This article describes what a product configurator is and the very basics of how configuration features in the world of retail. It also underlines the need for online product configurators in sales and its importance to brands. We also dive into how software can help configure and ease the process of incorporating configurable elements in the brand’s strategy.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Product Configurator?
- What does it mean to be configurable?
- What does a 3D product configurator look like?
- The need for Online product configurators in sales
- Example of popular product configurators
- Differences between B2B and B2C configurators
- Benefits of visual product configurators for sales
- Must Haves for Product Configurator Software
- Product configurator software checklist
- USPs of HelloAR sales configurator
- Transform your sales presentations with product configurators
The pandemic has changed the world of commerce in many ways. E-Commerce players have felt this change in the way they do business. On one hand, the sellers witnessed a growing demand for remote presentations or AR presentations and on the second hand, we saw the B2C e-commerce segment being revolutionized by the 3d augmented reality and interactive catalogs to aid online buyers.
What Is a Product Configurator?
A product configurator is an interactive software that helps users configure a product in real-time. Thus this software helps change certain features of a product as the user needs. This allows the user to experience the product using different features without the need for a physical product. Thus, in sales presentations, a product configurator helps you showcase different aspects and configurations of your products
What does it mean to be configurable?
‘To configure’ something literally means to ‘arrange or to put something together. Similarly, configurable products can be arranged to have a certain set of features. When a product is configurable it has the capability to be customized to match the user’s intent. Thus a configurable product allows the user to produce different varieties of the product such that it has a different set of features.
What does a 3D product configurator look like?
The simplest example of a 3D product configurator would be a furniture website like Ikea that helps you customize your own furniture based on available options. In this case, a product configurator allows you to choose the color, material, dimensions, and style of the product. Customizing the product based on these features helps the user find the product that is perfect for them.
The need for Online product configurators in sales
Now that we know what online product configurators are, let us see how sales presentations can benefit from their usage.
1. Transparency of information
Product configurators allow the client to gain access to all information they need. Often, most information made available to clients is in the form of documents that can be clunky to read through. But a product configurator makes it much easier to visualize and understand all the available product options with a click of the button to make an informed decision.
2. Ease of customisation
Being easily able to customize a product is a big plus for a product sales presentation. Customizability helps the client understand a customer’s preferences and biases towards a particular combination of features. Thus manufacturers can be ready to configure more products of a particular set of features.
3. All points of views of the product
Product configuration allows the client to inspect a product from all angles. And if empowered with AI the buyers can see the products in their space as well. It is much easier for a sales representative to showcase all the product angles and help buyers make informed choices. Product configurators also allow the client to look inside a product to gain a better understanding of the product features.
4. Better flexibility
Interactive 3D configurators provide a clear picture, providing flexibility of showcasing a wide variety of products. Presenting different types of products with different features is not always possible in a physical meeting. Product configurators make this job much easier as one configurator can allow the client to inspect and experience various varieties of the product. Interactive configurators also enhance the visual experience making a product livelier and having a better chance of sealing the deal for you. It also allows the demonstration of different functions and variants live for your clients.
5. Clarity of product features
With photorealism and interactivity provided by various product configurators, a clear picture of the product is provided to the clients. With each aspect of the product in perfect clarity, product configurators leave no doubt in the client’s mind regarding the product thus helping them make the right decision.
Example of popular product configurators
The COVID-19 pandemic has also given way to boost remote sales presentations which further require the integration of good product configurators. For example, Ashirvad Pipes uses the 3D product configurator by HelloAR to provide an all-immersive experience to their customers. This involves providing product images from a 360-degree view along with a sliced version of the product, to allow the users to gauge the thickness and material of Ashirvad’s products.
Another popular example of seamless integration of product configurator in e-commerce websites is seen in Whirlpool’s Jennair brand. This website allows clients and contractors to easily take a look at any product they want with desirable features and customizations.
Also, Einhell, a German brand, combines a search assistant and a product configurator to enable B2B clients to select the product that they truly need without the hassle of physically inspecting the product.
Differences between B2B and B2C configurators
Product configurators find their usage in both B2B and B2C markets. Using the right kind of configurator is key to using this technology in the way that suits your business the best.
|B2B market||B2C market|
|Who can benefit||Company sales representatives can use these to provide specific quotes||Any type of customers can use|
|Channel||Available through a configure price quote (CPQ) software||Different E-Commerce platforms use different software|
|Quality of content||High detail, high precision available to the client||Lesser details and features available to the customer|
Benefits of visual product configurators for sales
Knowing the ins and outs of the product configurator lets us better understand the various benefits that product configurators can give our sales presentation.
1. Improved time efficiency and accuracy
Product configurators help the client choose specific features of the products to make a combination that they need. This significantly reduces time spent due to decision fatigue which is avoided as the clients can try different options out for themselves. Additionally, with computer generated data available for all products accuracy also sees a great improvement.
