Does your Business Need a Visual Product Configurator?

E-commerce businesses across many industries utilize visual configuration tools to better showcase products with customizable elements in digital format.

E-commerce businesses across many industries utilize visual configuration tools to better showcase products with customizable elements in digital format. These tools take 2D / 3D photorealistic imagery and transform it into configurable experiences for B2C or B2B sales presentations. In this post, we’ll look closer at today’s visual product configuration tools and to which businesses benefit most from deploying one.

When it’s time to invest in visual product configuration tools

How much your e-commerce business will benefit from using visual product configuration tools will depend largely on the type of products you sell. Obviously, if you’re selling products like convenience goods or office supplies, investing in this technology simply won’t make much sense. 

The businesses who can benefit the most include those who sell highly advanced, complex, or customizable products. It might be luxury goods, fashion and apparel, or even industrial-grade machinery and component parts. They can also include companies whose business model revolves around B2B (business-to-business) product presentation and prototyping, or those who already have a repository of 3D models on hand. 

This is when the advantages to visual product configuration tools are most noticeable. They help not only for more immersive and informative product visualization but also for market research, product testing, and for generating considerable ROI in the right industries. Let’s look now to these industries, their needs, and how businesses benefit from using visual product configuration tools in 2021.

3 reasons to consider using a visual product configuration tool

Visual product configurators allow businesses to enrich 2D / 3D photorealistic imagery with exploding views, product animations, annotations, and interactive customization features. This helps consumers not only get a better sense of the product but also of all possible product iterations, changeable parts and design options. 

Certainly, some businesses will benefit more from product experiences of this kind than others, so the question is which businesses really need advanced product visualization? Here are three signals to help you decide if and when your business needs a visual product configuration experience.

Does your e-commerce business involve advanced, complex, or technical products with many possible configurations?

When shopping online, consumers don’t really need to see a 3D model of an ink cartridge before hitting that order button. There’s little emotional involvement in the purchase, and it is not one that involves much expense or a range of options. When the purchase involves something like shoes or fashion, the product experience has a much stronger impact on consumers making a decision. It’s the same for luxury items, jewellery, furniture, medical devices and the like.

This is particularly true for significant purchases, and in general for lines of complex or technical products. Take for instance, Nike By You. With hundreds to thousands of possible configurations to their long line of shoe designs and customization options, Nike’s visual configuration tool allows online shoppers to “build” their own footwear. Users can customize every part of the shoe from materials, textures and colors down to the treads to create truly unique footwear, personalized according to their own individual preferences and needs.

Beyond providing a product experience likely to impress shoppers, this also helps Nike to showcase limitless iterations of their products. More importantly, this is without Nike needing to conduct individual photoshoots for every new addition to their product line. This not only makes good business sense, it provides a scalable solution for long-term operations. As the brand generates 3D renderings of customizable product components, they have more reusable visual assets to get new products online both quickly and cost-efficiently. 

Do you have a B2B business model that needs higher sales enablement?

Another reason why a business might need visual product configuration tools is for higher sales enablement in a B2B business model. In these highly competitive markets, product visualization plays a vital role in helping brands not only impress potential consumers but also in those consumers being able to make easier and more informed purchases.

Take for instance a consumer who needs to equip hundreds of employees with office equipment and machines. This consumer needs to be able to quickly and easily access entire lines of products, while also being able to choose between different sizes, color options, and designs to best fit their office needs. 

Configurable 2D / 3D photorealistic images are especially useful in this regard. They enable businesses to utilize product models to streamline the shopping experience, and to likewise make it as stress-free as possible for the consumer.

Does your business already have 3D models on hand?

Finally, if your business is already using 3D models for customizable products, it is more ready than others to invest in a visual product configurator. Maybe you have already built a few product models and you’re looking to make the most of your efforts. With the right visual product configuration technology, your business will be able to multiply existing visual assets into countless product iterations based on the product and component models you create.

To set the stage for further development and scalability, there are a few ways businesses can go forward. If you don’t have your own in-house solutions for 360 product photography, you can always hire a company to do the scanning of individual product components for you. Then, there are various hosting platforms for 3D product photography that can deploy your product scans across the web or on your e-commerce website. 

Find the best visual tools for your products

Thankfully, finding the best visual product configurator to meet your business needs doesn’t have to be a daunting or time-consuming task. Nor does finding the best equipment and accessories to manage everything in-house. 

At PhotoRobot, we specialize in hardware and software solutions to automate, capture, edit and publish product photography for e-commerce and online retail. Our line of robots are extremely effective at multi-angle product photography, 360 spin and 3D product photography, and particularly for 360-degree scanning of objects to build 3D models.

If you’d like to learn more about our solutions or visual product configuration tools for your business, don’t hesitate to contact PhotoRobot today and schedule a free consultation with one of our technical strategists.

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