Our shopping habits have changed drastically over the past decade, and they’re still dynamically evolving. People are turning to e-commerce at an unprecedented scale. From the very beginning, this created a problem of decent showcasing of the product.

This isn’t that big of an issue if you can take good photos of your products. But that’s not always possible – for example, if you offer personalized or made-to-order articles. And even when applicable, 2D images might not be enough.

The answer is realistic 3D visualizations. But in the era of a highly competitive market, they don’t cut it on their own. 3D product configurators are becoming a standard as they are easy to implement and remarkably effective. Studies show that they can increase conversion rates by up to 40% (source: PureWeb)!

What does this mean practically? The conversion rate is the number of users that completed a desired action (like making a purchase) divided by the total number of users. So if your online store has 10000 visitors a month with a conversion rate of 4%, you can increase monthly sales from 400 to 560 with a product configurator!

How does an e-commerce product configurator work?

A product configurator is a digital solution used on websites and mobile apps, primarily by e-commerce businesses. It allows the user to build or personalize the product and purchase it afterward. Configurators can enable minor customization like changing the color or material but can also be more complex and let the user change virtually every part of the item.

E-commerce product configurators can have a 2D or 3D product model. The latter is what we recommend. A 360-degree view of an interactive item is a combination that’s bound to drive sales. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t have to be a classic 360-degree view. You can be more creative with the presentation like in the example below – a project we developed for Lenovo.

 

If you’re offering a product like shoes, you could try implementing augmented reality (or WebAR) into your configurator app (or website). This way, your customers could customize the sneakers they choose and virtually try them on before purchase, making a more informed decision. Read more about virtual AR try-ons here.

As you can see, there are many different variants of e-commerce product configurators. But what they have in common is the same two primary goals. Their job is to provide a detailed image and feel of the product and offer customization, making the item tailored to the client’s specific needs. This increases the likelihood of purchase and the customer’s satisfaction.

Why are 3D product configurators effective?

First of all, 3D product configurators are fun, intuitive and user-friendly. People love personalized products as it creates a sense of connection with the item. Interacting with something personal and customized makes us feel good as we think our interests, likes, or thoughts were taken into account.

All the above are reflected in statistics. According to research conducted by Cappasity, 82% of shoppers that visit a product’s page will activate a 3D view of the product. And as much as 95% prefer that to video playback. 3D product configurators also increase engagement and extend the time a customer interacts with the item (on average, 20 seconds).

Top benefits of an e-commerce product configurator

  • Higher conversion rates. Different organizations report increases of 10 to 40%.
  • Lower return rates. Customers make more informed and personalized purchases and are less likely to return them.
  • Cost reduction. It’s easier to work on a made-to-order basis with 3D product configurators – no need to store hundreds of articles.
  • Higher price point. People love personalization and are willing to pay more for it.
  • Improved customer satisfaction. Configurators are enjoyable and easy to use.
  • Data gathering and analysis. You can easily track your customers’ shopping habits and needs and forecast demand.

Audi case study

Audi made great use of a 3D product configurator on their German website (source: Amazon Web Services blog). Customers can view a configurable 3D representation of the chosen vehicle. The models are very detailed and look almost identical to the real thing.

This 3D configurator is reported to have increased user engagement by 66% compared to a 2D solution. It is also said to have improved customer satisfaction. But what’s most important, it led to higher sales of additional features (9% up), with each model increasing the average basket value. Similar results were achieved in the Netherlands.

Develop your 3D product configurator

Get more customers with higher conversion rates, increase customer retention and lower your return rates. All in all, 3D product configurators can be a real game-changer if you use them properly. And we’re here to help you determine the best way to incorporate one into your sales process.

If we look back at the report by Cappasity, we can see that most businesses expect their product configurator not to compromise the performance of the website or app. On the other hand, online shoppers want an intuitive UI, high-quality graphics, smooth performance and fast loading. So why are we mentioning this? Because we’re positive our developers can meet and exceed all these requirements.

Schedule a 60-minute free consultation or learn more about 3D product configurators and visualizations.

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Marketing Specialist

Marketing specialist with four years of experience. Having spent part of his childhood in Ireland, he's fascinated with its culture and language. Loves history, football and any form of writing.