3D Product Configurator for e-Commerce – How It Works and Its Main Benefits

Find out how 3D product configurator works, why you must implement it on your e-commerce website, and what are the benefits that come with using it

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Published on
September 14, 2021
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11 min
3D Product Configurator for e-Commerce – How It Works and Its Main Benefits

Until now, our online shopping experience was reliant on going through images, user reviews, and the occasional video. With the rise and amazing improvement of 3D visualization technologies, it was apparent that plain photos and videos will no longer cut it.

Customers want more control over products, while manufacturers don’t want to waste money on unsold stock. A web-based product configurator enables your customers to interact with the product in real-time by giving them an option to customize it according to their preferences.

Let’s learn more about how it works, why you must implement a 3D product configurator on your e-commerce website, and what are the benefits that come with using it.

What Is a 3D Configurator?

If you’re in the e-Commerce industry and haven’t considered 3D configurators, you’re at a major loss. This awesome new technology has become a new bridge between sellers and customers and it has already started revolutionizing the e-commerce industry. So, what is a configurator?

A 3D product configurator is an interactive tool that allows your clients and consumers to customize a product based on their preferences. However, what sets 3D product configurators apart from the rest of the customization tools is the fact that it enables customers to make changes in real-time.

They can select custom options, colours, textures, or anything else – all that through an online configurator. And, it saves production costs and waste because it allows customers to make all the necessary changes pre-production, but we’ll get more in-depth about benefits in the section below.

Online shopping has become the new standard and traditional product visualization methods (photos and videos) are no longer enough to satisfy the ever-growing pool of online customers. E-commerce is limited in the sense that you cannot really see or feel the product in person.

Well, an online configurator is a perfect tool to bridge the gap between sellers and customers and provide everyone with the optimum, efficient, and cost-effective solution. So, what exactly does an online product configurator do?

What Does a Product Configurator Do?

The problem with online shopping was the fact that, once you order and pay for the product, you have to wait for it to arrive to see what it looks like. A lot of times, customers feel unsatisfied with the product because it’s not true to the image and they have to return it.

A product configurator for e-commerce completely solves that problem and the options are endless. You can use it to try on clothes on models with different body types, you can choose materials and textures for furniture and a lot of other things. In fact, there’s even a 3D car configurator where you can choose custom colours, foils, rims, etc. These visualizations are hyper-realistic and allow you to see the product from all angles.

Why Is a 3D Product Configurator a Must for e-Commerce in 2021?

As we have already touched on in this article, the e-commerce industry is booming and, because there’s a lack of information about the product, customers are growing increasingly unsatisfied. Returning products that aren’t true-to-image is bothersome, and companies often have to get rid of returned stock, which is not beneficial for their ROI.

Big Commerce product configurator can solve all those issues, and add much more value to your online store. A lot of major e-commerce businesses have already started employing this technology and their conversions have skyrocketed since.

So, unless you want to be left out, it’s high time you considered investing in an online 3D product configurator. Not only will it improve your return on investment, but it will also improve customer retention, loyalty, and brand recognition.

These are only a couple of benefits in the sea of others, so let’s explore these other benefits that come with using 3D product configurators.

What Are the Benefits of 3D Product Configurators for e-Commerce?

We have already briefly mentioned some of the benefits most commonly associated with product configurators. The good news is that there are so many more benefits that come with employing 3D configuration technology, and we’ll go in-depth discussing all of those below. Here’s why you must start using product configurators on your e-commerce website:

It Increases Engagement with Your Customer

3D product configurators increase your engagement with customers in more than one way. The first, most apparent one is that the customers are able to engage with your website in a completely different way. They’ll be drawn to your service because it gives them more control over their purchase.

However, there’s another angle you might not have considered until now – 3D product configurators subtly force your customers to spend more time on your website. The more customization options you offer, the more time they’ll spend playing around with settings, colours, textures, and other features.

This increases your website’s authority and it has the power to skyrocket your conversions in a matter of days. And, because they’re so engaged and have more control over the process, they’re more likely to return to make another purchase or even recommend it to their friends, colleagues, and families.

Product Configurator Enhances Customer Experience and Satisfaction

Is there anything better than envisioning a certain product and being able to configure it to fit your needs and desires? We all know those AliExpress vs reality memes. And, they became memes because the comparison is so painfully true.

How many times have you purchased a seemingly beautiful product, waited for it to arrive, tried it on, and then you realize that it doesn’t fit, that the colour is off, or that the texture is not right?

This ruins your customers’ shopping experience. And, if that happens in your e-Commerce store, they probably won’t ever purchase your items again, could leave a negative review and scare away new customers. By customizing the product and exploring features and options, clients inherently learn more about the product and service itself.

And, it gives them that creative freedom that can’t often be found during online shopping. Some of the world’s most renowned companies have already started taking advantage of this technology. Porsche is a great example – their 3d car configurator allows you to choose between different colours, vehicle designs, wheels, rims, seats, materials, foils, and a lot more.

