are just a fraction 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-manufacturing process.
3D models should have the ability to automatically convert to 2D production-ready files that follow an appropriate format. And it should allow for automatic resizing to minimize material consumption.


3D product configurators will become standard in the e-commerce industry in the coming years. And you should jump on that train as soon as possible to reap the rewards. However, remember that just getting a 3D configurator is not enough. It must be of high quality otherwise there is no point in having it in the first place.
At Animech we offer in-house developed and quality 3D product configuration services. Our team consists of industry experts with extensive experience. We strive to provide our customers with the highest quality service and we work on your project until we are sure you are completely satisfied with the final product. Contact us via the form on our website and book a consultation call – let’s take your e-commerce to the next level together.