16 January 2023
What is eCommerce Product Configuration Software?
Product customization gives consumers and clients more control over what they buy and increases customer satisfaction by allowing purchasers to personalize their goods, but how do companies facilitate custom online orders? The answer? eCommerce product configuration software! In this article, we take a closer look at what eCommerce product configuration software is, what features to look out for and why it’s critical for businesses to integrate product customization into their online stores. How Does eCommerce Product Configuration Software Work? If you sell customizable or configurable products, customers need to be able to personalize products online to facilitate eCommerce sales and expand your sales network. eCommerce product configuration software provides the functionality to make this possible. While the technical aspects are rather complex, we can simplify the process to show how product configuration software operates: For example, our eCommerce product configuration software incorporates a custom product catalog that stores data relating to your products, components and configuration options. We create 2D or 3D images of the products and/or components, so that each configuration option can be displayed visually on the screen. Then, we input your configuration options into a bespoke rules-based engine that governs how users can configure a product online. If essential components are required to complete a configuration, we can even prompt users to add them or create automated basket addition ‘rules’, so that every configuration is viable. When a user is satisfied with their configuration, your eCommerce product configuration software can enable them to submit, print and/or share the order or generate a proposal, depending on your preference. What Types of Products Are Configurable? Virtually any type of product can be created using eCommerce product configuration software, which means that a significant number of businesses can now integrate online sales into their operations. Whereas customizable, personalized or configurable products once required face-to-face sales interactions, visual eCommerce product configuration streamlines the process and enables customers to configure the product digitally, without assistance. If products are available in different color combinations or versions, for example, our single-product configurator software can provide users with a range of options to personalize the item before submitting an order. Alternatively, more complex configuration requirements can be managed by our multi-product configurator software. When customers are purchasing ‘complex products,’ such as kitchens or bathrooms, multiple individual items (e.g., cupboards, doors, handles etc.) may be incorporated to make up the final product. With a powerful rules-based engine, we make it possible for users to customize multi-product configurations and simplify the sales process via photorealistic imagery and real-time functionality. Integrating Product Configuration Software with Your eCommerce Store Companies use a variety of different technologies to sell goods online. In many cases, businesses use established eCommerce software, such as BigCommerce, SAP Commerce Cloud, Shopware, Shopify, WooCommerce etc., to power their online sales portal, which is why it’s important for your product configuration software to be ‘integration ready’. While ready-made product configuration plug-ins may appear to be an efficient and cost-effective way to integrate a configurator into your web store, this is rarely the case. In fact, these solutions tend to conflict with in-built features, offer a poor user experience (UX) and can even disrupt the existing functionality of your online sales portal. So, if ready-made plug-ins aren’t the answer, what other options are there? Custom eCommerce Product Configuration Software When eCommerce product configuration software is built and developed for your brand, you can be confident that it will integrate seamlessly into your current website or web shop and deliver an optimal UX. Operating as a turnkey solution, expert integration ensures peak functionality and performance, while bespoke features differentiate your brand and website from competitors. However, these aren’t the only advantages associated with custom eCommerce product configuration software. As well as being created according to your spec and in accordance with the requirements of your eCommerce platform, custom product configuration software can be integrated alongside other sales tech, such as ERP, PLM, PIM and CRM software. This creates unified sales tools, in which product configuration software is fully aligned with your existing resources. If you’re using PIM software, for example, data in your configuration product