The product configurator allows customers to create their products using digital Manufacturing Tools. They can create custom orders to modify a product's color, material, features, and accessories. It can be used in many industries, and it helps companies avoid costly mistakes during manufacturing.
This tool automates the translation of sales orders into production BoMs. There are many types on the market. You must choose the best one for your business. Here is all the information you need about this tool.
What is The Importance of Product Customization?
These two questions are very popular today, both for B2C and B2B businesses. Personalization is a key factor in making a purchase decision.
This statement has been proven true for many years. Personalization is now a more prominent feature. Instead of sending customers personalized products, why not allow them to create unique products? What kind of results will we get if we do this?
This week's article will discuss product configurators and product customization. It also discusses the pros and cons associated with product customization. We've also got some examples for you, so ensure you get them. We're happy to assist you in building a product configurator or ensure you get all the benefits from product customization.
What's A Product Configurator?
As the name suggests, a product configurator is a software that allows you to define all characteristics and parameters of a particular product. The configuration logic determines a product configurator's solutions.
The product configurator helps you visualize the product rules and requires user input. This is necessary before the order can be sent to the production staff.
Product configuration is a collaborative process between the product configurator (the user) and the product designer. After the user has selected a feature, the configurator validates it. Then the user can proceed to the next step.
This process appears simple from the outside. It hides the complexity of the product configurator's structure and the many product configuration rules.
Do you Need A Product Configurator for Your Business?
It's a fair question. A product configurator is optional for some businesses. A product configurator is necessary if your company handles many products with more than three features.
- Do You Want To Try New Models or Options For Your Products and Services?
You don't have to spend money on manufacturing new products. A product configurator allows you to create a virtual product and then test it in the configurator. You can also create 3D models of the products if you have a 3D configurator.
- Do You Need Help Finding The Right Product in Your Entire Offering?
A product configurator is useful if you have many products and are trying to find the best. It'll be easier for you to find the best products by analyzing the choices made by your customers when they configure their products.
- Is Your Sales Team Spending More Time Selling Than Recording Orders?
The product configurator is the one who does the job. The product configurator records all details of your order. It sends them to the production team immediately after your sales representative approves.
These are common situations that you have likely encountered. Product configurators can help you reduce the workload and improve your sales process.
Let's dive deeper into the advantages of a product configurator.
The Benefits of A Product Configurator
A product configurator has many benefits. These same benefits are available to both B2B and B2C businesses. They range from increasing sales to customer satisfaction to improving sales processes.
Product Configurators Make Sure That Manufacturers Receive The Correct Order
Using a product configurator, you can ensure every customer gets exactly what they ordered. Customers can build their products and then save them for you to send to your manufacturing department. Customers can rest assured that their order will be delivered on time. Your manufacturing team will not make any errors in your order, so you'll have fewer worries.
Product Configurators Decrease Lead Times
Each product that your customers create will be unique. Or it may end up being an exclusive edition. Your sales process will be much easier if you have a product configurator.
Your loyal customers build the product. Your sales reps already have the information and can see the customer's order.
Instead of logging order details, your sales reps sell! Creating a quote takes much less time, and all the information is sent immediately to the manufacturing department.
Customer Satisfaction Increases With Product Configurators
Customers use a product configurator to create the right product for them. They have no limitations other than the ones set by the configuration rules. These rules ensure that the product can be made without any problems and is functional. You wouldn't place a brass door knocker on a glass one. It wouldn't make sense.
To put ourselves in the shoes and place of the customer demand, how many times have we ordered the wrong item? It could have been the wrong product size or color. Most likely, it happened at least once. It may have been a similar issue that your colleagues or friends had, which significantly impacted customer satisfaction and managed customer relationships.
You can be certain that such situations will not occur when you use a product configurator.
Product Configurators allow You To Connect With Customers.
Product configurators allow you to connect with customers. Many people enjoy shopping online. But product configurators make it even more enjoyable. It's like building your LEGO house and sharing photos with your friends to show your pride. This is the result you want.
The more options available to customers, the stronger they can connect with their product. Each additional feature they customize will be a part of their signature. This is how you can create an emotional connection between your customers and yourself.
Implementing a product configurator has many benefits. Let's look at what product configurator we can implement in our business.
Types And Configurations of Product Configurators
We identified four major types of product configurators earlier. Each one serves a different purpose, but the basic use of all four is the same. It is important to consider your target audience and long-term goals when choosing the right product configurator for your business. Remember, however, that the more complicated your product is, the more complex the product configurator must be.
