Digital product configuration

Iris Nijenhuis

12 November 2020

4 min

With a product configurator, your customers would be able to configure and visualize the whole kitchen on the website. Let your customer explore the endless possibilities of the design of a kitchen - from the size to the materials and colours and from the furniture to the different appliances.  They can play with the different options: how big should the fridge be? A single or double sink? A granite or a wooden kitchen countertop? All their requests can be configured and tried out by themselves.  

Besides it being a great tool to let your customers experience everything in the convenience of their own home, it can also offer multiple benefits to the business. The interactive nature of the tool can increase lead generation, speed up the decision-making process, increase amount of the up- and cross selling, expand the reach, and boost the customer experience of the website.   

The Possibilities with Product Configuration  

There are a variety of possibilities that can be incorporated into a product configurator for businesses.   

One of these great possibilities can be to link the configurator with Augmented Reality, this makes it possible for customers to see their configured products in their own kitchen. This can then be linked to the webshop – enabeling customers to get an immediate quote and directly order their configured products. 

You can also let the customer save the configuration to their account. So, when they are not sure yet whether to make the purchase, they can view it again and if they want, adjust it.  

Collect and show all the data of the customers’ movements in detailed statistics, to keep track of all the important information.  

Another possibility is to enable customers to share their kitchen designs with their social media channels, creating more interactivity and presence on social media.  

The Connection with Existing Software Packages   

The product configurator can be connected with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to calculate the prices instantly. These ERP systems utilize configurators that are referred to as configure, price, quote (CPQ). With the implementation of CPQ-software, quotes of complex and configurable products can be made. The software also makes sure that the configurations can work together. It allows the customer to get the exact product they need or desire, within the limits of the chosen configuration.  

When necessary, it is even possible to generate a bill of material (BOM) which gives the list and specifications of the products that have been ordered through the product configurator. Connect the bill of materials with the Warehouse Management Software (WMS) to check the availability and to set the full order assembly process in motion.   

Product Configuration and Augmented Reality  

The product configurator can be implemented into a website or it can be a stand-alone software tool. This can present a great deal of additional business value when combined with Virtual-, Augmented-, and Mixed Reality.   

Augmented Reality (AR) can add that unique feature to the product configuration that immerses the customers and engages them more. It can be applied in a company-branded application or on the company’s website with the use of WebAR. With this feature, 3D renders of the products can be created, and the customers can place and move the configured products in their homes. For example, when the customers have configured their kitchen, they can go to the application- or web-based Augmented Reality function to place the kitchen in their desired location – providing that extra dimension to their future purchase.  This does not only benefit the customer. With a company-branded application that everyone can download or with the incorporation of WebAR, companies can bring something new to their market – creating more brand awareness and a bigger competitive advantage. 

In short, the use of a product configurator allows you to bring your showroom to the living room. Combined with an Augmented Reality application or website extension, it engages and immerses the customers more. Creating longer website visits and increasing the lead generation. It gives the consumer a tangible experience when it is not possible to go to the physical store, providing customers with a similar customer experience.