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How to Deliver An Amazon-Beating Customer Experience With CPQ for eCommerce

May 19, 2021

When it comes to buying online, Amazon sets the standard. B2B buyers expect Amazon-level personalization, flexibility, and convenience whether they’re buying batteries for their kids’ toys or biotech equipment for their company.

Is it unfair to expect a medium-sized manufacturer to match an eCommerce giant on customer experience? It doesn’t matter. Because with CPQ for eCommerce, you can deliver a customer experience that beats Amazon at its own game. Let us show you how.

What is CPQ for eCommerce?

CPQ stands for configure-price-quote. It’s software that makes it easy for manufacturers to sell complex, configurable products quickly, with fewer errors. 

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CPQ streamlines and simplifies a three-step process:

  • Configuration: Configuring products and bundles for customers from extensive catalogs of parts and options.
  • Pricing: Automatically calculating prices for configurable products in real-time.
  • Quoting: Auto-generating quotes for customers, as well as proposals, estimates, marketing collateral, and whatever else you need to get a deal over the line. 

When most people think of CPQ, they think of an internal sales tool. Salesforce CPQ, for example, is predominantly used by sales reps behind the scenes. But a visual CPQ like KBMax, integrated with your eCommerce platform, can be used by your customers, too, dramatically improving customer experiences.

Visual Product Configuration Is the Key to CPQ for eCommerce

CPQ for ecommerceWith a visual CPQ like KBMax, customers can configure highly complex products themselves. They don’t have to interact with sales or engineering. They can point and click to change dimensions, colors, features, and parts. And as they make changes, a 3D rendering of their product evolves on-screen. 

With visual CPQ, you can give buyers the space they need to explore your product catalog and place orders on their own terms. Product rules built into the configurator ensure only valid configurations move downstream. Every product is optimized for engineering efficiency, profitability, and customer satisfaction. Creating an invalid configuration is impossible.

Why do People Love Amazon? It’s Not the Products; It’s the Experience.

More than 1 in 3 Americans has an Amazon Prime membership. And 96% of these members are more likely to buy from Amazon than any other eCommerce store. 

What Amazon has achieved is nothing short of miraculous. But unlike, say, Apple, what keeps people coming back to Amazon isn’t the products; it’s the experience. 

When asked why they stay loyal to Amazon, customers frequently cite:

  • Personalization (35% of Amazon’s sales come from algorithmic product recommendations)
  • Self-serviceability (yes, that’s a word)
  • Ease of ordering
  • Rapid delivery
  • Quality of customer support
  • Product education (descriptions and reviews)

With CPQ for eCommerce, you can provide all of this to your B2B buyers, and more.

How to Provide an Amazon-Beating Buying Experience With CPQ for eCommerce

1. Personalize products and experiences

CPQ for B2B ecommerceWith KBMax, you can “deliver personalized, peculiar experiences that customers love” – one of Amazon’s core Tenets. You can personalize the experience while your customer personalizes the product. 

Integrate KBMax with Salesforce and you can provide bespoke messaging based on granular customer profiles and intelligent recommendations that increase conversion rates and deal sizes. 

2. Give your users the power of self-service.

It’s official. We’ve entered “The new ‘self-service’ era.” Gone are the days of multi-year personal relationships with sales reps. Today it’s all about how easy you can make it for a customer to serve themselves. 

By embedding your visual product configurator into your website, you can empower your customers to configure highly complex products without a sales rep peering over their shoulder.

3. Make placing orders quick and easy.

Complex product configuration used to take several weeks and require input from multiple different stakeholders. If a sales reps misinterpreted what a customer wanted or made a mistake conveying information to engineering, the entire process had to begin again. 

With CPQ for eCommerce, the configure, price, quote process is entirely automated and can be performed in minutes. What’s more, if you integrate KBMax with a B2B eCommerce platform like Shopify Plus, you can provide the same 1-click buying that customers love when shopping with Amazon.

4. Get your products to customers fast.

B2B ecommerceLet’s be honest. If you’re selling specialized engineer-to-order products, you probably can’t match Amazon Prime Same Day delivery. But you can become the Amazon of your industry with CPQ for eCommerce. CPQ dramatically shortens sales cycles and gets products into the hands of customers faster.

Here’s how it works with KBMax:

  1. A customer visits your website, configures a product using your visual product configurator, and places their order online.
  2. KBMax outputs all the technical data your manufacturing facility needs (such as technical drawings, CAD files, cut sheets, and instructions) and sends it over to the factory.
  3. The factory begins production and ships the product in record time.

With CPQ for eCommerce, all the product information is captured up-front, so there’s no room for miscommunications or misunderstandings. Everything’s stored and transmitted digitally, so there’s no paperwork or manual data entry. It’s streamlined, automated, and gets your products to customers faster than your competitors can.

5. Provide Outstanding Customer Support

Amazon’s customer support is second-to-none. Their number one Leadership Principle is “Customer Obsession,”… and it shows. If you want to beat Amazon at customer experience, make sure your customer support agents are on-hand and well-informed.

CPQ for eCommerce puts the most up-to-date customer information at your support agents’ fingertips. If a customer spends 10 minutes on your configurator, your agent will know precisely what they’ve been up to. They’ll even see a partially-configured 3D rendering so they can guide the customer the rest of the way.

6. Take product education to another level. 

CPQ Educating your customers about the uses and benefits of your products instills trust and reduces purchase anxiety. A showroom visit is a great way to get to grips with a product prior to purchase. But with the number of custom options increasing, it’s becoming less and less likely that the exact product your customer wants to see will be on display.

These days, post-pandemic, it’s far better to have a virtual showroom than a physical one. By embedding your visual product configurator into your website, you can make your entire product catalog accessible to the world in 3D. With KBMax’s VR and AR capabilities, you can make your eCommerce experience fully immersive and more compelling than ever.

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The Author

Emily Stevens

Emily Stevens
Marketing Community Manager at KBMax

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.

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