As one of Europe’s leading custom railing manufacturers and importers since 1989, Easysteel has always invested in innovation. In August 2021, Easysteel contacted Salsita with the goal to remain on the cutting edge as technology evolves within the industry. They were looking to implement a 3D configurator on their website in order to provide a more efficient design and purchasing process to both their customers and staff.
After a couple of online discussions, Easysteel CEO Kim Jørgensen, eCommerce manager Chris Lottrup, and 4 managers from Sweden, Norway, and the United Kingdom made the trip to Prague to participate in a design workshop. There, our team worked to better understand Easysteel's requirements and put together a detailed roadmap for the design, development, deployment, and maintenance of their configurator, based on our 3D Configurator framework.
As a manufacturer of custom railing fittings, Easysteel’s products offer numerous customization options including choice of styles, materials, finishes, and mounting options, as well as complete freedom to define dimensions and layout. With a highly customizable product such as railings, offering static images of each component isn’t enough to ensure successful production and delivery.
This is where Salsita comes in.
In this case study, we will look at when a 3D product configurator is necessary in today’s eCommerce world, and illustrate the many benefits of this technology using the example of Easysteel.
Developing the Configurator
Easysteel already had a well-designed, comprehensive, and fully transactional commerce website displaying their products and features. All that was missing was a high-quality 3D product configurator.
The lack of an interactive user experience led to competitive challenges. Easysteel executives lamented a lack of product engagement most of all. How do you encourage customers to complete the design process if there is not much room for creativity and personalization? The lack of customization opportunities resulted in valuable customers turning to competitors who provided this flexibility—a common theme among our configurator clients.
Extensive customization often results in complex pricing, and this is another issue that Easysteel was facing. Without a 3D product configurator, determining the exact price of a unique product can be challenging and frustrating to customers while leaving a lot of room for errors. As a result, the sales team was spending a significant amount of time on the phone with customers calculating the total price for each custom railing. The sales process affects downstream production and product delivery. Easysteel wanted a solution that not only provided a great experience with life-like 3D visuals but also streamlined the sales process and integrated seamlessly with manufacturing.
Our project requirements—encapsulating design and specification of custom-built railings into an online 3D Configurator for consumer use—appear deceptively simple but include many complex details. The Salsita team was great at listening to our descriptions, translating these into technical requirements, and turning everything into a powerful yet easy-to-use tool. Chris Lottrup, eCommerce Manager
After our conversations with Easysteel, we established a comprehensive roadmap and design strategy to develop a high-quality configurator that addresses the aforementioned pain points.
We created a custom configurator solution that outperforms Easysteel's competitors in numerous ways. With Salsita 3D Configurator, customers can edit each section of the railing individually, but all on the same screen. This eliminates the constant back and forth when selecting materials, fittings, and dimensions.
Additionally, we were able to efficiently organize material costs that can be quickly updated as prices fluctuate. Since Easysteel is an international enterprise, they have two fully functioning websites for Danish and Swedish customers. The prices on each site are represented in the respective currency. As Easysteel expands its eCommerce store to reach new countries, relevant currencies can be easily added.
We also developed a dynamic pricing system that clears up any confusion customers might have about the price of their custom product, reducing the amount of time spent on the phone with Easysteel’s sales team. This will allow them to focus their efforts on other areas such as marketing, purchasing, and handoff to the production team.
A bonus feature of this configurator is that, in addition to 3D models, customers can view a 2D rendering of their product viewed from above. This is an easy way for clients to check measurements and validate against the design specifications. The 2D “blueprint” of the product will also be used as an output for manufacturing to guide the process, and later for quality assurance.
The flexibility and creative control that Easysteel’s new product configurator provides increases engagement and encourages customers to complete the purchasing process, addressing their main concern. Customers are now able to seamlessly build products specific to their individual needs. As a result of this personalized user experience, we expect to see a significant increase in completed purchases, customer engagement, and overall customer satisfaction.
Moreover, once a customer has configured their custom railing solution and completed the purchase online, Salsita’s 3D Configurator automatically outputs the build instructions—complete with individual drawings, exact measurements, a complete bill of materials, and more—and sends these directly to manufacturing. This reduces friction, opportunity for error, and manufacturing cycle time to ensure faster order fulfillment, which saves time and money.
Salsita’s involvement, however, does not end with implementation. Our team remains in contact with Easysteel and provides ongoing maintenance and support. As Easysteel evolves, so will the Salsita 3D Configurator. We will continue collaborating to improve and expand the configurator on their site, as needed.
As customers interact with the new configurator, we will analyze the usage data and focus on optimizing the user experience. We expect Easysteel to incorporate additional product lines and variations in the future, and as they do, we will be right there to implement these enhancements.
Mass customization on eCommerce sites is becoming increasingly common and expected. As customers become more accustomed to these innovative processes, Easysteel will be in a great position to capitalize on this trend.
When Easysteel first came to us in 2021, we were excited by the opportunity to work with them, and our configurator team was ready to rise to the challenge. Together, we were able to create a unique 3D product configurator that boosts client engagement, fosters creativity, and boosts sales while reducing cost and complexity.
To learn how you can include a custom Salsita 3D Configurator in your eCommerce solution stack, contact us for more information and a free demo.