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Configurable and Personalized Products – Complex Selling Made Simple

  
05-06-2013  |  By: Adrecom

Offering customers the ability to configure and personalize products is an increasingly feasible and successful way to bolster sales. And it’s very popular among buyers — especially amid today’s “express-your-uniqueness” consumer mindset.

eCommerce platforms can now be designed to include product “Configurators”, which allow customers to define many features of a product before ordering it, and before it’s made. No longer is it just a few basic choices, but high-level, true customization and personalization to fit one’s personal style and taste. Color, material, size, measurements, inscriptions and insignia, finishes, embroidered text, monograms, graphics and logos are just a few of the countless variables that customers can specify when ordering a product.  

These eCommerce product configurators are called “build-your-own-product solutions” and can be customized to define any number of customer-choice variables. For eCommerce merchants, they’re a game changer, and their use is rapidly increasing.

Enhanced Customer Experience – More sophisticated configurators allow customers to instantly see their product emerge. As the customer defines (selects) features, the product image on the page changes instantly to reflect those choices, with high-resolution graphics, allowing the customer to see the product materialize as they build it.  Moreover, product views can be defined / configured with zoom functionality options to enhance and permit very close inspection of all product details by the customer. The configurator delivers rich visual media, and increases conversion rates.

This “visualization” through the feature-selection process empowers consumers, enhances their shopping experience, and keeps site visitors interactively engaged within a merchant’s web platform, immersed in its content, longer.

Product configurators, by allowing customers to see a product as they like it, deliver an optimal purchasing experience that increases sales. Customers can create their own “unique” product, which distinguishes them and makes it their own. This generates enthusiasm. Visual customization leads to higher customer-satisfaction levels, and ensures that the product-return factor is lower, because customers like what they see and clearly understand up front what they’re going to get. By reducing returns and unhappy customers, configurators reduce costs.

On-page User Instructions Simplify User’s Experience – Customizing a product through a web interface can easily confuse some users; so simple, well-placed user instructions to better guide customers and positioned adjacent to selections and options, are appropriate and will simplify the ordering process. Configurator technology permits the easy addition and placement of any number or type of instructions consumers need.

Pricing Clarity – As customers add features and make selections, the product price displayed on the configurator page changes to reflect the impact of the choice or selection. The customer always knows instantly how each choice they make affects what they’re going to pay. No surprises at checkout – which further enhances the customer experience. Happy customers usually return to become repeat customers.

Configurator systems can offer back-end price calculation features that accommodate both typical business-use cases and also permit complex specific calculations through advanced settings. System administrators can easily learn the functionality of these pricing systems to intelligently automate pricing structures for thousands of products and potential customers.

Mass personalization is coming fast and is, no doubt, a big part of our eCommerce future. Customer interest in self-expression creates a dramatic opportunity for brand managers to deliver highly functional and highly prized product solutions to their markets, while capturing more revenue.

The configurator platform you select should be designed to manage multi-level custom-product complexity, define product rules and options, display product information and price as selections are made, provide analytic services, and manage production and fulfillment by delivering production-ready files to your production and fulfillment centers — customer creations should be factory ready when they check out. While there are a number of “canned” product configurator solutions available, each with different plusses and minuses, Adrecom’s highly-customizable product configurator solutions do all these things and will knock your customers’ socks off while streamlining your production and distribution.

Catapult your customers’ experience into the future with configurator and personalization technology, and watch your sales grow.