catalog can be automatically updated so customers are able to view the latest prices and configure new products. Additionally, if you’re using CRM software to store customer information, data can be securely transferred from your product configuration software when a customer places an order or submits their details. With endless possibilities, custom eCommerce product configuration software gives businesses the opportunity to create and optimize cohesive online sales systems that simplify in-house management and improve the customer experience (CX). What Features Should You Look For in an eCommerce Product Configurator? Developing the right eCommerce product configurator for your brands means adopting the features that will provide the best CX to your target audience(s) and streamline your sales cycle, such as: 2D and 3D Photorealistic Imagery As an eCommerce retailer, you’ll understand the importance of presenting your products accurately online. When potential customers can’t reach out and touch the product, it’s vital that the imagery you use immerses the user in the customer journey and entices them to proceed with a purchase. Whether you want to showcase products in 2D or 3D, we’ll create engaging photorealistic imagery that provides a personalized UX when users are creating product configurations. Already have your own 2D image files or 3D renderings? No problem! We’ll incorporate these into your product catalog and eCommerce product configuration software. Augmented Reality Visualizations Integrating augmented reality (AR) visualizations into your product configurator elevates the CX and allows users to see what customizable products will look like in their own environment. Not only does this improve the CX, but it also reduces order errors and increases customer satisfaction. At CanvasLogic, our AR functionality enables customers to view products in situ via mobile devices and brings configurable and customizable products to life. Real Time Functionality Page loading speed has a huge impact on website performance and dramatically affects the UX. If your page loading speed increases from 1 second to 3 seconds, for example, you can expand your bounce rate to increase by 32% too. When users are configuring products, adding features or customizing colors, it’s even more important that your configuration software provides instant updates. To maximize conversion rates and optimize the UX, choose product configuration software that offers real time functionality. Mobile Friendliness Mobile devices account for almost half of all web traffic and this figure is increasing all the time. As a result, eCommerce retailers must ensure their website, web shop and eCommerce tools offer optimal mobile functionality to capture and retain mobile traffic. If your customers use a smartphone or tablet, or they switch from desktop to mobile partway through a configuration, you’ll want your configuration software to deliver a seamless mobile UX to avoid unnecessary abandonments and excessive bounce rates. Easy Product Updates Many eCommerce businesses modify their product lines on a regular basis, which means your configurator product catalog needs to be updated to reflect your latest products and prices. The back-end development of your configuration software will determine how easy it is to do this, but be sure to discuss this with your chosen developers in advance. If it’s time-consuming and complicated to update product information, your product catalog and, therefore, your configurator is likely to be out of date fairly quickly. In contrast, a user-friendly product catalog makes modifying product information simple and efficient and ensures your configuration software is always up to date. Multi-Language User Interface As an eCommerce retailer, you’ll have the opportunity to sell products all over the world, but you’ll need a multi-language website or web shop to facilitate this. Similarly, you’ll want multi-language sales tools to nurture customers through the sales funnel. Even if you’re not selling products globally right now, choosing eCommerce product configuration software that supports multi-language functionality will enable you to pursue a range of global growth strategies in the future. Talk to CanvasLogic about eCommerce Product Configuration Software Now With more than 20 years’ experience in product configuration software, CanvasLogic is perfectly placed to help you create innovative and engaging eCommerce configuration solutions. Whether you’re using an established eCommerce platform, such as SAP Commerce Cloud, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Shopware, Magento or Shopify, or you’re looking for a standalone product configurator, our in-house team will create custom solutions that are designed exclusively for your brand. To learn more, contact CanvasLogic now.
