How Product Visualization Is Changing eCommerce
March 10, 2021
Imagine you’ve been dreaming of buying a new mountain bike, and you’ve finally decided to make the investment.
Under normal (non-Covid) circumstances, you’d head over to the bike shop and examine different options, debating the merits of various custom parts and features with the sales consultant. This is a serious investment, after all.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably spent hours researching online, poring over forums and YouTube. You’ve already got a good sense of what you want. But, still, you want to take a good look at what you’re buying in the flesh and get a sense of all your options. You want to make sure that the custom configuration you have in mind is even possible, before making any rash decisions.
You wish you could do it all online, but you’re not entirely comfortable making this decision without being able to see and interact with the actual product itself.
eCommerce giants like Amazon have taught customers to expect instant gratification, but what many of these platforms lack is the ability to let customers configure, view, and interact with highly customizable products in real-time.
Still, most eCommerce stores only offer standard photographs and/or schematics of their products, and it’s not unheard of to receive something that barely resembles the pictures you’ve seen online (nevermind the color you selected).
Get a data-driven perspective on how visual selling is becoming the future norm for B2B companies.
But what if your eCommerce store could offer robust product visualization capabilities. What if you could show your customers exactly how their customizations will look (and the final price) in real-time? What if you could provide a fully immersive, Amazon-slaying buying experience right off the bat.
Well, you can. Let’s take a closer look.
In short, a 3D product visualizer is a tool that lets you showcase products in three dimensions, enabling customers to view and interact with products digitally.
3D product visualization makes it possible to store, view, and manipulate 3D-rendered models or images of products. This means that customers can get visual confirmation that products meet their specifications – something written descriptions can’t convey as effectively.
A growing number of B2C and B2B businesses are integrating 3D product visualization into their eCommerce platforms to improve the purchase experience and increase conversions. Football helmet manufacturer and retailer, Xenith, for example, let sales reps and visitors to their website design personalized helmets in 3D.
Product visualization is often a feature of configure-price-quote (CPQ) software. With CPQ software, users can configure products in an intuitive visual interface that automatically updates pricing and generates quotes based on changes.
This kind of product visualization software offers multiple benefits:
Ok, that’s all great, but how does product visualization software actually work?
Product visualization software uses the CAD drawings and other materials you’ve uploaded to the system to display the various ways your products can be configured. But before you put your product visualization software to use, you’ll also need to pre-configure product and pricing rules.
Product and pricing rules are the little bits of logic that govern the configuration process. They ensure that users stick to what’s “possible” for each product, and that prices are updated accordingly.
Dynamic product and pricing rules mean that prices displayed are updated in real-time as sales reps or end-customers (depending on your setup) configure products. Buyers are kept informed at every stage of the process, which makes them feel in control.
If you choose to embed your product visualizer into your website – allowing customers to configure products and place orders independently – then product and pricing rules are even more crucial. With properly-configured rules, customers can browse and buy the most complex products anytime, anywhere, through any device without any input from sales or engineering.
With embedded product visualization, customers don’t have to wait for sales reps to get back to them with a quote – they can do it all themselves. Buyers are empowered – they gain a crystal-clear understanding of your products and product options, paving the way for more instant/impulse orders.
With a CPQ solution like KBMax, building rules is easy. Non-technical users can create a near-endless number of rules from within KBMax’s straightforward admin. For anything else, there’s Snap – a powerful, but easy to use rules engine.
The best 3D product visualization software allows users – whether salespeople or end-customers – to view detailed simulations of products configured to their exact specifications.
Depending on how advanced your product visualization software is, users can view products in 2D and 3D, zoom in, rotate items, and make changes like swapping out parts, resizing sections, changing colors, and more.
Advanced CPQ solutions like KBMax even offer AR and VR visualization options that enable users to interact with or “test drive” products in realistic virtual simulations. This creates an opportunity for customers to form an emotional connection with your product, increasing the chance of a sale (KBMax users experience an average conversion rate increase of 40%.)
The best 3D product visualization software integrates seamlessly with your CRM and ERP systems, whether you use Salesforce, Oracle, or SAP. Not only does it streamline sales and boost conversions, but it makes your operations more efficient throughout.
Emily is a marketing professional with knowledge across branding, digital strategy, and creative content. She enjoys educating her audience on the benefits of products and how their ease and use can help with efficiency and problem solving.