It Shortens the Sales Cycle

The sale cycle represents the timeline of when your customer first learned about the product to the moment they converted into paying customers. There are multiple stages of the sales funnel because customers usually don’t buy anything at first sight.

However, if you employ 3D product configurators on your e-commerce website, they’ll know more about the product and your service only by playing around with different options. Hence, you won’t have to push informative videos and emails or employ other marketing techniques to turn cold leads into hot prospects.

The better you inform your customers about the product, the quicker they’ll end up buying it. With product configurators, they can learn everything about the product in under 10 minutes.

Product Configurators Decrease Return Rates

We’ve touched on this benefit multiple times throughout the article, but it still deserves a separate place. Because online shopping is so limited in terms of product accessibility and visualization, product returns have become the norm.

For some companies, that is okay because returned products can be reused and sold again, either as B-stock or as normal products. However, what if your business sells items like makeup or anything else that has to be discarded upon opening? You still have to offer a good return policy because it’s ethical and improves customer loyalty.

But, you’re losing crazy amounts of money on having to discard or repurpose the said items. Well, product configurators completely solve that problem – assuming that you’re using a high-quality configurator.

With 3D configurators, your customers can introduce the product more accurately, and they have the option to receive exactly what they asked for. While this won’t completely eliminate returns, it will definitely significantly decrease them.

Enhanced Marketing: It Helps to Track Customer Behavior

Every e-commerce owner knows that the key to having a successful e-commerce store is knowing your customers in and out. And, like any other online tool, product configurators foster various actions on the website, which you can then track and analyze.

Say that you’re selling furniture and you sold 300 units of the same item. You can go back and see which customization options were more popular than others. Then, you can use this data to optimize future campaigns, know which product versions to feature in ads, or how to improve your offer in general.
Not only that, but you can also see how long it takes them to customize a product, how much they use each customization tool, and learn more about the sales dynamic in general.

It Cuts Stock Expenses

Unused stock is probably the biggest money waster in the e-commerce industry. But, stocking up on different items is necessary because your customers want different options. So, you’re proactively spending money on stocking and storage space, not knowing which products will sell and how long it will take to clear the stock.

If your store has a 3D product configurator, all these issues are significantly minimized. When a customer customizes a product, you’ll start production only when they’re done creating. Instead of trying to predict what your customers will buy, now you can just wait for them to make the purchasing decision and manufacture products accordingly.

It Increases the Average Deal Size

Research says that customers are willing to spend more money on products that they’re able to customize. The said research also notes that customers are glad to pay a 20% price premium for customized products, while they’re willing to spend up to 25% price premium for products that were built specifically to tailor their needs.

Customers Expect a 3D Configurator

3D product configurators will become the norm. We already have hundreds of industry leaders employing this technology – some of them have started using it a couple of years ago. Because online shopping is here to stay, customers will want more options to ensure that they’re fully satisfied with the product.

You Can Connect Demand Directly to Production: Increase Manufacturing Efficiency

Product customization, user experience, and improved conversions are only a fraction of how product configurators can improve your business. Believe it or not, this technology can also revamp your manufacturing processes. A good product configurator should automate the design-to-manufacturing process.

3D designs should have the option to automatically convert to 2D production-ready files that follow an appropriate format. And, it should enable auto-sizing to minimize material consumption.

How Much Does a 3D Product Configurator Cost?

The cost of building a 3D configurator depends on a couple of different factors. How complex is the product? How many customization features do you want? Are there any other peculiarities you’d like to include? Which company do you want to employ?

The costs vary, but we can always rely on the industry average to paint a picture of how much it costs on average:

  • Creating a 3D model from scratch – $50 – $1000 per asset, depending on the complexity of each asset.
  • Licensing 3D visualization software – these start at $1,200 monthly.
  • Web Development – $50 – $200 per hour. A basic product configurator takes around 25 hours to develop, which amounts to $1,250 – $5,000


3D products configurators will become the standard in the e-commerce industry in years to come. And, you should hop on that train as soon as possible to reap the most benefits. However, remember that only having a 3D configurator won’t cut it. It has to be of high quality, otherwise, it defeats the whole purpose of having it in the first place.

At PIXREADY, we offer top-notch 3D product configuration services. Our team consists of industry experts with over a decade of combined experience. We strive to provide our customers with the service of utmost quality and we’ll work closely with you until we’re sure you’re fully satisfied with the final product. Contact us through the form on our website and schedule a consultation call – let’s skyrocket your e-commerce conversions.

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Founded by a group of technology, architecture, and design professionals in 2018, PIXREADY is one of the challengers empowering the 3D visualization industry and making its products and services more affordable. We are determined to assist businesses around the world to create photorealistic images of their products and ideas and enrich the experience of their clients. We focus on the details, with the highest precision in every pixel.


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