19 December 2022
Demand for Customizable Products Fuels VPC Market Growth
The visual product customization (VPC) software market is expected to grow significantly in upcoming years as companies respond to increased demand for customizable products. According to a recent industry report, the market for VPC software will grow with a CAGR of 18.9% between 2022-2028 (DataIntelo, 2022), which means an increasing number of businesses will be using visual product customization tools to engage customers. It should come as no surprise that businesses are using visual product customization software to increase engagement and boost sales. After all, visual CPQ tools and online product configuration give customers additional control over the products they buy and simplify the sale of complex products. But what’s behind the forecasted industry growth and what factors are driving the market? Here, we take a look at three reasons why the visual product customization software market is predicted to expand: 1. Increased Demand for Customizable Products DataIntelo cites increased demand for customizable products as a primary reason behind the expected industry expansion. As consumers search for personalized, configurable or customizable products, companies need online configuration and visualization solutions if they want to continue selling online. Traditionally, these type of ‘complex products’ required face-to-face selling, in-store visits or field sales but new technology, like CanvasLogic's 3D product configuration solutions, makes it possible for companies to sell complex products via websites, web shops and mobile apps. PRO TIP: Use Automated Basket Additions to Improve Order Accuracy Selling complex, configurable products could lead to order errors and returns if customers place incorrect orders or leave out critical components. At CavasLogic, our visual product configuration software incorporates automated basket additions, so that essential components are always included in a customer’s order. This minimizes the risk of order errors, reduces return rates and increases customer satisfaction. 2. Growing Online Shopping Trend Online shopping has grown in popularity in recent years, but this growth was fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. As people were unable or hesitant to shop in-store, they switched to online shopping to meet their needs instead. The increased convenience, speed of delivery and wide range of products available online means that online shopping is undoubtedly here to stay, and we can expect to see a continued rise in the number of people who utilize eCommerce services. However, online shopping isn’t just beneficial for consumers. As businesses scale back bricks and mortar outlets and focus on eCommerce growth, companies can drastically reduce operating costs by selling via websites, web shops and mobile apps. Whether you’re selling kitchens and furniture, clothes and cosmetics or groceries and books, eCommerce will help you to meet the demands of an increasingly digital customer base and visual product customization software allows you to sell online with greater accuracy and transparency. Try our product configuration software now PRO TIP: Choose Configuration Solutions with eCommerce Integrations When you’re deciding what type of configuration and visualizations solutions to use, be sure to consider the integration options. Our team of developers work tirelessly to deliver turnkey solutions and end-to-end integrations that streamline the sales cycle and deliver optimal performance. From eCommerce platforms, like Shopify, SAP Hybris, BigCommerce, Magento and more, to ERP, PIM, and PLM software, our configuration solutions are professionally integrated with your existing infrastructure to optimize the online sales process. 3. Rising Use of Cloud-Based VPC Software Transitioning to the cloud has become more popular than ever, particularly as business operations become more flexible and workforces routinely operate on a remote basis. Unsurprisingly, this has led to more companies using cloud-based visual product customization software to sell customizable products online too. Choosing cloud-based VPC software gives companies increased flexibility and ensures that updates to product catalogs and pricing can be made in real-time, from any device. Furthermore, the high speeds available via cloud computing minimize the impact on in-house resources, ensure an optimal user experience (UX) and deliver real-time configurations and visualizations. PRO TIP: Select Cloud-Based Configuration Tools for Your Brand Cloud-based computing is beneficial for many reasons, and it can offer cost savings, improved efficiency, added flexibility and even enhanced cybersecurity. By choosing cloud-based configuration and visualization software, like CanvasLogic, you can accelerate your digital transformation, sell customizable products online, and seamlessly integrate 2D, 3D and AR product configurators into your website, web shop or mobile app. Discover Visual Product Configuration and Visualization Solutions Now If you’re eager to find out how visual product configuration and visualization solutions can increase engagement, boost sales and attract new customers, we can help. Try our award-winning product configurators now or request a call with our talented team to learn more.
