Visual product configurators remove the guesswork for buyers and pave the way for a smooth, worry-free purchase. It makes them very helpful for customers but also offers many business benefits. Engineer-to-order (ETO) and configure-to-order (CTO) manufacturers face a high demand for granular personalization. A 3D visual product configurator can make working together easier for sales and engineering.
Increased Sales & Customer Loyalty
Visual configurators allow businesses to show buyers exactly what they’ll be purchasing. It reduces buyer apprehension and the rate of product returns due to poor expectations or manufacturing issues. Buyers can select from various options to personalize the product, then view a 3D or 2D image that changes as their selections are made on the fly. It helps them better understand how various features interact and their choices affect the price. For example, imagine a business selling office chairs online. With a 2D visual configurator, shoppers can swap in and out different headrests, arms, fabric colors and other add-on features to find the perfect chair for their needs.
The configuration process also eliminates manual handovers between salespeople and engineers, resulting in a streamlined workflow. Additionally, a modern visual CPQ configurator solution can automatically generate CAD files, BOMs, CNC cut sheets and additive manufacturing files for every configured product, reducing engineering work and connecting siloed teams with a seamless digital thread. It helps companies save time and money and improves the quality of quotes.
Better Customer Experience
Whether for B2B or B2C, visual configurators enable shoppers to view the product they will receive in real-time before hitting the “Order” button. It allows them to make more confident purchase decisions that reduce risk and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Effective visual configurators also eliminate the guesswork for online shoppers browsing customizable products by displaying their options in a software-viewable way, such as 2D photorealistic or 3D models. They can also incorporate augmented or virtual reality for a more immersive experience for the shopper.
In addition to increasing sales, 3D product visualization can bolster business strategies by providing insight into current demand trends, areas for optimization, and the best product lines for development. This data can help manufacturers improve configurable options and ergonomics based on the feedback they receive from prospects. It can also help them streamline the process of designing and manufacturing smart, connected, intelligent products for faster time to market. The most advanced manufacturers are taking a Configuration Lifecycle Management approach to visual configurators, making them a core part of their go-to-market strategy.
Increased Sales & Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
They give prospects a clear view of the custom product they’re ordering and increase their confidence to move forward and buy. It leads to shorter sales cycles and reduced customer churn. Customers’ confidence that they will receive goods that match or exceed their expectations decreases returns, which also helps to raise average order value. A visual configurator is software that, based on the buyer’s input, displays what the end product will look like in 2D or 3D through an intuitive interface. It is a great way to give a showroom-like buying experience online, whether with a sales rep or self-serve. It can help to increase the number of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs) by enabling marketers and sales teams to model various deal scenarios quickly. The best visual configurators scale from assemble-to-order (ATO) to engineer-to-order (ETO), enabling real-time collaboration between engineering, manufacturing, and sales. They also rely on consistent data models across PLM, ERP, and CRM to ensure the correct product is always configured for the right customer.
Reduced Customer Churn
With Visual Configurators, the customer sees a rendered model of their customized product as they are selecting their product options. It allows them to visualize their finished product, reducing buyer apprehension and increasing conversion rates. Visual Configurators enable buyers to choose the product’s color and size, guaranteeing that the final product will satisfy all their requirements. It prevents miscommunication between the customer and salesperson that could lead to a return, resulting in lost revenue. Instead of requiring the consumer to physically visit the business or rely on perplexing 2D photos or drawings, a 3D visual configurator projects a virtual life-sized representation of the customized goods into their environment in real-time. Customers can view the product in 3D Visual Configurators from various perspectives and in the environment in which they will be using it, enabling them to confirm that their final product satisfies all of their criteria. In B2B environments, Visual configurations reduce the back and forth between engineering and salespeople that can occur when a potential buyer needs help understanding the technical limitations of a particular product design.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Using a visual product configurator, B2B and B2C buyers can visualize what the finished product will look like before they buy it. It eliminates buyer’s remorse, reduces returns and improves customer satisfaction. A configurator allows sales reps and self-serve customers to configure products online and offline in a single, consistent experience regardless of channel or device. Configurators also enable companies to increase revenue by allowing bundling of multiple SKUs, upselling add-on features and even ERP integration. 3D visual configurators provide a 360-degree virtual design environment where shoppers can move, view and explore different product variations. They can swap in and out various customizable elements such as parts, colors, fabric choices, styles and other design options for an entirely new configuration. Examples include a business selling office chairs that allow users to change the headrest, arms and other add-on features to find the best fit for their office space. They can also explore the product in a full-scale virtual rendering or in an interactive exploded view to see the individual components and materials. The result is an improved customer experience that increases trust and sales.