In today's competitive business landscape, companies constantly seek innovative ways to streamline operations and enhance customer satisfaction. One such innovation that has gained prominence recently is 3D product configuration in the Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) process.
A substantial 83% of sales professionals have adopted various forms odf CPQ solutions. This technology has revolutionized how businesses interact with customers, offering real-time visualization and a host of other benefits that can't be ignored.
What is 3D Product Configuration?
Before delving into its benefits, let's clarify what 3D product configuration entails. It's a technology-driven solution that allows customers to create customized product configurations in a three-dimensional virtual environment.
This process involves the selection of various product attributes, such as size, color, features, and accessories, to create a personalized product that aligns with their specific needs.
How 3D Product Configuration Elevates the CPQ Process
Let's delve deeper into the tangible benefits of incorporating 3D product configuration in your CPQ process.
A vital goal of the CPQ process is to maximize sales and revenue. 3D product configuration can significantly contribute to this objective.
This is because customers can see how these additions enhance the overall value of their chosen configuration, leading to increased average order values.
Furthermore, the visual appeal of 3D product configurations can stimulate impulse buying, as customers are more likely to be emotionally connected to a product they've personalized and visualized in detail.
Enhanced Customer Experience
One of the primary benefits of incorporating 3D product configuration in the CPQ process is the enhanced customer experience it offers. By allowing customers to customize products visually, businesses empower them to become active participants in the design process.
Imagine visualizing the product you're configuring in real time, rotating it, zooming in, and seeing how your choices affect the final design. This level of interactivity simplifies the decision-making process and makes it enjoyable.
Customers can experiment with different options until they find the perfect product that meets their needs while gaining a deeper understanding of the features and benefits.
Another significant advantage of utilizing 3D product configuration in the CPQ process is the ability to provide real-time visualization.
By incorporating 3D product configuration, businesses can bridge this gap by providing customers with a dynamic and lifelike representation of the product.
This allows customers to explore different options, adjust instantly, and see the results in real-time. Whether changing colors, adding accessories, or adding modules, customers can have complete control over the customization process, leading to a more accurate representation of the final product.
Streamlined CPQ Process
In addition to enhancing the customer experience, 3D product configuration in the CPQ process also simplifies the internal operations of businesses. Traditional methods often involved manual adjustments and calculations, which were time-consuming and prone to errors.
By integrating the configurator with the pricing logic and rules engine, businesses can ensure that the quotes provided are accurate and optimized. This reduces errors and allows sales teams to generate quotes and proposals faster, enabling them to respond to customer requests in a timely manner.
Inaccurate orders and costly mistakes are common issues in the CPQ process. However, 3D product configuration significantly reduces the likelihood of errors. Since customers can see the product they're configuring in real time, they're less likely to select incompatible options or make other mistakes that might result in product returns or costly revisions.
Moreover, 3D product configuration solutions often come with built-in validation rules that prevent customers from selecting combinations that are not feasible or don't meet industry regulations. This not only minimizes errors but also saves time and resources in the long run.
While enhanced customer experience and streamlined processes are crucial, businesses benefit financially by incorporating 3D product configuration into the CPQ process. By reducing errors and improving efficiencies, companies can significantly reduce costs associated with rework, order changes, or inaccurate quotes. This ultimately leads to higher profitability and a better bottom line.
3D Product Configuration in CPQ Best Practices
To maximize the advantages of 3D product configuration within the CPQ process, it's essential to follow these tailored best practices:
Align Configuration with Pricing and Quoting
Ensure seamless integration between 3D product configuration and your pricing and quoting systems. This alignment guarantees that the configurations generated are accurate and can be seamlessly transformed into precise quotes.
Implement rule-based configuration to ensure that customers are guided toward viable product configurations. Set up rules and dependencies that reflect your product's technical constraints, regulatory compliance, and pricing structure.
Real-Time Pricing Updates
Enable real-time pricing updates as customers make configuration choices. This feature helps customers stay informed about the cost implications of their selections, leading to transparent and informed decision-making.
Integrate your 3D product configuration tool with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to capture and manage customer preferences and configurations. This integration enhances personalization and provides valuable insights for sales and marketing efforts.
Streamlined Data Collection
Collect only essential customer data during configuration to minimize friction and encourage completion. Ensure that any data collected aligns with your CPQ objectives and doesn't unnecessarily complicate the customer journey.
Design your 3D product configuration solution with scalability in mind. As your product catalog expands, the tool should seamlessly accommodate new products and configurations without significant modifications.
Regularly monitor and optimize the performance of your 3D product configuration tool. It should load quickly and operate smoothly to provide a seamless experience for customers.
Customer Feedback Loop
Establish a feedback loop with customers who use the 3D configuration tool. Collect feedback on their experience, the usability of the tool, and any suggestions for improvement. Use this input to enhance the tool's functionality and user experience continually.
Examples of 3D Configurators in CPQ
Let's look at some real-life examples to understand better the benefits of 3D product configuration in the CPQ process.
3D Configurators in the Automotive Industry
The automotive industry is an excellent example of the transformative power of 3D product configuration. In the past, customers would have to choose specific models with limited customization options. However, with 3D product configuration, customers can now personalize every aspect of their vehicle, from the color to the interior design.
For instance, Audi uses a highly interactive configurator that allows customers to design and visualize their dream car in real time.
Customers can select different paint colors, wheels, and interiors and even configure the car's engine and drive type. By offering this level of personalization, Audi improves the customer experience and increases the likelihood of purchases.
3D Configurators for Modular Furniture
The furniture industry is another sector that significantly benefits from 3D product configuration in the CPQ process. With complex designs and configurations, traditional methods of gathering requirements and designing furniture can be time-consuming and error-prone.
Lundia, a renowned manufacturer of quality shelving systems, incorporates 3D product configuration into its CPQ process to offer customers highly customizable shelving solutions.
Customers can specify the dimensions of the shelving units, select the type of material and finish, adjust the number and placement of shelves, and even add additional features like drawers or doors.
By integrating VIvidWorks 3D product configuration technology, Lundia streamlines the CPQ process by generating accurate quotes based on the selected options. This eliminates errors and manual calculations, providing customers with transparent pricing and ensuring seamless order processing.
3D Configurators in Retail and E-commerce
Discover more real-world use cases on how 3D and AR technologies are transforming the sales experience across various industries in this insightful post on Showell.
In the retail and e-commerce sectors, 3D product configuration enables customers to visualize and personalize their purchases before making a purchase decision.
For example, companies like ELLTEK Systems, a leading provider of industrial automation solutions, leverage 3D product configuration in their CPQ process to offer highly customized storage systems to their customers.
Customers can choose the storage size, shape, color, and layout, select the type and number of components, and even specify connectivity options.
The VividWorks 3D configurator provides real-time visual feedback, allowing customers to see how their choices impact their storage system's overall appearance and functionality.
This level of customization ensures that customers get control panels that meet their specific needs and streamlines the quotation and order process for ELLTEK Systems.
VividWorks offers a powerful all-in-one 3D Product Configurator with visual CPQ features, enabling customers to personalize and visualize complex products with an endless number of product combinations in real-time.
Book your free demo today to see how VividWorks' 3D configurator can revolutionize your business.