What is a Product Configuration Platform and Do You Really Need One?

Updated 2 months ago
Lindsay Vine
October 14, 2021
4 min read

Consumers have a wealth of options when it comes to ecommerce experiences. And you may be surprised to learn they now want even more choices. 

It’s no longer enough to simply offer products online. Today’s shoppers demand extra bells, whistles, custom color schemes, and anything else that makes for a more personalized experience. This is why a product configuration platform has become an essential tool for today’s premium online retailers. 

Product customization is a major trend that’s reshaping how consumers engage with brands and products online. 

But what does this look like, exactly? 

One of our favorite examples (and customers) is Fender. Check out how the brand leverages our 3D product configuration platform to offer a highly engaging guitar customization experience through its online Mod Shop.

Via Fender

Shoppers will pay as much as 25% more for products they can customize in 3D. What will offering 3D product personalization do for your bottom line? 

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Three elements converged to usher in this new era of mass product customization capabilities:

  • The maturity of digital technologies like 3D product visualization and augmented reality (AR)
  • An increase in demand for convenience that led to the rise of ecommerce as a viable alternative to traditional retail
  • Brands becoming part of human psychology and influencing an individual’s concept of their identity

Mass product customization is now a key competitive differentiator. To capitalize on this emerging trend, you’ll need a product configuration platform. In this blog, we’ll look at what such a platform includes, how it can be profitable for brands, and what benefits you gain by investing in 3D product configuration technologies

What Is a Product Configuration Platform?

A product configuration platform is the technology that allows ecommerce retailers to offer customized and personalized products to online shoppers. It should also allow them to see their unique selections on the product in real time. The platform may offer basic 2D imagery or, ideally, more immersive 3D product renderings and AR experiences. 

Predominantly, a product customization platform gives your ecommerce customers a visual representation of the customized product before they make a buying decision. The rise of software as a service (SaaS) ecommerce tools means that product configuration platforms connect directly to your website and give you the additional features required to enable product customization. 

A full-featured product configuration platform will provide your ecommerce business with:

  • A flexible user interface (UI) that allows shoppers to easily customize your products
  • 2D, 3D, and AR visualization of the product with the customer’s changes included
  • A content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily add, update, or remove products
  • Integrations with other business processes – including inventory, manufacturing, customer service, and sales – if required

Does Your Brand Need a Website Product Configurator?

Many premium online retailers are now competing on the wants and needs of individual customers. Providing these capabilities while running a profitable business may have seemed far-fetched in the past, but modern product customization software is redefining what’s possible. 

Wherever there’s an opportunity to add value to a customer’s experience by allowing for customization and personalization, companies should consider providing these services. A powerful product configuration platform combined with an agile manufacturing solution will make mass product customization a profitable investment. 

The process starts by understanding the perceived value of customized and personalized products for your customers as well as their motivations. 

Here are just a few stats from our research on these topics:  

  • The number of shoppers purchasing 8 or more custom items grew by 223% from 2019 to 2020
  • 90% of shoppers surveyed are willing to pay a premium for personalized products
  • One-third of shoppers surveyed seek out customization because they can’t find what they’re looking for off the shelf

Download the full report now to learn more about the exploding demand for personalized products.

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What Industries Are Currently Using Product Customization Software?

Industry-specific use cases already exist for most products available online. Many top ecommerce brands are now realizing the many benefits of product customization by allowing customers to co-create products.

Some of the key industries using product configuration platforms include:

  • Clothing and footwear: Today’s apparel and footwear shoppers are now demanding the ability to select their favorite colors, patterns, and materials as well as add a personalized monogram or message to these items. See how Ralph Lauren gets it right with their personalized polo shirts. 
  • Luxury goods: Luxury bags and accessories are one of the primary status symbols for today’s elite. Allowing these shoppers to personalize their favorite luxury items is one of the best ways to differentiate your brand. Louis Vuitton is one of our favorite examples of personalized luxury.
  • Jewelry: Many of today’s premium jewelry brands have realized the power of product personalization. With the right product configuration platform, jewelry lovers can select from different metal and gemstone colors as well as add a personal touch with a monogram or short message. Take a look at how Kendra Scott is leveraging jewelry personalization.
  • Sporting goods: From golf to baseball to football, today’s sports fanatics are looking for new ways to express their personal style. Offering personalized sporting gear like golf clubs, batting gloves, jerseys, and more is a key differentiator for major bands like Franklin Sports

Almost any product today has configuration potential. If you want to differentiate your ecommerce business from the competition, providing product personalization, customization, and configuration options is the best way to achieve this goal.

What Are the Benefits of a Product Customization Platform?

For B2C ecommerce businesses, a product customization platform provides an engaging experience that increases conversions on your site. Using a 3D WebGL product configurator, you can show off 3D product models with multiple variations and allow customers to interact with them in photorealistic AR environments.

Deploying 3D visual product customization on your ecommerce website can help you:

  • Increase conversion rates by 10-30% thanks to offering more engaging and personalized customer experiences, according to a 2020 Gartner report.
  • Increase average order value by 10-50% percent as customers are willing to pay a premium for personalized products, according to the same report.
  • Simulate the in-store experience online and help reduce the cost of maintaining physical stores in the future.
  • Reduce costly returns and exchanges by increasing buyer certainty and emotional attachment to your products.  
  • Improve brand loyalty by up to 45% through creating stronger and more personalized bonds with your customers.

A report by Deloitte found that some customers are willing to pay 20% more for customized products and 46% are willing to wait longer for a customized item. What’s more, with customized products, you can start conversations about your products and let your brand shine on social media. 

Delight Your Customers with ConfigureID’s Product Configuration Platform 

ConfigureID’s product configuration platform was developed for premium brands like Fender, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Kendra Scott, and Franklin Sports. With 2D, 3D, and AR product visualization capabilities, it will help you attract, engage, and convert more shoppers. 

Our platform integrates seamlessly with any ecommerce platform and supports multiple languages and currencies for global reach. Our intuitive and flexible UI is easy to add to your PDPs and can be customized to meet your brand’s exact requirements.

Complex business rules keep you in control of all the possible changes a customer can make, while dynamic pricing shows real-time updates based on every selection. You also get access to ConfigureID Studio, our powerful CMS.

To see what ConfigureID can do for your brand, get in touch with one of our product configuration experts today. 

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