Imagine seeing a product in its real-world environment and interacting with it in real-time. Only the product has yet to be manufactured. Well, now you can, thanks to augmented reality (AR) technology.
Leading configure price quote (CPQ) companies like Epicor CPQ are incorporating augmented reality (AR) technology into their solutions. This enables businesses to create more engaging, persuasive, immersive, and transparent buying experiences for their customers.
In this article, we uncover the cutting-edge tactics being employed by companies as they harness the power of AR. We’ll explore the profit-generating advantages and how to incorporate this Industry 4.0 technology into your operations, setting you apart from the competition.
What Is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that allows us to enhance and overlay digital information on top of the real world. It combines the physical world with computer-generated details to create a new, hybrid experience.
Explore a brake assembly
This is a simple example of a parts picker implementation. Find parts within an exploded 3D model and check and manipulate stock, and view embedded product videos.
AR works by using a device, usually a smartphone or tablet, that has a camera and a screen. The device captures a video or image of the real world and then overlays digital content. This digital content can be anything from 3D models and animations to text, images, and videos.
Examples of the broad application of AR technology in manufacturing
Training and Onboarding: AR can overlay relevant information on textbooks or other materials to bring learning to life. Additionally, in practical training scenarios, AR can overlay information directly on machinery or equipment, enabling trainees to receive real-time guidance and support as they work.
Warehouse: AR can help warehouse workers find items and provide guidance for pick and pack operations, reducing errors, boosting productivity, and improving inventory management.
Assembly and Maintenance: AR can assist workers in assembling complex products and equipment and guide users through maintenance procedures.
Quality Control: AR can see digital overlays of product specifications when checking for defects.
Design: Design engineers can use AR to assess virtual prototypes, making any necessary changes at the conception stage before things get expensive.
What’s the difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (VR) allows users to experience a wholly simulated digital environment through a headset. Unlike AR, VR users feel transported to a completely different world, creating a fully immersive experience that’s hyper-realistic and profoundly impactful.
But there’s a significant downside to VR–it requires specialized equipment, making it more expensive and less accessible. All customers need to experience AR is a smartphone, making it available anytime, anywhere.
What Are Configure Price Quote Solutions?
CPQ stands for Configure, Price, Quote. It’s a process that involves configuring a product to meet a customer’s specific requirements, determining the price of the configured product, and generating a quote for the customer. CPQ is commonly used in businesses that sell complex, customizable products, such as specific manufacturing sectors.
Configure price quote solutions like Epicor CPQ simplify and automate the CPQ process for salespeople and end customers. Instead of configuring products, calculating prices, and creating quotes manually, the software does it all. This automation saves time, eliminates errors, and enhances the customer experience.
The top configure price quote solutions use something called “visual product configuration.” This means that customers can see a 3D picture of the thing they’re customizing. They can also move it around on the screen and watch as it changes in real-time. This transforms the customer experience, reducing errors and increasing the win rate.
How the Best CPQ Software Uses Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) technology takes 3D product visualization and configuration to another level. With AR, customers can visualize products in their real-world environment, which creates a more captivating and persuasive experience.
Instead of simply viewing products on-screen or in a brochure, customers using AR can see products in situ and interact with them in real-time. Sellers can add contextual information like product specs to the computer-generated images, helping customers make better-informed decisions.
The Benefits of Using Augmented Reality for Selling Configurable Products
In the modern B2B world, buyers are increasingly seeking to minimize their dealings with sales reps and are looking for ways to self-serve. This trend is particularly evident among Millennials and has been further accelerated by COVID-19.
By providing more visual information through augmented reality (AR) technology, buyers no longer have to rely solely on a sales representative for guidance and product descriptions. Customers can educate themselves on configurations and place orders at their own pace, which is empowering.
Augmented reality (AR) technology is an excellent solution for remote work, as it provides a captivating and interactive experience for customers who don’t want or can’t justify the expense of traveling to a showroom to see products.
Instead, customers can experience a lifelike representation of a product from anywhere, as long as they have a smartphone connected to the internet. And businesses don’t have to spend money building and maintaining physical showrooms. So it’s a win-win.
Increases Win Rate
Augmented reality adds greater clarity to the sales experience, which is particularly important for more complex products. Customers feel more confident in their configuration choices as they see the final result ahead of time, leading to higher conversion rates.
Moreover, AR makes it easy for sellers to showcase their full range of product features and options, increasing the chances of upselling or cross-selling, which drives up the average deal size.
Improves Sales Rep Productivity
Augmented reality reduces the workload on over-stretched and inexperienced sales teams. Sales reps no longer have to rely on verbal or written descriptions to communicate a product’s features and benefits; users can see the product for themselves. With more customers taking the self-serve route, salespeople have more time to focus on generating business and nurturing relationships.
Differentiates Companies from Competitors
The B2B sector presents a significant opportunity for digital transformation. However, most manufacturers lag far behind their B2C counterparts when it comes to digitization. By leveraging augmented reality, businesses can provide buyers with the digital experiences they expect, demonstrating a commitment to digital-first practices and increasing brand value.
Augmented reality (AR) technology is a powerful tool for businesses selling complex configurable products. Customers can see products in real-world environments and better understand their features and benefits. Improved clarity not only enhances the customer experience but boosts profits.
If you want to increase win rates and deal sizes, reduce the size of your sales team, and stand out as a digital leader in your industry, augmented reality could be the technology you need. Contact us at Epicor CPQ to find out more.