A 3D product configurator is a great upgrade for any eCommerce platform, but to ensure that more conversions are generated, there are some marketing issues that need to be adresses early. Here are few tips on how to get the most out of your configurator.

The first two “Moments of Truth”.

In traditional marketing, the “first moment of truth” refers to the first few seconds after a shopper has found a product, shelf or web shop. It`s the moment when a company has the best chance of turning users into buyers by appealing to their senses and values. If you don`t know enough about your customers, your best marketing argument is a flawless shopping experience. To some extent, this also applies to eCommerce. Your product configurator should be the highlight of your eCommerce platform. While the buzz can draw attention to your brand and certainly attract more people to play with the configurator, these visitors will not necessarily convert to playing customers.

In 2012, Google took a new relevant step in eCommerce: the so-called “Zero moment of Truth”. It means that by using all the online marketing tools available today, it has not only become possible, but already essential, to reach customers earlier when they search for a product online. The ZMOT is the moment when a buyer makes the purchase decision and actively searches online for a specific product.

There are several ways to win the Zero Moment of Truth for any type of product. We focus here on the efficient use of a product configurator at this crucial moment.

Three key figures for customer pre-segmentation.

A person with advanced knowledge of a product is more likely to be able to customize the product according to his or her own personal preferences. If, in the other hand, a user is not so familiar with the product, the configurator shows a stronger Involvement, However, a large selection and a complex configurator could also be an obstacle to the purchase of a product that the customer already intends to buy.

Who?

These three people will behave differently in the Zero Moment of Truth. Knowledge, commitment and intention are the three rough measures that need to be monitored at an early stage. They will be refined along the way if you get to know your customer better, but they are a good starting point. A product configurator is a good way to intuitively present a complex product with thousands of variants. In practice, a small selection of these configuration options will generate the most sales. Nevertheless, all possible configurations should be offered, as customers with more product expertise can refine their choices on this basis.

The strategy.

Even through product configurators are not yet so widespread today, they make a significant contribution to building trust around the brand. If your product is close to your heart, a product configurator is the right choice for you.

A product configurator regularly proves to be a key factor in reaching customers with the right product knowledge.

The personal computer industry has been transformed by product configurators. Today it would no longer be conceiverable for hardware suppliers not to offer their customers modular solutions.

Knowledgeable customers have specific needs that need to be met, but they are also the ones who will enjoy the process of personalizing their purchasing the most. In other words, there is not enough choice. Experience is crucial, and it is the most important marketing argument for using a product configurator.

The plus.

Building trust is a question of patience and commitment. Have influencers in your field review your product and give you recommendations or even produce content for you (blog articles and product reviews).

Involvement: Benefits for customer segmentation.

Who?

A customer can commit to buying a high quality product for a specific purpose, but lacks the knowledge to make a decision. A friend of mine longed for a mountain bike and saved for the investment. Without extensive product knowledge, a complete build-your-own approach is often intimidating and cannot be used alone.

The strategy.

Traditional customer studies have long been used to segment customers. With product configurators, organizations today can collect so much data about customer behavior and preferences that they can create true mathematical clustering for customer groups. This is all the more true for fully parametric products that offer millions of different configurations.

Once popular configurations have been identified and linked to a specific customer group, it is advantageous to force bestsellers through custom marketing. The perfect configuration for a mountain bike could have its own landing page and be further improved through search engine optimization and marketing.

The plus.

A simple way to maintain all the complexity of the product while simplifying the shopping experience is to use a wizard mode for the configurator. Configuration options are presented sequentially or in thematic groups, ideally together with specific help messages and notes for each configuration step.

Product configurator as a decisive factor in the “first moment of truth”.

Who?

The purchase decision is often made long before a customer is online. Good examples are, for example, going to a discount store when milk is no longer available or buying ink cartridges online for the printer at Amazon. Regardless of how much love and consideration you have for your product, there will always be customers who will regard your product as a commodity and not as a lifestyle choice.

The strategy. 

You will often not know these customers before they land on your website. They don`t care if you offer thousands of configuration options. They won`t come to buy a piece of furniture because it can be personalized, but because it has attracted their attention for more traditional reasons.

However, if you notice that they can change the height of an already considered brookcase, this will influence your purchase decision. For them, the adjustment will be a bonus that reinforces the outcome of the First Moment of Truth. The customization options, such as free shipping, fast delivery, and customer ratings, provide significantly better conversion rates.

The plus.

Integrate a social component into your configurator. Customers are proud of their customized products and want to share them with other people. The best way to reach a mainstream audience is to be recommended by them on social media.

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