Today’s consumers seek personalized products and services. Customers take pleasure in the customization which results in more time spent online engaging with the brand. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that customers are attracted by businesses that make room for the process of configuration.
What is Product Configuration
Product configuration describes the process of personalizing a product or service to meet the customer’s specifications.
Product configuration differs from a traditional sales catalog in that the process of selecting a product or service is interactive. The sales rep or even an app that’s powered by a configurator asks questions from customers until the right product is generated based on the replies.
Therefore, there isn’t a ready configuration generated in advance. Rather, the arrangement that is generated is the result of the specific requirements of the buyer.
Introducing Product Configurators
A product configurator is a software solution that allows users to select different features and properties of a product so that the finished product meets their specifications.
In the beginning, product configurators only included simple pre-defined options to be selected regardless of the correlations between the choices.
However, today product configurators rely on more complicated current technology, such as a rules engine, to manage complex configurations between options that are selected.
When Using Product Configuration Makes Sense
Companies that produce physical products traditionally used to market their offerings in the form of a catalog. This way of promoting products is still relevant if all the products are predefined and customization is not available.
However, if there are products that can be customized, then a customer-facing product configurator can optimize the sales process by helping customers select the right features. In these cases, a product configurator has a clear advantage over a simple catalog.
Sometimes companies get sidetracked when setting up their customer-facing product configurator. They focus their attention on adding as many useful features and options as possible but forget to include the pricing information.
Such oversight will certainly cause friction in the sales process because customers want to know what price to expect once they complete the product customization process.
In order to avoid such an issue, your product configurator should also display the cost of the configuration. By doing so, your customers will be in full control of the cost by making informed decisions as they choose their options.
Benefits of Using Product Configurators
Configurators can be found in business-to-business and in business-to-customer companies and can be used by trained employees or directly by consumers themselves so that they can take the lead in designing their products.
Some of the advantages include:
- Better customer experience, which boosts customer retention rates
- Precise information to both the customer and company which makes sure that all parties are on the same page
- A better understanding of customers’ needs through the customization process
- Reduced number of finished products in inventory to cover expected configurations
- Reduced time to make a personalized product or service
- The best type of products being offered
A properly implemented product configurator can help a business give buyers exactly what they need. It’s able to optimize the sales, design, and manufacturing processes which results in reduced expenses for the business and an improved customer experience.