There are plenty of methods to increase e-commerce conversions. Probably more than once your online store has undergone a facelift of the ordering process or new modules have appeared in it, e.g. a recommendation system or the recovery of abandoned carts. You can also increase your sales results thanks to product configurators – this is the answer to the strong trend of personalization.
Do you have a mug at home with a dedication from a friend or a calendar with family photos? And can you imagine looking for a new car without configuring it on the manufacturer’s website, if only to check what are the options or what will be the price in the highest version? Exactly! In many industries, configurators are already standard, and they are just reaching others. And very good, because both sides can benefit from them – both the customers and the producers themselves.
Product customization is money
The relationship between personalization and money is best illustrated by these 3 simple equations:
MONEY = TIME
TIME = AUTOMATION
AUTOMATION = PERSONALIZATION
The most valuable currency today, both in life and in business, is time. We convert time into money and vice versa. Every opportunity to save time is a benefit for your company. One of the ways to introduce time savings is to automate processes in the enterprise. Automation in e-commerce is a set of various practices, from production itself, through shipping or handling. One of the possibilities is also the personalization of the product offer and sales, and thus we come to product configurators that provide both.
Think – too many options to choose from in the online store mean chaos in the customer’s mind and the time that he has to spend on browsing the entire product category, reading all descriptions. Nobody likes wasting time, and for many people, shopping is stressful in itself. This may result in lower conversions.
What if you could replace the difficult choice of many options with the configuration of a product tailored to your needs? Maybe it is worth having a tool in your business that will match the order items for the customer, will not make a mistake in calculations and will also tell you what is the inventory of the products?
This is a win-win situation and no one has to compromise.
What is the product configurator?
The configurator is an e-commerce tool that helps to sell non-standard products, i.e. those that the manufacturer prepares to order for a specific customer. It can be a personalized product, such as engraved jewelry or a printed cap, or a product consisting of many elements, such as a piece of furniture.
There are many benefits offered by configurators, but from the entrepreneur’s point of view, two are particularly important – saving and earning, and here we come back to the 3 equations above.
How do product configurators automate sales?
Sales automation through personalization is based on 3 pillars. If you only take care of one, the effects will not be big, but if you approach the matter as a whole – you will quickly feel an increase in work efficiency and a higher conversion.
A. pillar – Automation of communication
It takes place both at the stage preceding the purchase of the product and during the ordering process. Its task is to speed up the exchange of information and lead the customer to a purchase, and not tire him or you as a seller along the way. What does automation of communication give?
– 24h availability – The customer has access to the configurator as well as to the entire online store without interruption – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
– Help with ordering specialized goods, e.g. construction goods – the configurator automatically indicates the necessary components, asks about their dimensions, and also suggests what else is necessary to place a given order. In the case of technical or construction industries, the configurator replaces a qualified advisor and assists the customer during purchases.
– Less human errors – this benefit is especially visible in B2B businesses, e.g. in the construction or furniture industry, where the product consists of many elements and orders are placed by contractors on a regular basis. Until now, in these businesses there was no question of sales automation, and orders were accepted by traders. And as it happens very often, the so-called the human factor was doing its job – there were many very costly mistakes. The implementation of configurators in such companies saves a lot of money, thanks to the fact that the configurator “asks” customers for all the information needed to complete the order. This eliminates understatement, wrong measurements or mistakes. The human factor is also present in B2C online stores – there, thanks to the configuration, we avoid the stage of a long e-mail exchange between the customer and the service, and between the Service Department and, for example, a graphic designer. The configurator allows you to “click” the order yourself.
– Excluding mismatched elements – it is not easy to order an item that consists of many components. Remember to add them all to your basket and make sure they match. The configurator does this for the customer and does not allow you to order incompatible items. No more disappointment and no replacement costs.
– Visualization of the final product in real time – the configurator shows on an ongoing basis how the product changes as a result of adding new parameters. The customer knows exactly what they are ordering and what the goods will ultimately look like.
B. pillar – Automation of the offer and orders
Automating the offer and order allows you to exit the “we always did it manually and it worked” mode. In the past, people only traveled on foot and somehow lived. And although we know the advantages of walking, cars make our lives much easier in everyday life. There are many examples of this type, and the conclusion is one – it is worth using technology that improves life and work. How do configurators accelerate the work of enterprises?
– Wholesale offer updates (photos, descriptions, parameters, price lists) – anyone who has ever had to manually update an offer with thousands of products knows what it entails. It’s a waste of time for the work that the algorithm can do.
