Business-to-business enterprises frequently receive unique product demands which require custom solutions to satisfy them. Over the last few years, a digital app has emerged that helps companies to meet these demands while boosting sales. That solution is a 3D product configurator.
The configure, price, quote (CPQ) market continues to grow and is expected to rise by 14% annually between 2021-2025 for total growth of $1.49 billion. Product configurators are a critical component of a CPQ suite. They help customize complex products and generate real-time quotes.
Other benefits include improved sales processes, fewer manufacturing errors, higher customer engagement, and automated services that can save you time, money, and resources.
This article takes a deeper look at the uses and benefits of 3D product configurators in B2B commerce.
What Is a 3D Product Configurator?
A 3D product configurator is a digital marketing tool that uses live 3D models to provide customers with interactive visualizations and personalization options. In essence, these tools allow users to customize and see product changes while also receiving detailed real-time price quotes, resulting in an enhanced purchasing experience.
Recently, more people are shelving offline in-store options to purchase products using media files—such as images and videos—to guide their decisions. But is this enough? With users looking for more personalized products, just having product pictures or videos on your site won't suffice. That's why you need a 3D product configurator.
With a 3D product configurator, enterprises can improve brand engagement, boost sales, and reduce return rates. Companies gain over six dollars for every dollar they invest in CPQ software, with product configurators representing an important component of these solutions.
3D configurators let users change various attributes such as color, accessories, features, materials, or size. Rather than manually creating quotes and specifications against a user’s preferences, 3D product configurators automate the entire process, speeding up the buyer’s journey.
Read more: What Is a Product Configurator?
3D Product Configurators: B2B Commerce Use Cases
There are several ways for you to use a product configurator. Unsurprisingly, they have found widespread usage among manufacturing industries for real estate and construction, merchandising, vehicles/automotive, interior designs, and more. Enterprises with customizable products can take advantage of the visually appealing, customer-centric design of a product configurator. Let’s have a look at how enterprises are using product configurators:
- eCommerce Stores: Setting up an eCommerce store on your site gives your users a closer view of your products. But is the traditional 2D display of images and videos the best option? Businesses are reinventing their storefronts to meet user needs by using a product configurator. Users can interact with the products, choosing their own set of features, visualizing their custom designs, and getting a quotation of the price for that custom design. These eliminate back and forth messages that would have had to take place between a digital sales rep and the buyer.
- Real Estate/Interior Designs: This industry has probably embraced 3D product configurators the most. From complete 3D housing designs and layouts, fireplaces, furniture, and offices to intricate details of the doors, windows, bathrooms, and kitchen designs, you’ll find considerable demand for a product configurator. A potential customer can easily hop in to immerse themselves in the details of any customizable product.
- Fashion and Luxury Goods: Nothing says luxury more than having a one-of-a-kind product. That’s what 3D product configurators get you. Users can arrive from multiple channels and immerse themselves in the creative landscape of fashionable designs. Usages include clothes, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories. Your users can personalize their product by changing colors, adding engravings, and more. Several top brands around the globe are already offering these options to their customers.
- Automotive: Users can leverage car configurators to customize the vehicle. With this type of 3D product configurator, users can customize wheels, exhaust systems, mirrors, tint, paint, seat cover designs, and much more.
6 Ways 3D Product Configurators Boost B2B Sales
Lately, self-service and DIY platforms are getting more attention as customers seek more personalized goods. By exploiting the unique potential of a 3D product configurator, B2B companies can effectively optimize and fast-track the sales process, personalize user experience, and get better product feedback.
Here’s why you should consider a 3D product configurator for business:
Higher Customer Satisfaction
Bridging the gap between what a customer wants and what you deliver has never been harder. No longer are buyers willing to wait for several days—or even weeks or months—before seeing their purchase and deciding if it meets their expectations. Businesses spend an obscene amount of money on improving their processes and equipment in order to satisfy ever more demanding customers.
Not having the option to tailor their order and quickly get a quote will only push an enterprise customer to another brand. Suppose you sell furniture. Customers can interact and take full ownership of the products by tweaking some of the specifications like color, width, height, and depth.
With an interactive 3D eCommerce visualization and configuration product, you can thus achieve higher customer satisfaction.
Lower Rate of Product Returns
When you satisfy your customers, you lower the chance of them returning their purchase. 3D product configurators don’t just lead to increased customer satisfaction, they also ensure that your product doesn’t end up being discarded or returned when it doesn’t meet their expectations.
Reduce the Need for Sales Consultants
In a traditional buying process, customers have to contact sales representatives to get essential information on the product such as price, customization options, material availability, and delivery dates. The sales consultant will walk you through your preferences and requirements and then explore different configuration options with you. This process can be time-consuming and a drain on resources.
With a 3D configurator, you can quickly understand the customer's requirements, deliver a price estimate on the customized product, and direct them through a faster and more simplified consultation—or buying—process without involving a sales rep.
Big Data Pool; Better Optimized Products
When prospective customers interact with your 3D product configurator, they leave a pool of valuable data that you can use to optimize customer engagement. You can track customer engagement, noting the most common product preferences and areas where customers disengage with the product, and more.
Having this massive well of data ensures you can offer customers better sales processes, product functionality and innovations, and ultimately greater customer engagement and satisfaction.
Greater ROI with Guided Selling
Of course, a sale should ideally make a profit. But how does a 3D product configurator improve ROI? First, you can reduce production errors. The online product configurator provides a variety of settings and options—especially in B2B—that allows users to run automated checks on the feasibility of products so that customers can make informed decisions.
In some cases, one can get lost in all the options and pick the wrong components for a certain product. But a product configurator reduces the possibility of errors by ensuring that only possible combinations are available. Second, the configurator can guide users through an ad-hoc set of questions and prompts for upselling and cross-selling.
Finally, a good product may sell itself, but a better customer experience drives traffic, increases retention, and promotes visibility. Visualizing a product in real-time through a 3D product configurator gives online buyers the closest experience to the real thing. It allows them to switch parts and try out different variations until they’re satisfied.
Efficient Integrations with Third-Party Software (ERM, CRM, etc.)
You don’t just want customers to see the product, you want to take them through your enterprise platforms, if necessary, interacting with them through ERP or CRM software, tracking their viewpoints and engagements through a CDP, and so on.
A 3D product configurator simplifies the process of building a retail experience by facilitating integration with third-party software. By doing so, you will build stronger customer relationships and increase B2B sales.
Increase B2B Sales with Salsita's 3D Product Configurator and Visualization
With Salsita’s 3D product configurator framework, you can visualize several types of complex products, their features, and comprehensive options for customization. The configurator lets you integrate with your back-office platforms to guide customers in configuring the perfect product while you leverage the data acquired to learn about sales trends and customer preferences.
Our world-class software development team can provide you with a 3D product configurator based on our framework and integrate it into your existing eCommerce properties and back-end systems. Our 3D product configurators cater to the needs of B2B commerce companies, as discovered by Dutch furniture maker KILO.
KILO was looking for an opportunity to automate the generation of manufacturing diagrams and enable extensive customization, since online sales represented the fastest-growing part of their business. With Salsita’s 3D product configurator, they have been able to significantly increase online sales while simplifying and automating their sales processes.
Interested in learning more about 3D product configurators? Get the Salsita 3D product configurator handbook to learn more.