10 Product Configurators Increasing Sales Today
As ecommerce evolves, anything becomes possible. This is exciting for us as developers, and even more so as we watch customers own this attitude. Shoppers are increasingly designing with an online product configurator, the main tool merchants use to invite their shoppers to customize products.
What are the benefits of having an online product configurator? For starters, as discussed in this Montley Fool podcast, a custom designed product can sell “at a 30% to 50% premium over what you might buy in a store.” (They cite Nike for this stat; we list the NikeiD configurator here, too.)
Also customers learn about a product — and a brand’s unique take on that product — through the design process. They become invested in what they make, and this investment becomes a strong pull to keep them coming back. In turn, merchants get to know their customers more intimately than from selling stock inventory.
As noted by eMarketer, Customization and Personalization was one of the Five Retail Tech Trends that Emerged at the ‘Big Show’ this year. Here are our 10 product configurators that bring this super trend to life now.
Bugaboo starts with a simple, enticing phrase: Create and buy. We chose to build their Bugaboo Cameleon stroller – and wow – this is an excellent product configurator. It’s very cool how the screen-wide image updates with every selection. We can also see the stroller, with all our updates, in a couple of different settings, as well as in 360 degrees. But the best part is the zoom. The zoom takes us to a full page image of the stroller with all of our specifications. Here we added a cream-colored parasol to the stroller, and took a good zoom at it.
2. Studio Shed
Check it out – We designed THIS in just a few minutes. Studio Shed provides solutions to people in need of an extra room. It can be closet-esque at 6′ x 8′ feet to a serious addition at 16′ x 34′ ft, and everything in between. The product configurator updates as we click on various attributes; we watch our shed transform as we create it. We can also see the building in 360 degrees.
Best of all, Studio Shed illustrates the perfect structure for a configurator: They’ve given us lots of options here with plenty of room to play. Yet all the options are within a clear system, so they don’t feel overwhelming. They simply feel inspiring to create.
Italian bicycle maker, Italia Veloce, delivers on the idea that simplicity is beautiful. Their configurator is easy to walk through, and their bikes are appealing to build. There’s a smaller range of features here than in building a shed, for example, but a change or two really expresses a different spirit. Just take a look at their Owners Club Photo Gallery.
With a tip of the hat to entrepreneur-in-chief, Elon Musk, he has not only reinvented cars; he’s reinvented how we buy them. These cars are dreamy. In building a custom car with the Tesla configurator, we build that dream. And as we experiment with various features, we see how much it’s going to cost us per month to live it. The little red number here will be about $2,000/month to lease if we take it up to P100D. Cash and loan pricing is easily available, too. By the time we start on the interior, we can see ourselves in the drivers seat for a nice, long road ahead.
Like so much of what Nike does, their sneaker configurator, NikeiD, is beautiful and functional. Once you select a sneaker profile, the next step becomes a Choose Your Own Adventure: iD Inspiration or My Designs. My Designs produces the sneaker as a blank canvas. iD Inspiration shows several, already-designed variations of the shoe. You can purchase an iD Inspiration outright — or you can edit the design a little or a lot.
Throughout both design adventures, the interface is clean and easy. Nike shows us visual breadcrumbs; click on any photo and design that part of the shoe. If you like what you’ve done, click on the checkmark to confirm it and move on to the next segment. If you want to re-do this step, just X it out. You can also click Done at any time and add your custom design to the cart. In the photos here, we retooled a Nike iD Inspiration design.
It will be interesting to see how Nike iD evolves, especially with Adidas on their configurator heels offering customized, 3D printed shoes in the near future.
We learned of this company in the eMarketer article above, and it does not disappoint. Their product configurator offers 360 rotation, plus we can switch out the style without losing our design. From a flat to a stiletto, the design we create stays with every style. More often than not, a new style means having to restart a design from scratch. We like that Shoes of Prey keeps us in our custom style in every variation.
Count us among the 77% of shoppers read online reviews before buying. When we land on the product configurator page for The North Face’s Denali jacket, its enthusiastic reviews are the first thing we notice. Next the interface is seamless, with a nice balance between options and structure. We like that we can save our design as a snapshot, to a wish list, or print it out in draft form. Customers love the experience, too. Here a user who goes by JuneBug shares that she has “Bought this jacket over and over and will continue to do so” and adds her photo to her review. The Denali configurator is a fan favorite.
Surania gives water lovers of all shapes and sizes the opportunity to design your own swimsuit. It’s a Spanish-speaking company, but we can select English for most of the navigation.
There are configurators for men, women, boys, and girls. Each one walks through the same 3 steps: 1) select a silhouette 2) choose your fabric and 3) submit your measurements. As we shop the fabrics, it’s nice that we can click on the type of pattern we want, e.g. Stripes or Geometrics. And when it’s time to submit measurements, Surania gives us the option to enter them manually or take a survey to determine the best size suit.
9. Double Good
In their own words, “We make delicious popcorn. We give 50% of every purchase to a cause. That’s Double Good.” Let’s add that their product configurator is a triple good. Customers can create snack packs for themselves or as a gift. We tried the configurator out on our iPhone, and really liked how easy it was to use. The options were streamlined. At any time, we could click on a product image and get all its details. As we built our 6-product gift, the mobile site kept us updated on how many products we had lined up. In under 5 minutes, we had a cool, thoughtful gift ready to go.
After creating a popcorn 6-pack, we decided it was high happy hour time to customize a classic 6-pack. Brewtopia, an Australian distributor of beer, cider, wine, and water, let’s us brand our own beverages. They offer a wide variety of templates to design labels and caps. And while they don’t ship internationally, we believe this is an idea that America should import. After shopping their templates, we uploaded a favorite photo and created Happy Dad’s Day Ale. The final gift will be a case of 24 Craft Ale Beers, all with our custom label. Dad will definitely toast to this.
Product configurators are an excellent way to invite your customers to design with you. If you’d like to add custom products to your store, let us know. We love building the online tools that engage customers and increase sales.