18 October 2022
Product Configuration Delivers on Hybrid Shopping Trend
Online shopping is often seen as a replacement for in-store experiences, yet many bricks and mortar stores are still thriving, which indicates ongoing demand for in-person shopping despite the popularity of online purchasing While the media has often pitted eCommerce against in-store shopping, it seems the future of sales lies somewhere in between: hybrid shopping. What is Hybrid Shopping? Hybrid shopping simply refers to people using one or more methods or channels to purchase goods or service, but people are typically referring to shopping experiences than span both online and offline worlds when talking about hybrid shopping and it seems this is a trend that’s here to stay (TotallyRetail, 2022) A customer may order goods online and collect them from the store on their next visit, for example. Alternatively, a customer might visit a store and browse products before submitting an order via their smartphone when they are hybrid shopping. Why is Hybrid Shopping So Popular? The popularity of hybrid shopping lies in its flexibility and personalization. Customers can choose whichever shopping methods work for them and vary the way they shop to meet their real-time needs. Your schedule might determine whether in-store or online shopping is easier from one week to the next, for example, while increased stock availability and superfast deliveries may mean digital purchasing wins out when efficiency is a top priority. Ultimately, hybrid shopping puts customers in control and allows them to create a unique purchasing journey each and every time they shop. How Can Companies Deliver Hybrid Shopping Experiences? Hybrid shopping doesn’t simply mean offering in-store and online shopping. Instead, companies must integrate real-world and digital experiences to create a holistic customer experience. In the same way that omnichannel customer service doesn’t just mean multi-channel customer service, hybrid shopping must be more than the sum of its parts to meet customer expectations and positively impact company performance. To deliver truly hybrid shopping experiences, companies must examine how they can integrate in-store and digital experiences and allow customers to seamlessly transition from in-person to online shopping and vice versa. Discover our 2D, 3D and AR product configuration solutions now. Product Configuration and Visualization for Hybrid Shopping Product configuration and visualization is already being hailed as a gamechanger for eCommerce, but it isn’t only online shopping that can benefit from configurators and visualizers. In fact, these tools have been used in-store for longer than they’ve been used online, although it was typically salespeople who used them to prepare orders on behalf of customers. By embracing consumer-focused product configuration and visualization tools, however, companies can integrate online and in-person shopping to create a truly hybrid shopping experience. When a furniture store incorporates CanvasLogic product configuration software in its in-store point-of-sale (PoS) devices, for example, customers can configure, modify and order a customizable product in-store, without assistance from a salesperson. Alternatively, a customer may choose to digitally send their configuration to a family member or friend, so they can provide feedback, input additional modifications and make joint purchasing decisions. Similarly, a customer may view a product in-store but want to know what it will look like in their home before deciding whether to submit an order. If so, they can simply use the brand’s augmented reality (AR) visualizer to view the product at home,in situ, via a smartphone or tablet. Conversely, customers may begin their journey online and customize or configure products using a company’s online product configurator. Then, they can either submit their order directly via the site or visit the brand’s store with their order ready to be processed. With so much flexibility and functionality, product configuration and AR visualization are viable ways for companies to embrace the hybrid shopping trend, boost sales and increase customer satisfaction. Create Hybrid Shopping Experiences with CanvasLogic With custom 2D & 3D product configuration and AR visualization solutions, we create unique tools to meet the needs of your brand. To discuss your hybrid shopping strategy or to find out how CanvasLogic’s configuration and visualization solutions can work for you, talk to our team today.
18 August 2022
Is Your Product Configurator Mobile-Ready?
As mobile traffic continues to rise, companies are being urged to take a ‘mobile-first’ approach to eCommerce. Attracting online customers, increasing engagement and maximizing sales depends on meeting – and exceeding – customer expectations, but is your product configurator up to the task? Mobile Traffic Continues to Dominate Since mobile internet speeds have become faster and data costs have dropped, mobile traffic has steadily increased. In fact, mobile traffic now accounts for more than 59% of global internet traffic (Statista, 2022). While mobile internet usage enables people to access the web when they’re on the go, enhanced performance means that an increasing number are foregoing static connections in favor of 4G & 5G networks. Mobile-Ready Product Configuration and Visualization The rise in mobile internet traffic means companies need think ‘mobile-first’ when developing new online content and eCommerce tools. Google has already switched to a mobile-first algorithm, which indicates that mobile surfing is here to stay, and businesses can get ahead of the game by ensuring online eCommerce features, like 2D & 3D product configurators are mobile-ready. Try our mobile-ready augmented reality visualization tools now. At CanvasLogic, we develop innovative product configuration and visualization solutions for the future, which is why our software is always mobile-ready. No matter what type of product configurator you need, our experienced team will ensure it offers optimal mobile and desktop functionality. Augmented Reality on Mobile Devices While 2D & 3D product configuration allows users to modify and view products in real-time, augmented reality (AR) takes things a step further and empowers users to view digital products in their real-world environment. To increase accessibility and optimize the user experience (UX), it’s essential that an AR visualizer is mobile-ready. This enables customers to use their preferred device when configuring and purchasing products, but it also means that a buyer can move around and experience the product from different angles and in different environments when viewing it in AR. To learn more, why not try our mobile-ready augmented reality (AR) product visualization tools right now? Alternatively, request a call with our team and learn more about out mobile-ready product configuration and visualization solutions.