– Taking care of availability – in large production companies it is impossible to track the inventory of all products without technology. The real-time configurators “communicate” with the warehouse and update the availability of components and goods. As a result, both the seller and the customer can be sure that the offer only shows available products, and the unavailable ones disappear from the page.
– Product price calculation – configurators calculate the individual product price on an ongoing basis based on component prices or more complex algorithms (e.g. counting volume, length, weight). In the case of B2B, it is also possible to calculate based on individual price lists per customer.
C. pillar – Automation of production and delivery
For the seller, this pillar is as important as the two previous ones, while for the customer it is the most visible part. Therefore, make sure that the customer’s contact with your store is pleasant, convenient and responsive to the needs. On the configurator side, automation means completing the elements needed to complete the order placed by the customer, and these are:
– Components of the configuration and their location in the warehouse – especially important for large production companies, e.g. furniture or construction.
– Generating previews / vectors and files, e.g. PDF for use in production – incredibly useful, but not so obvious functionality. Configurators allow you to generate and then send to the production department a file with the specification of the goods immediately after placing the order. This greatly speeds up the implementation of the entire process.
– Courier service and optimization of delivery costs – configurators also allow you to optimize transport costs, both for customers and for sellers. This is especially true for stores selling large or undersized products that are difficult to transport and therefore expensive.
In which industries is it worth personalizing products?
There are more and more businesses that have decided to introduce product configurators to their e-commerce. They are usually invested by retail stores (B2C) that hear and respond to their customers’ needs. Also, more and more B2B businesses are starting to notice both the demand for product personalization and the availability of technology.
Product configurators support especially those industries that produce goods to order, in accordance with his requirements, tastes or needs, e.g .:
– home & decor (e.g. blinds and shutters),
– food (e.g. chocolate, muesli),
– digital printing, gadgets,
– fashion (e.g. clothing, jewelry, watches, fashion accessories – handbags, phone cases),
– construction (e.g. gates and garage shelters, modular houses, windows and doors),
– furniture – furniture and interior design elements,
Examples of earning / saving thanks to personalization in e-commerce
Fashion – shoes
Creates a unique shoe pattern that it can identify with. The process of creating itself provides positive emotions – the client becomes a designer. He can see how the shoes change with the addition of new parameters. WOW effect guaranteed.
Thanks to the implementation of the configurator in its e-commerce, the manufacturer can communicate to customers the uniqueness of its offer (after all, not every shoe brand can boast the option of ordering shoes according to the customer’s design), and thus it is possible to increase prices. Customers are ready to pay more for brand emotions and a unique product.
Fashion – watch
He expresses his individualism and designs a unique watch himself. Customers love personalized fashion accessories. This is one way to express your style and personality, and a higher price is often not an obstacle to buying.
There is no need to hire a graphic designer to visualize the client’s idea. Thanks to the configurator, the customer independently visualizes his project and then places an order. No unnecessary e-mail exchange, fast and in line with production possibilities.
Gifts – Chocolate Telegram
The configurator manages the availability and stock of letters. The customer can see which letters he can use to create a chocolate message, so that there is no situation in which the customer places an order for an element that is not there. In addition, the configurator visualizes on an ongoing basis what the chocolate telegram looks like after each change.
Receives from the configurator a summary of all elements of the placed order at the current prices. The configurator also gives you the opportunity to “increase” sales, thanks to additional options, such as:
– offers customers personalization of the packaging by adding their own photo,
– suggests the content of telegrams for selected occasions, which can be ordered immediately or loaded and even modified – for many buyers such predefined content is a great facilitation and acceleration of placing an order.
Printing, prints, advertising gadgets
He evaluates the final product on the visualization in real time and makes an informed purchase. Using the configurator eliminates the unnecessary disappointment of the customer after opening the package (“I did not know it would look like this …”)
Automatically generates PDF files and sends them to be printed on the machine. Every minute you save on production is your profit.
Would you like to earn more with personalization?
The answer is obvious – everyone wants to earn more, and everyone who sells wants to develop it. Therefore, at the end, I propose a small test that will allow you to assess whether the product configurators will work for your company:
A. Have your customers ever asked about modifying your products? Maybe they wanted to change their dimensions a bit or add some element?
B. Or maybe you have always made products to order, but you accept them by phone or e-mail and thus waste a lot of time agreeing on details? Are there mistakes and customer dissatisfaction?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it is a clear signal that either your customers expect personalized products or your business requires automation through configurators.