2. Ease of building sales quotes
Product configurators also help produce the right sales quotes for the correct combination of features thus making it easier to produce accurate sales quotes. The product configurator also automatically generates retail prices as a client changes and chooses different features. With easy making of quotes the process of giving new orders also becomes easier for the clients.
3. Automatic generation of BOMs
BOMs are bills of materials that contain a list of items that are used in the making of a product. When done manually this is a highly time-intensive task. With product configurators, BOMs can be automatically generated to improve turnover time and also accuracy.
4. Ease of usage
Product configurators allow the clients to see all the possible features and characteristics of the product to allow easy customization. Thus the clients can configure the product to be the way they want without any compromise. Moreover, with the right permissions, the user can access all features simultaneously.
5. High affordability
The benefits of product configurators can be achieved by companies of all scales. Platforms like HelloAR make the technology of product configuration available such that it fits the budget that is right for the company.
Must Haves for Product Configurator Software
With various product configurators available in the market it is essential to know which one is right for your brand. Here are the main features that your product configurator software must have to benefit you the best. Also, check out the checklist to cross-check with the software that you need to nail your next sales presentation.
1. Seamless visual configuration
Sales presentations benefit greatly from product configuration due to the visual experience that they provide. A good product configurator allowance incorporation of different product features like options, its pricing, upgradable features, etc. Even though the 2D and 3D orientation of a product is a comparatively new technology, sales presentations, and client needs can be limited only if your software allows the same.
2. Flexibility of product rules engine
Arun engine rules engine is one that allows the user to tweak proper features and allow a desirable number of customization in a product. Thus one can say that a product rules engine is the most important aspect of a product configurator software. Aspects like the ease of customizing the rules engine and simplicity in usage are instrumental when it comes to choosing the right software for you.
3. Automatic document generation
Using a product configurator generates a lot of useful data that clients deem crucial for their product. The various product features and customizations that are also chosen by the users, give ample data to understand what they really need. A good product configurator software would make thus use of this information and generate documents like detailed pick lists, bills of manufacture (BOMs), cut sheets, shipping/packing lists, assembly instructions, blueprints, and product renderings automatically.
4. Integration with other softwares
Your product configurator software can work best only when it can easily integrate with the other software that your business uses. This includes synchronization with systems databases and apps. So also your product configurator software needs to connect with core systems like CRM ERP and PLM to allow seamless integration of the various functions that these systems have.
5. Omni channel capabilities
For your product to be equally accessible to audiences of all kinds your product operator needs to be omnichannel. This means that your audience can also access your product through various channels, including internal sales teams, partners and distributors. Thus the best product configurator software is able to be incorporated into the client’s internal or external websites that allow them to configure the product as needed.
Product configurator software checklist
Here is a checklist of features to look for in an ideal product configurator software.
|Product interactivity||The user should be able to interact with the product and perform activities like zooming and rotating as per their need.|
|Clickable customization||User should also be able to customize the product with a single click rather than looking for the featured in need in a list|
|Variety of options||The software should allow the inclusion of a wide range of options in different categories like colors materials etc|
|Real-time changes||The customer should be able to see customized changes in real-time and not suffer lags|
|Less training required||The product configurator software should require little to no training to be easily accessed by non-professionals|
USPs of HelloAR sales configurator
Now that we know what an ideal product configurator looks like, here are the USPs that make hello AR sales product configurator the right one for you.
1. No Code Interactive visualisation
HelloAR’s sales configurator enhances the visual experience while also improving the clarity of the product for the client. Transparency of information and immersive product experience helps clients interact with the product to their ease.
2. Easy Integration
Seamless integration of HelloAR’s software with other core systems is an important highlight. This integration helps enable customer-specific pricing according to the features that they choose thus improving accuracy and providing the best customer experience.
3. Ideal roadmap
With HelloAR’s product configurator software the clients are guided to make the right visual strategy. This is done keeping in mind the budget of the client. This not only helps talk about the future plans of the product but also enables the client to identify new opportunities.
4. Accessible in all devices
The software also allows the team to access the software on any device, at any point of time. This enables proper communication while also improving accuracy and time efficiency.
5. Automatic document generation
Accurate and customer-specific documents can be automatically generated with HelloAR’s product configurator software. All the documents necessary and specific to the product features also chosen by the client can be automatically generated and delivered on time.
Transform your sales presentations with product configurators
With remote sales presentations slowly becoming the norm, using the right tools to make a long lasting impact on your client is becoming increasingly difficult. This can be largely improved by using product configurators that not only enhance the experience but also provide essential information and freedom of choice to the clients. HelloAR’s product configurator software can help you achieve the same with improved speed and accuracy, giving the clients the visual experience that they were looking for.