1. Marketing Product Configurator
A marketing product configurator's purpose is to visually present a product that is too complex to be represented using traditional documents. Although it's not intended to create prices or accurately determine quotes, it serves its purpose well.
They spark creativity in your target audience. You'll be able to visualize the final product. This is especially useful when you're dealing with complex products. The building facade is one such product. It takes work to present a building facade using formal documents. Using a product configurator is a better way to visualize it.
This is an example of a marketing product configurator, Alucobond Facade Maker. This is a great example for engineers and architects working on facade projects. This marketing product configurator aims to ensure engineers and architects see Alucobond's penalization solutions as the best. They're doing an amazing job!
2. Product Configurator For Commercial Products
This product configurator type has become a common feature in the eCommerce business sector. Most of us have encountered this product configurator at some point. Some of these products made such an impact that we became instant friends with the brand.
A commercial product configurator can offer direct sales or a detailed quotation on which your sales representative will immediately follow up and close the deal. Nike ID, now known as Nike by You, is a popular example. It allows customers to personalize their shoes down to the last detail.
Let's look at another example: Tesla! Elon Musk started the electric car revolution and changed how we buy cars. You can customize your Tesla with this 3D configurator and see all changes in real-time. This is an extraordinary example!
3. Technical Product Configurators
When it comes to details, technical product configurators go to great lengths. Although they may not be able to provide a realistic visual of the product variants like commercial and marketing configurators, they are better than those previously mentioned. This product configurator is used in B2B sales. If you are interested in this type of product configurator, check it out if you have the time!
They do an amazing job in generating bills and CAD files for Manufacturing. Here is a great example of a technical products configurator. Habitat 21, a modular house company, uses a technical product configuration to allow users to build their own homes.
4. Configuration Tools For Internal Use
This configurator is not intended for direct sales. Its main purpose is to assist CAD engineers and designers in communicating with decision-makers and machine operators. This type of product configurator requires collaboration features. Consider this configurator if your business involves regular communication between engineers and designers.
This is because the complete product information is too complicated in this instance, so these tools contain only some of it. It is important to optimize particle processes and build stronger relationships between stakeholders.
ShapeDiver created this tool. Skidmore, Owings, and Merril LLP, an architecture firm, use it to help facilitate team decision-making. It's working for them!
Let's now see how this customization process impacts your customer service.
What Does Product Customization Mean for Customers?
Let's begin with a simple example. After you have opened your Netflix account, there are 4 Spanish TV series, an Indian horror movie advertisement, and some movies that you didn't enjoy. You might be tempted to leave Netflix and wonder what went wrong.
Netflix is a platform that offers incredible product customization. Netflix offers a wide range of cover images for TV series and movies and highly accurate recommendations. Sometimes they are so great that we have trouble choosing the movie to watch (among the many recommended titles). But that's okay!
To be able to serve your customers well, product customization is key. Remember that every customer journey is different and will use your product differently. Customizing products for each customer's expectations is essential to provide a personalized experience. This will increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Today, customization is almost imperative. It's a common occurrence at large companies. It's not a bad thing. You can improve customer satisfaction by customizing products to retain customers.
In its latest research shows that 20% of customers are willing to pay 20% more for a customized or exclusive product. What is the reason for this?
Customers who customize their products to their liking can find value in this form of unique products or through a feature like a product configurator.
You can customize products to make them more appealing to your customers. There are many benefits. Are there disadvantages to product customization? We'll discuss product customization's advantages and disadvantages in the next section.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Product Customization
Although product customization seems like a great idea, there are several obstacles that you should consider before you implement these features. We'll go over the benefits and drawbacks of product customization. After that, you can weigh in on all aspects to decide.
The Advantages of Product Customization
Product customization has many benefits. Let's get into them and name a few of them.
- Product Customization Can Increase Sales
Implementing product customization increases sales revenue, keeps customers happy, encourages loyalty, and often leads to word-of-mouth recommendations.
One out of five customers would be willing to pay 20% more to have a custom product. This is as we mentioned in paragraphs before. 36% of customers are open to purchasing a custom product or service. Customers no longer consider monetary costs. Companies can shift to new sales strategies by shifting to the full product value.
Another interesting stat is that 48% of customers are willing to wait longer to receive a custom product or service. A winning strategy may be to combine fast shipping and advanced product customization.
- Stand Out From The Crowd
The uniqueness of product customization is a key differentiator. From the customer's point of view, shopping in a store that sells more than 100 product variants is quite different from customizing your product.
