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Visual Product Configurators for E-Commerce

There are 2 types of visual product configurators in e-commerce: 2D product visualizers and 3D configurators. 2D product visualizations utilize static, flat imagery of products. 3D configurators take it a step further, providing consumers with a 3D rendering of a product that they can rotate in 360 degrees. In this post, we’ll examine both types, share some viable use cases, and provide some tips for deploying visual product configurators for e-commerce.

What is a visual product configurator for e-commerce?

Effective product visualization is crucial for success in eCommerce photography, and visual product configurators are one way businesses stay ahead of the curve. Visual product configurators are online tools which enable shoppers to customize and visualize a product according to their own specifications. They are particularly effective for companies who produce or sell highly customizable products, providing consumers with a “build-your-own” product experience. 

Product configurator interface customizing sneaker.

There are 2D and 3D product configurators, and both of these solutions help consumers get a better idea of the products they are ordering. They can present intricate and moving parts of products, allow for on-the-fly customization, and in general make the entire product experience more helpful and informative. 

On the business level, product configurators are valuable tools for digital marketing with 3D models, online product presentation, and for B2B product demonstrations or prototyping. They allow companies to deploy still images, 360 product photography, and eCommerce 3D models in 2D / 3D photorealistic product visualizations or for rendering in augmented / virtual reality. Effective visual product configurators in this way aim to eliminate the guesswork for online shoppers browsing customizable products, and to create an avenue for worry-free transactions.

2 approaches to visual product configurators

There are two categories of visual product configurators: static 2D, or interactive 3D. Both involve using software viewing technology to render products into configurable product experiences for e-commerce.

2D product visualizers

2D visual product configurators deploy a flat, static product visualization online. While shoppers cannot view the visual in 360-degrees, they can interact with the product by changing between different customizable elements. These might be for example, component parts like colors, materials and textures, or various add-on features that might be available.

Generating product visualization from 3D photography.

Imagine a business selling office chairs online. With a visual product configurator, shoppers can swap in and out different parts like headrests, arms, fabric colors and more to find the most suitable chair to meet their needs. The same extends to other types of furniture, household appliances, and on the whole any product with customization options. 

2D visual configurators can also include exploded views to highlight complex or moving parts, or product annotations to help shoppers discover more information about a product.

3D product configurators

3D visual product configurators use responsive design to provide shoppers with a third-dimensional, 360-degree rendering of a product which they can spin and view from every angle. Beyond this, just like with 2D configurators, consumers have the ability to choose between different customizable elements such as product features, color schemes, styles, component parts and more. 

360-degree spin product image white hightop sneaker.

Interactive 3D is especially useful and seeing wider popularity for online furniture sales. These oftentimes high-cost purchases greatly benefit from 360-degree product visualization. There is simply no better method to ensure that shoppers are not only confident in pressing that order button but also will be satisfied when their product arrives exactly how they visualized it.

Businesses can also utilize 3D visual product configurators alongside augmented reality to create a truly immersive product experience. Again, take furniture shopping for example. Shoppers can project different pieces of furniture into a virtual space, configure customizable elements, and view the product in various positions and from different angles to find where it might fit best in their home. At the same time, this allows companies to better educate potential consumers about their entire line of products and the range of customizable options available.

Finding the perfect configurator for your business

Whether it’s for B2C or B2B operations, a visual product configurator can drive online sales, bolster customer confidence, limit buyer’s remorse, and boost overall customer satisfaction.  At PhotoRobot, we know very well the advantages to using professional product photography for e-commerce. Our line of robots and software solutions have been developed to help our clients capture all the imagery they need for visual product configurators, 360-degree spin photography, and 3D models. 

Spinning brand logo configuration user interface.

If you’re already using PhotoRobot, then you also have access to PhotoRobot’s free spin viewer that comes standard with our cloud-based image hosting. With unlimited view count and data transfer, there are no additional expenses. Digital asset management software ensures quick access to perfectly organized imagery, which are searchable, secure, and easily distributable. Additional features such as JPEG compression, automatic publishing, and integration for e-commerce provide everything businesses expect in a 3D visual product configurator.

To learn more about PhotoRobot, or about our solutions for product photography and visual configurators, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. Our technical strategists are waiting to arrange a free consultation to discuss your needs and propose solutions.