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In today’s increasingly competitive business market, there is a constant struggle amongst companies to find and maintain an advantage over their competition. In order to stay ahead of the curve, companies must be constantly on the lookout for ways to increase their sales and customer satisfaction, as well as remove inefficiencies and waste from their processes. For companies dealing with various product lines, each with a myriad of options and additional features, the product configurator has emerged as the pre-eminent tool for streamlining your sales and business operations.
In fact, simply adding a product configurator to your site can:
- Increase your sales.
- Improve customer satisfaction.
- Raise your customer loyalty.
- Lower your customer acquisition costs.
- Reduce your order entry errors.
- Raise your profit margins.
What is a product configurator?
A product configurator is, most commonly, a browser based application which companies use to display their product options. It’s adjustable by the user to add or subtract various features from their products, and visualize the end result. In fact, you’ve probably already used one yourself, they’re common in everything from the automotive industry, to smaller retail websites.
Product configurators add value for your customers.
Adding a product configurator vastly simplifies the sales process from the customer’s point of view, and allows them to find products which suit their individual needs and tastes. It allows you to differentiate yourself from the mass market competition by offering unique customization which customers find strongly appealing, and increase their likelihood of purchase. In fact, it’s been shown that product configurators increase sales productivity by up to 50%, and increase the number of quotes generated by as much as 300%.
Product configurators increase your customer satisfaction.
By adding a product configurator you’re putting customers into the design chair, tapping into their creativity, and allowing them to form an emotional attachment to the product they “created.” Customers will spend more time on your website picking and choosing the options they like, they’ll feel more engaged with your brand, and they’ll feel more customer satisfaction with the product they “created”.
Happy customers are return customers.
Everyone knows that repeat customers are the best way to grow your business. Customers who have used your product configurator once are far more likely to return to your company to buy more of the same products, or consider purchasing other products because they know they’ll be able to get exactly what they need with little hassle.
Product configurators help you streamline your business.
More than just a flashy front-end tool for customers, the real magic of product configurators lies behind the scenes. They can help you reduce inventory cost by gearing your supplies to actual demand, lower your acquisition costs by eliminating the need for expert personal and sales staff to guide customers through the sales process, and eliminate errors from ordering by automatically generating accurate documents, plans, and materials lists for the products.
In fact, product configurators can actually help you:
- Reduce entry errors by up to 100%
- Decrease inventory by up to 10%
- Respond to quotes 80% faster.
Product configurators allow you to consolidate all parts of your business from engineering, to manufacturing, logistics, sales and marketing into one location. You can manage your product related information such as inventory, design drawings, vendor information, datasheets and more, and seamlessly integrate them into your other systems such as CAD/CAE, and e-commerce.
Your sales force can also work with customers, and view design and price changes automatically which reduces the time and effort necessary to develop quotes, and provides prices which are far more accurate.
Product configurators are easy to implement.
Many people don’t realize how easy it is to actually implement a product configurator on their site. There are many companies who specialize in advising you on how to set your business up to use a product configurator effectively, and will work with you to design, develop, and implement one on your own site. Additionally, the increase in sales seen by most companies is enough to fully cover the cost of implementation in a relatively short time.
With your product configurator in place, your customers can easily and intuitively visualize the full range of products you offer, and select the ones which best suit their individual needs and tastes, giving you a substantial advantage over your competition.