Customers are more likely to choose companies that offer product customization. Customers becoming a part of the creation of the product is a huge asset and creates an emotional connection between them and the product.
- Better Customer Insight is Directly Tied To Product Customization
Any business can benefit from customer data, information about buying habits, and consumer trends. Your unique approach to gaining customer insight can give you a competitive advantage. Your potential customers can customize their products and you will get to know them in a way your competitors cannot. This is because your business is unique.
We'll go over the benefits and drawbacks of product customization. To stay on top of the most important metrics determining your business intelligence.
- Customer Loyalty Positively Impacts Product Customization
Customers will be more satisfied if they can create their products using your product configurator. This is a customer-centric approach that builds customer loyalty. Customers will more likely build an emotional connection with you if they interact with you through product customization. It will be harder for competitors to win customers once they have established that connection.
The Disadvantages of Product Customization
Despite the many benefits and advantages of product customization, there are still some challenges that you might need help with. Let's take a closer look at some of these obstacles!
- High Implementation Fees
Although product customization is a great feature, in theory, it cannot be easy to implement on eCommerce websites. Keep this in mind. However, that product customization is one of many features you can implement on an eCommerce website. You can find inspiration in our list of eCommerce website features. This project will require a trusted partner to ensure it runs smoothly.
You can also use product customization software to build your product configurator. However, this often leaves you with too many options that don't suit your unique business. Although the initial costs for setting up a product customization process and building your product configurator may seem higher, it is a worthwhile investment in your customer's experience. It pays off, and that's the most important thing!
- Managing Customer Experiences
Today, 1-day delivery and same-day delivery are standard. There are many huge discounts available at all times, and competition is aggressively changing their prices. Users will expect more from your business. This means that not all users will like it when your product's price increases because of product customization. This is a problem that many companies have faced, and there is a solution.
This obstacle can be overcome by managing your customers' expectations. Your customers should know that product customization is a premium service. This explains the increased price of the product and the longer delivery times.
- This May Slow Down The Initial Manufacturing Process
Every customized product that your customers create will require a different type of production logistics. It's impossible to predict all combinations of products your customers will create, so that you might encounter unexpected twists along the way.
Customized products can have a different production time than predefined product combinations. Be sure to keep your inventory up-to-date for any new customer requests. You should wait a while to discover which product combinations are most popular. Once you have this information, it will be easier to manage your inventory.
Let's look at some examples of product customization to see the results.
Examples For Product Customization
This section contains a few examples, so let's get into it!
Nike Has Great Success With Product Customization
Nike is a well-known brand in the apparel and sports footwear industry. Product customization was the best way to increase their Direct to Customer sales channel revenue.
They sold custom shoes starting at $170. This resulted in increased revenue and huge PR for innovation. Although their product configurator was originally called Nike ID, it has been renamed Nike by You over the years.
The Top US Planner Brand Uses Product Customization
Customers can upload their images or choose from predefined and uploaded images. They can also customize the planner's frame style, fonts, design, format, and color. Customers were free to personalize their planner in any way they wanted. Thanks to this bold move, they have seen a 20% increase in their sales.
Luxury Online Boutique For Dogs Sees An Increase in Conversion Rates Due To Product Customization
Susan Lanci Designs is a premium online boutique that sells dog accessories. It offers high-quality, comfortable, and safe products. Customers can customize all aspects of their new accessories using their eCommerce store. This new feature has resulted in a 9% increase in their conversion rate.
Are You Looking To Personalize Your Products?
It has been a long journey! We've discussed the following:
- Product configurators
- Types of product configurators
- Product customization has its advantages and disadvantages
- Here are some examples of product customization in action
You can be sure that giving your customers more freedom to create their products has perks. This premium service can be a competitive advantage and a great way to ensure your customers feel connected with your business.
Want More Information About Our Services? Talk to Our Consultants!
Businesses with multiple products will find the product configurator an invaluable tool. It cuts down on consulting time and improves ROI. It allows you to gain insight into your customers' preferences and can offer them better products.
The Product Configurator gives users a unique buying experience. It automates parts configuration, quoting, and production order processes. Additionally, it plans and schedules across all of these functions. It generates part numbers and descriptions. Configurator saves the knowledge and information from your engineers and places it in the database.
Customers can have a unique shopping experience with the Product Configurator. It automates business processes and helps with planning and scheduling. It generates descriptions and part numbers. Configurator stores and banks the knowledge and information from your total human power and keeps it safe in the database.