Want a tool that makes it quick and easy for salespeople and customers to configure the most complex products? Then you need product configurator software. It’s a solution that can transform the customer experience and dramatically impact your bottom line.
The results speak for themselves. The average company that implements Epicor CPQ’s product configurator more than doubles its deal size and increases conversion rates by 40%. But not every company achieves such striking results. It depends on your products and business model.
Read on to find out how much your business stands to gain.
What is Product Configurator Software?
Product configurator software allows manufacturers to create custom versions of their products by interacting with a text-based or visual interface. Salespeople and customers can specify various options and features–dimensions, colors, materials, and parts–and generate a configuration based on their specifications.
Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Manufacturing with CPQ
Technology has progressed more rapidly than business processes for manufacturers, and it’s time to redress the balance.
Product configurator software lets manufacturers offer their customers a broader range of product options without producing a large inventory of each possible variation. In addition, it helps manufacturers streamline their production processes by automatically generating design documents, instructions, and parts lists based on the customer’s chosen options.
What is a 3D Product Configurator?
A 3D product configurator (frequently shortened to: “3D configurator”) allows users to create customized product versions in three dimensions. Customers can view a realistic representation of the product they’re creating, which helps them make more informed decisions about the options and features they choose.
A 3D product configurator typically uses 3D modeling technology to generate product images. It may also incorporate other features, such as animation and interactive elements. It enables manufacturers to offer their customers an immersive and delightful product customization experience, distinguishing them from competitors.
In short, 3D product configurators add transparency to the sales process, which improves win rates. They also make the sales process more engaging, which attracts more customers, increases brand value, and boosts revenue.
Will 3D Configuration Boost Sales for Your Company?
Product configurator software increases revenue for companies across various industries, from biotech to building supplies, modular buildings, heavy equipment, high-tech, and retail. But only some companies will experience benefits of the greatest magnitude.
What matters most is that your products are configurable, complex, and hard to customize using traditional methods (Excel, napkin sketches, paper catalogs, tedious PDFs, etc.). If the below statements are true of your business, you’ll see the most significant results.
Your products are complicated, with features that are hard to understand and describe.
Sales reps frequently struggle with the ins and outs of complex, technical products. When their product knowledge is lacking, all they can do is bluff their way through sales pitches–the savviest customers can see right through the facade.
3D product configurators give salespeople and customers a deep understanding of products and options. Instead of imagining how products will look and behave in the real world, they can see the finished product on-screen.
Your products are highly configurable, with hundreds, thousands, or even millions of custom options.
It’s unrealistic to expect your most seasoned sales vets–let alone under-pressure new hires–to configure just the right product for each unique customer’s needs when there are many options and attributes from which to choose. They don’t have the mental computing power to deal with thousands of possible permutations.
This complexity leads to frequent mistakes. Some bad configurations make it right through to the shop floor, wasting materials, power, time, and money and releasing unnecessary emissions into the atmosphere. Engineers are frequently left to pick up the pieces.
3D product configurator software automates everything, eliminating mistakes and optimizing every configuration automatically. The configurator runs on “product rules”–code that contains all of your company’s engineering knowledge, which the configurator reuses every time it configures a product. Rules maintain accuracy, consistency, and a smooth end-to-end configure-to-order process.
Your products are highly aesthetic. Looks really matters.
When looks are everything, you’ve got to be sure that customers are 100% satisfied with their finished product’s appearance before it rolls off the production line.
The slightest discrepancy between the real world product and the one in their heads can lead to returns and chargebacks, which hurt your brand, bottom line, or both!
3D configuration displays lifelike 3D renderings of products at the earliest possible stage. It creates a shared visual understanding–a visual contract–between buyer and seller that eliminates miscommunication and refund requests.
Visual product configuration enables you to sell a massive product range effectively. You don’t have to stick to the limited number of products you have photographed for your catalog. You can display all of the products you’re capable of manufacturing, even if you’ve never physically produced them. And the more options available, the more customers you can satisfy and serve, which means more money in the bank at the end of the year.
The Next Wave in Product Configurator Software (AR and VR)
3D product configuration is a complete game changer for manufacturers of complex products and their customers. But digital leaders in the manufacturing industry are taking visual product configuration to the next level by introducing augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) into their sales processes.
Manufacturers can use virtual reality to sell products without needing expensive physical samples and prototypes. Instead, they can create virtual demonstrations, enabling customers to experience products in natural and interactive ways, and virtual showrooms, where customers can browse and interact with products in hyper-realistic simulations.
Augmented reality (AR) is an even more impactful sales tool. It’s ideal for products such as building materials, where buyers want to see how the product will fit in with an existing space. With AR, manufacturers can show customers how a proposed product will look and function in their own environment (usually by aiming their cell phone at a specific location and looking at the screen.)
The Bottom Line
Product configurator software makes it quick, easy, and inexpensive for manufacturers of complex, configurable products to sell to customers and let buyers self-serve. 3D, VR, and AR technologies increase clarity and set brands apart from their less digitally-advanced competitors.