Online competition is getting tougher every year. With various “no-code” ecommerce tools and methods like dropshipping, the barrier of entry had never been lower.
When we add the events of 2020 into the mix, it is no wonder that many people are starting online shops, and “brick and mortar” stores are moving their presence online.
The potential pie is big, and getting bigger. It is estimated that in 2021 there will be around 2,14 billion online shoppers.
In times when a vast majority of products are becoming a commodity, there is one thing that can immensely help you to differentiate your store and make the shopping experience personalized - product configurators.
In this post, we will have a look at how product configurators are used by some of the big names.
Eoniq is a luxury hand-made watch brand that takes nurturing leads to the next level. They understand how important it is to offer customers personalization and products tailored to their taste. The number of details they let their customers choose in the design of their own watches is amazing.
Their online product configurator allows you to choose anything from components to size. First of all, the configurator gives you plenty of case options. Then, you can select the color of your custom watch’s automatic system and change the aspect of the hands. The configurator even has a wide range of dial design options. With so many choices, this is one watch you can really say you designed yourself.
To top things off, the product configurator also gives you the possibility to add your own handwriting to the watch’s design. So, not only can you design the watch, but you can also sign it.
Tesla is one brand we all know likes to push boundaries. So, it makes sense that they brought this philosophy into the level of customization they offer customers. At their level of brand-building, they also know very well that personalization is one of the best ways to drive customer engagement.
Although the process of customizing your Tesla model is simple, the information provided to you during the process is very detailed. The main categories you go through to create your own Tesla are model, exterior, interior, autopilot, and payment. We chose to personalize the Model S.
After you select the model, the product configurator gives you details on the car’s performance. You can see its estimated range, top speed, and how fast it can get you from 0 to 60 mph. As for color, you get 5 options ranging from light to dark. The exterior options also include the type of wheels you want to install on your Tesla.
When you get to the interior options, you can select one of the three. There is an all-black version, a black and white one, and a cream one. That should pretty much satisfy every taste. Now, although the Autopilot option sounds like it will make your car drive itself, all of its features require active driver supervision. It will, however, assist you while driving by steering, accelerating, and braking automatically whenever you are in danger of a collision. It will also set you back around $10,000.
While you are customizing your car, the configurator also gives you useful details about your subtotal, estimated delivery, and available inventory.
Overall, the Tesla product configurator is easy to use and gives you plenty of customizing options to design your special car.
3. New Era
Who hasn’t dreamt of having a collection of customized baseball caps? New Era’s product configurator offers you so many options that you’ll have a tough time not ordering 100 versions. Now, that’s a good customer retention strategy.
After you choose your favorite model, you can start a personalizing spree. First, you get a few options of fabric. Then, the fun begins. You can use the configurator to customize the color of everything from the crown to the visor, undervisor, eyelets, top button, as well as each of the top panels. All of these 6 panels can have their own color.
The next option is great especially if you have a team or you want to make a special gift to someone. It allows you to upload an image or write a text that gets embroidered onto the cap on its front, back, or right side.
For now, because the product configurator is dedicated to teams, there is a minimum order of 18 customized caps. Still, we know at least a few people who would have no problem ordering 18 caps for themselves.
The former NikeID is now Nike By You. Nike has a long history of offering customers the possibility to personalize their shoes. Not only have they had this option for longer than other sports brands, they also offer a wide range of models to customize.
The Nike sneaker configurator is easy to use and has a simple design. Just in case you are suddenly faced with more options than you wanted, the configurator also has inspiration models that you can choose from. However, if you know exactly what you want out of your personalized sneaker, you can go to My Designs and create them from scratch.
You start off with a blank canvas and have options for everything from the base to the quarter, mudguard, and the all-important swoosh. Then, you can go on to choose the lining, laces, eyelets, and midsole. In the end, if you want to add some text to your sneakers, you are also given this option.
If you have any doubts about your design, you can use the share option to send it to friends. Once you are done, all you have to do is choose the size and complete the payment and delivery steps and voila! You’ll soon be walking around in your very own Nike sneakers.
5. O Bag
O Bag made a splash on the handbag market with this very strategy so it’s very familiar with hyper-personalization. Its infinite number of customizable combinations has taken the world by storm a few years ago and continues to be very appreciated by customers. Given the success the brand has had with handbags, it also offers customizable accessories, too. You can now personalize watches, sunglasses, and footwear just as easily. They have also set up a Home line in collaboration with Guzzini. It includes products such as lamps and food storage containers.
We decided to personalize a handbag. To start off, you get 12 models to choose from. Larger, smaller, beach, or glam, you have an option for every occasion.
After you select your desired model, you can use the product configurator to customize the bag’s body, handle, interior, and trim. As you go through your selections, the configurator will also display a subtotal of your bag’s features. If you end up over-complicating things and want to start over, there is also a reset button available.
Once you feel you have what you wanted, you can add the final product to your cart and proceed to check out. It’s a great chance to play handbag designer without breaking the bank.
