Visual Product Configuration
How to enable visual configuration to deliver an awesome buying experience
An interactive eBook
What is it?
Product visualization is a transformative technology
Visual configuration is driven by configurator software that lets sales representatives and end customers view a life-like 2D, 3D, or augmented/virtual reality representation of the product and features they intend to order. Visual configurators allow users to change product options and features and see their product update on-the-fly.
What are the different ways to visualize a product?
Although 2D configuration may seem like a simple concept, that is exactly the reason to look into it. For use cases that don’t require the complexity, users sometimes fare better getting through the process interacting with a 2D illustration. Customers and sales folks (especially non-technical ones) don’t get lost playing with, or get frustrated with manipulating a 3D object. It’s about closing the sale after all…
Basic 3D product configurators display products from several fixed viewing angles. And users can zoom in and out to view products in more detail. On the more technically advanced end of the configurator spectrum, users can interact directly with the 3D images they see on their screens. They can open a door, “use” a piece of animated machinery, “fly” into the interior of a vehicle and drag and drop components into predefined locations. Anything’s possible.
VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) take 3D product configuration to a whole other level. VR places your customers inside a simulated reality where they can look in any direction, move around, and interact with your products inside a computer-generated 3D scene. AR, meanwhile, overlays a 3D representation of the product being configured onto a background captured live by the camera of a handheld device. It’s a fully immersive experience and one that buyers can access anywhere.
Growth of the market and opportunity
Slow adoption means you can be a leader
Despite the groundswell of interest in the product configurator market, adoption is still in its relative infancy. This means that YOU can become an early adopter, experiencing substantial competitive advantage and cost savings over the competition, while providing your customers with leading-edge buying experiences.
The dirty secret
Ah, but, there is one dirty little secret in this industy…
…most vendors don’t want to talk about the importance of a proper product rules engine!
Most visual CPQ solutions require custom coding to handle intense logic…and that makes life hard!
Every visual product configurator needs rules to ensure customized products are viable from a functional, technical, business, and budgetary standpoint.
Shouldn’t the creation and maintenance of configurators and logic be a simple and visual process, too?
The KBMax Snap rules engine handles this for KBMax users.
With Snap, non-technical users can build algorithms with advanced language features for the most complicated configurable products and sophisticated pricing methodologies without the need for technical know-how or third-party IT involvement. Users simply build rules by dragging blocks around and snapping them together to form logic statements. Dropdowns, color-pickers, and buttons make everything intuitive and accessible to everyone.
5 key benefits
5 ways a visual configurator revolutionizes your customers’ buying experience
1. Provide a fully immersive buying experience
90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual
Studies from the field of neuromarketing (aka consumer neuroscience) show that introducing new sensory experiences into the buying process increases the monetary value a customer is willing to exchange for a product. So, if you want to engage your buyers fully, you need to do so in a compelling, visual way. Forget a paper sales brochure – visual selling is about as persuasive as it gets!
2. Self-serve for every device and buying condition
Visual configuration is perfect for the Millenial buyer
With a visual product configurator, you can offer your customers a highly realistic, showroom-like buying experience through any device. You can resolve your buyers’ desire to physically interact with a product prior to purchase without leaving the comfort of their desk.
While nobody can predict quite how the world will look like post-coronavirus, it’s a near certainty that Zoom (etc.) will take precedence over face-to-face meetings for the foreseeable future. After all, COVID-19 is only catalyzing a trend that began way before the pandemic. Never before has the capacity to present your products virtually, through a range of devices, been so crucial. Companies without such capabilities risk falling by the wayside.
3. A simplified sales process
A visual product configurator streamlines quoting for the most complex, highly customizable, and aesthetic-led products. Fewer mistakes, less rework, lower return rates, and increased customer satisfaction are just some of the benefits gained by eliminating miscommunication between the customer and vendor.
4. Greater confidence in buyers’ purchasing decisions
B2B buyers are experiencing a crisis of confidence when it comes to large-scale purchase decisions, but a visual product configurator eases much of the pressure. Customers no longer have to guess what their products will look like when they’re shipped – you can show them!
When buyers ‘see’ and interact with your product prior to purchase, they’re compelled to buy. Buyers take greater ownership of their selections and, crucially, relate to your products on a deeper, more emotional level: the result – a 40% increase in conversion rates.
5. A shortened sales cycle
Buyers hate protracted sales cycles. In highly competitive, fast-paced markets, you need to be the first to quote or lose business. A visual product configurator, usually integrated into a CPQ application suite, can cut the time required to generate a proposal from several weeks down to less than a minute! Here’s how:
- Users can configure highly sophisticated products in just a few clicks. They can see the product, its options, and the price change as they make their selections.
- All necessary information is captured up-front, eliminating communication breakdowns between the customer, sales, and engineering. A process that used to take 20+ calls and emails now takes just one.
- Logic and rules built into the backend of the 3D product configurator prevent human error and technically non-viable selections.
- CPQ can generate a wide range of documents at the touch of a button, from quote and proposal PDFs right up to BOMs and CNC cutting data – whatever’s needed to get a deal over the line, fast.
- CAD drawings through SolidWorks (and other systems like AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, and PTC Creo) can be generated instantly and automatically without any engineering input.
“We thoroughly evaluated multiple vendors in the CPQ space and chose to partner with KBMax [Epicor CPQ] to transform our selling process with their visual, maintainable and robust configurator.”
Jump into visualization
KBMax customers are winning at quote-to-cash, powering CPQ for over 2,000,000 unique users per year, increasing margins and saving campanies valuable time.
“KBMax [Epicor CPQ] provides a toolset that allows us to easily program configurators for any of our products and create documentation in any format for all departments within our company.”