18 April 2022
Demand for CPQ Solutions Continues to Grow
Recent industry analysis suggests on-going growth for the CPQ market, with the industry set to grow by a CAGR of 12.3% between 2022 – 2028. Already valued at USD $2.49 billion, forecasts suggest the Compare, Price, Quote (CPQ) software market will be worth a staggering USD $4.99 billion by 2028 (Proficient Market Insights, 2022) So, what’s behind the increasing demand for CPQ solutions and what benefits can they offer? Increase in Online Sales Online shopping is more popular than ever, and companies want to ensure they can capture a digital market. When it comes to complex and configurable products, however, traditional eCommerce solutions just aren’t sufficient. With CPQ software, companies can empower customers to configure products in real-time and provide them with instant pricing information, as well as a quotations, proposals and/or Bill of Materials (BoM). This makes online complex product sales viable and efficient, thus boosting the demand for CPQ solutions. User-Friendly Visual CPQ Tools Although Configure, Price Quote software has been used for some time, it’s typically been a professional tool that’s been utilized by sales teams and project planners. A customer may visit a store and the salesperson might use CPQ software to prepare their customized order, for example. Today’s CPQ tools offer something much more accessible and consumer-friendly, however, which effectively ‘cuts out the middleman’ and enables customers to configure, price and quote their order from any location, without assistance. In addition to accelerating the sales process, this ensures that the entire sale can be carried out online. For companies, this means reduced costs, increased order capacity and enhanced customer satisfaction, so it's not surprising that visual CPQ tools are a top priority for growing businesses! Reduced Returns and Order Errors Processing returns and rectifying order errors can be costly and time-consuming for businesses, so simplifying the sales process is always advantageous. Now, businesses can empower customers to configure products within certain parameters to ensure order accuracy. With CanvasLogic’s CPQ configuration solutions, for example, our configurators use an updateable rule-based engine to determine which configurations are possible. Additionally, businesses can set ‘automated basket addition’ rules, so that critical components are always added to a customer’s order when they are required. While the features and functionality of Configure, Price Quote software can reduce returns and order errors, simply allowing customers to experience the product in 2D, 3D or AR and enabling them to configure, modify and personalize products can, in itself, increase customer satisfaction and minimize returns. Explore CanvasLogic's CPQ tools now. Increased Capacity If companies are reliant on sales staff to process customer orders, their capacity to accept orders is limited by the size, availability and location of their workforce. In contrast, consumer-friendly CPQ software enables customers to prepare and submit their own orders, thus removing capacity limitations and allowing businesses to process an increased number of orders. At CanvasLogic, we understand the integral role Configure, Price, Quote software can play in business growth, which is why our CPQ configuration solutions are designed for both in-house sales teams and end-users. Functional across a range of devices, including point-of-sale (POS) hardware, desktops and mobile devices, CanvasLogic CPQ tools give companies the flexibility to introduce new customer-centric sales processes both in-store and online. Lower Costs Keeping operational costs low allows businesses to maximize profit and Configure, Price, Quote software is one way to minimize the cost of sales. From increasing order capacity and downsizing your workforce to improving order accuracy and maximizing customer satisfaction, there are numerous ways that CPQ software can help companies reduce their operating costs and retain a higher percentage of profit as revenue. In fact, the ROI on product configuration CPQ software is one of the reasons Configure, Price, Quote software is becoming so popular for B2B, B2C and D2C sales. Is CPQ Software Right for Your Business? To find out more about CPQ software, talk to our friendly team today. We’ll help you learn more about what Configure, Price, Quote software can offer and provide all the info you need about our user-friendly, visual CPQ tools.