Herman Miller is a well-known office and home furnishing company. They’ve been around for a long time and have consolidated a strong presence on the market. Because they know that accessibility is one of the main elements that attracts and retains customers, they offer customizable options for a range of products.
You can use their product configurators to personalize chairs, stools, tables, and desks. The interface is user-friendly. Configuration won’t come cheap because these are premium products. But it’s great to be able to select things like fabric, frame finish, and back support options. Additional choices include how much of a tilt you want on your chair, the seat depth, fixed or adjustable arms. There are even selections for casters for hard floors or carpet.
The configurator allows you to view your personalized product in 360 and easily check out when you are satisfied with the end product.
If customized apparel is what you are after, European brand Spreadshirt offers just that. Their entire marketing strategy is centered around the product configurator that gives you the opportunity to express your own style and personality with customized clothing. They initially started with a beta version of the configurator. Along the way, they’ve developed the “Confomat” to include more and more features and satisfy the increasing demand from customers.
The configurator is very practical and has several useful features. First, there are the apparel options. You can choose from four categories of products: men’s, women’s, kids, and accessories. We chose to design our own hoodie. From there, you can go on to choose a color and start designing.
The design options include pre-made designs with different prints and color combinations. After selecting a design, you can choose where to place it. It can go on the front, back, right, left, or sides of the hood. Or, on all the sides. You can move the design box around to place the design exactly where you want it. You can also make it bigger or smaller and choose its color. The configurator will let you know if the margins exceed the print area. The immediate feedback you get in case of misconfigurations is very useful.
For additional personalization, the configurator lets you add your own text or your own design by uploading a photo. You can even make each letter of the text a different color.
There are also support, share, and save options. They come in handy if you are not sure how to go about designing the item, you want a second opinion from friends, or you are not ready to order just yet.
When you are happy with your design, simply click “Get price”. You can choose the number of items you want to order and get a total price. Next, just proceed with the payment and enjoy your customized apparel.
Product configurators work best with very complex products. Bachmann is a reputable electrical engineering company that understands this and knows customers appreciate a variety of customizing options. Their electronic components and systems include intelligent power distribution units, desk connection panels, and flexible office furnishing.
Using their product configurator, you can build your own product and customize it to best meet your needs.
For instance, this power module can be customized to fit in your desired number and type of sockets. You get 26 options ranging from electrical sockets to HDMI and USB Type C or VGA. Next, you can customize the frame color and the length of supply and extension cable you want.
We couldn’t forget about Ikea’s planning tools while we’re on the subject of product configurators. They have a long-standing tradition of driving customer engagement with customizable products.
The kitchen planner is interactive and fun and offers a great overall perspective of how your choices fit together.
Your customization options include everything you can imagine. From cabinet doors to the countertops and appliances. From the sink tap to the drawer pulls, you have a wide range of choices. While you are busy designing, the configurator conveniently shows a subtotal of your fittings. It also allows you to quickly review what’s included in your design. This will help you stay within budget and now go overboard with your spending.
At the end of your adventure, you can download your design as PDF and also share it as a link. There is also a summary of items at the bottom of the page so you can have a clear view of what’s what.
Origin is a brand that offers customizable gaming as well as workstation PCs and laptops. They are widely known for their Big O project that combined the power of a custom gaming PC with an Xbox 360. In 2019, they topped off their initial success by creating an “all-new Big O combining a powerful gaming PC with an Xbox One X, PlayStation 4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch”.
While Origin knows its customer very well, it is expanding its reach and also targeting non-gamers. Their workstation desktops and laptops combine amazing computing power with state-of-the-art designs. You get to choose from several classes depending on how much computing power you will need from your PC or laptop.
We used Origin’s product configurator to build an L-Class workstation desktop. This is a top-of-the-line class of PCs able to handle complicated tasks like software and VR development or 3D modeling. As you choose your components, the configurator conveniently gives you recommendations of best compatible parts you can include in your workstation.
You can design anything from the case to the system’s design. There are several options for customizing the side panels, exterior and interior color, as well as the interior lighting. You can select your desired technology from NVIDIA, Intel, and AMD. Next, you can choose the motherboard, memory, cooling, GPU, and operating system. Additional options include drives, power supply, and accessories. Basically, everything you’ll ever need to create a super-powerful computer system.
There is also a handy summary of your choices to keep you within budget. And an accessible support button you can use anytime you need to pop a question to the Origin specialists.
So there you have it. As you can see there are a lot of options when it comes to product configurators. They significantly improve the customer experience, as each visitor feels that the product is fitted exactly to their expectations.
They also help significantly with the conversion of your sales funnel. You can ask for an email to send a final configuration or build a chatbot that will make an order from that configuration or would assist the potential customer.
About the author
Vlad Falin is a founder and blogger at Costofincome.com, where he helps thousands of monthly readers to choose the best tools for their digital business.