It wasn’t until very recently that consumers were able to customize a product to their liking. Neither physical stores nor large e-commerce brands gave customers the ability to design a product until product configurators were introduced. Personalized merchandise enable consumers to creatively express themselves. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that personalization is one of the most important indicators of brand success.
Defining Product Configuration
Product configuration is the process of choosing features in an arrangement that can be made and supplied to meet customer specifications. The process of configuring a product can be performed by a sales representative, a customer, or even automatically by the software tool itself.
What is a Product Configurator
A product configurator tool is a software solution that helps users in choosing features and options for a product that meets their needs. What powers the mechanism behind this tool are rules that enable a user to finish a task.
The Importance of Product Configurators
The desire to personalize products and services to meet requirements is not some new gimmick. It is the way business is done today and forms the basis of both B2B and B2C relationships.
For instance, a manufacturing company that offers configure-to-order options is more likely to meet the exact needs and requirements of its customers using product configurators.
Also, by keeping semi-finished and generic components as opposed to finished products, the business can decrease the capital needed for inventory.
Builds Brand Awareness and Excitement
Giving consumers the ability to create and share their personalized products will not only help generate excitement around your business but will also build brand loyalty. After all, a memorable buying experience boosts retention rates, which translate into sales today and more sales in the future.
Cuts Down on Costs
Product configuration tools give buyers transparent proof of purchase they’re creating so they know exactly what the end result will be. Therefore, companies are able to enjoy reduced shipping costs and fewer returns. Product configuration also optimizes the use of inventory since retailers don’t have to keep merchandise in stock that likely won’t sell.
A Robust Rules Engine
Most product configurators are also referred to as cpq solutions (configure, price, and quote). Efficient configure, price, and quote (cpq) solutions that provide a full range of configuration options are powered by rules engines.
In fact, an efficient rules engine is the single most important component of a powerful product configurator because it creates and manages all of the rules and conditions that are necessary for the proper customization of a product or service.
Finding the right CPQ solution is difficult because many vendors claim that they use powerful rules engines but very often that’s not the case. When you do a little bit of research, you’ll find that most of these product configurators use simple filtering and querying options.
So, if your business relies on complicated configurations, it’s important to make sure that the business rules engine running the product configurator is fast and robust.