Digital sales supplement: Presenting products via configurator

In B2B as well as in the end customer sector, digital configurators help to achieve a clear understanding of products and their functions. Through modern technologies, these are now becoming one of the most effective sales tools. Interactive 3D and immersive AR configurators create extensive presentation possibilities through real-time customization.
Lisa Krause
May 26, 2021
March 25, 2021

Products and services individually adapted to their own needs and requirements - an ideal solution for many customers in B2B and B2C. Individualization, i.e. the free choice of product variants, is currently more in demand than ever on the customer side. But applications that offer customers different choices are also lucrative for companies. 

In this case, digital product configurators can help to achieve a clearer understanding of products and their functions. Especially in the end customer sector, they are often used to provide customers with product suggestions that match their search. But also the visual or functional customizability of products is a frequent case in B2B and B2C. 

Different models for different industries

Depending on how much the degree of customization varies, how large or complex products are, different choices are difficult to represent by purely visual mapping in the configurator. Especially in B2B, more flexibility is needed in sales appointments or consultation meetings in this case. 

Interactive 3D configurators provide a clear picture in this regard. Products are built in 3D for this purpose and can be viewed and adjusted from all sides on the screen. A look inside a machine or testing of functions is also possible with 3D product rendering. 

Immersive product configurators go one step further, visualizing and placing products in augmented reality and in their original size at any desired location. By tapping on the screen, users experience all functions, receive information and details about the product or change its appearance in real time.

Website, App or WebAR: Mobile solution for every device 

Product configurators in the end customer sector are usually software solutions that are integrated into a website or online shop. One example of this is digital consulting aids that support customers in their search for the right product. Articles are provided with various features that the customer selects in the configurator in order to finally find the product with the right characteristics. 

Interactive 3D and immersive AR configurators, on the other hand, are developed in the form of an application or browser-based. Immersive experiences can be created as WebAR, for example, so that customers can access the experience via a link. The configurators are thus not tied to a company website or a shop, but can be accessed independently.  

Real-time 3D renderings make it possible to demonstrate the different functions and variants live and to illustrate them in a high-quality manner. Users determine various features that their ideal product should have. The selection of these features can be based on rules predefined by the company, so that some features of a product can only be combined with certain other features. In this way, individual product variants are put together according to customer requirements.

Configuration experience with and without advice

For B2B sales, there is hardly a more effective tool than a product configurator that enables live customizations. There are typically two ways to use them. First, they can be accessed by the customer themselves and operated without an employee. This is usually the case before a purchase decision is made, for example to get to know the product first and to find out whether it can generally be a solution for one's own ideas.

However, the most effective type of application is probably the use in the virtual or analogue presence of a consultant, for example in the context of a sales presentation or in a digital or real showroom. Consultant and customer share the same immersive experience or the 3D configurator during the presentation to introduce the product and clarify questions or to jointly create the final product after a decision has been made. 

Presenting complex machines in sales talks

The American company Nordson also wanted to be able to present large machines in a comprehensible way during sales meetings and to adapt them functionally. For the ideal sales supplement, a web-based product configurator was created for the manufacturer of precision equipment, which sales staff use in real or digital peer-to-peer conversations with customers.

Since the application works on any mobile device, it is not location-bound and can be used worldwide. Employees and customers share the same view of the object in augmented reality. The products are put together live on the basis of concrete requirements that the respective customer expresses in the conversation. After the consultation, the customer receives a summary document to help him make a decision. 

Maintenance: Update Variant Configurator

The rules according to which a variant configurator functions must of course be defined by companies, and data must be maintained and updated. Specially designed platforms for data management and content editing facilitate this process. 

One example of such a platform is our flexible CMS interface VARYCON, which solves the updating and editing of a product configurator via intuitive front-end structures. 

Support in the decision-making process 

Regardless of how a product configurator is used in the company, whether with or without augmented reality or the expertise of a consultant: both sides of the process benefit from it. The solution helps customers to make decisions more quickly and to better understand the product. Companies learn through targeted targeting of the application which functions or which optics are preferred by customers. 

At the same time, a visualization in 3D reduces the display space that product variants would take up in a showroom. In a virtualized showroom, an AR product configurator is an ideal digital sales supplement.