Business transformation
How product personalization benefits the furniture industry
Business transformation

How product personalization benefits the furniture industry

Written by

Rod Reynolds


February 21, 2024

Table of contents

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Shoppers today expect product personalization options and interactive experiences, which is one of the reasons consumers have come to love 3D product configurators. But customer satisfaction is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits these powerful tools can offer to businesses by enabling real-time customization capabilities.

Configurators allow retailers, manufacturers, and B2B and D2C players to showcase the entirety of their product range without needing a physical sample or photograph for every product or variant. What’s more, by enabling buyers to customize pieces to their preference, these tools extend product range capabilities, allowing for premium customization charges.

For sales and marketing teams, configurators mean they no longer have to attempt to convey complex customizations through visuals or words, enabling real-time demonstrations and interactivity. And for buyers, product personalization brings a sense of agency that leads to improved customer satisfaction, a willingness to wait longer to receive products, and a significant reduction in returns.

What are product configurators?

A product configurator is a digital tool that enables buyers to customize products by selecting different options, features, components and more, all at the click of a button – with changes displayed in real time on a lifelike 3D model.

Common examples of their application include furniture retail, where 3D and augmented reality (AR) product configurators allow buyers to select different combinations of color, material, texture, and finish, or in automotive sales, where users can experiment with an array of options such as trim, engine performance, and custom upgrades.

Once the user has settled on their preferred combination, the application automatically adjusts pricing and allows the personalized product to be added directly to the shopping cart for purchase.

Try a 3D product configurator from Enhance now. Furniture: HMD Furniture

Meeting consumer demand for product personalization

The benefits product configurators offer to consumers are well established. According to McKinsey, 71% of buyers expect companies to offer personalization and by enabling customer journeys that are innovative, interactive, and personalized, these tools deliver on the changing expectations of modern shoppers.

Furthermore, research has found that 77% of consumers want to use 3D and AR configurators to view product variations when shopping, citing a number of different ways in which they add value to the experience:

  • Personalization: Product personalization allows buyers to change the characteristics of an object, such as a furniture piece, and trial different options in real-time, empowering them to find the combination that matches their preferences and feels tailor-made for the individual.
  • Visualization: By showcasing products in lifelike 3D and allowing users to rotate and view items from any angle, configurators help remove uncertainty from the buying process.  
  • Confidence: The accuracy of the visuals and interactive nature of the experience brings a new level of transparency to the process, boosting confidence in purchasing decisions.

The cumulative impact of these improvements to the customer journey includes increases in conversion rates of up to 94%, significant increases in dwell time as customers spend longer viewing and interacting with products, and a reduction in return rates of up to 40%.

Tangible cost savings

As well as improving conversions, sales, and customer engagement, product personalization functionality offers businesses tangible cost savings and a number of operational efficiencies. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant examples:

  • Photoshoots: Obtaining product photos is time-consuming and expensive, particularly for companies with extensive catalogues encompassing hundreds – or thousands – of products and product options. Using configurators, companies no longer have to style, arrange, and photograph every single product variation, eliminating the struggle many have to showcase the full range of their customizable products. With just a few base options, the many customizable aspects like color, material, finish, and more can all be rendered digitally through the configurator without additional photoshoots.  
  • Retouching and editing: Even after a photoshoot, marketing departments often have to spend hours manually editing images to show variations in color, texture, and other attributes. The 3D configurator eliminates this requirement by allowing them to quickly set as many customizable options as required.
  • Uploading images: For companies that do have images of every product and variation, the ongoing requirement of uploading images to the website and other sales channels is laborious and time consuming. 3D configurators dramatically reduce this requirement and allow swift and simple adjustments if new product variations are launched.
  • Storage and inventory management: By enabling businesses to showcase their entire product range without needing to stock physical counterparts of every variant, configurators can drive significant savings on storage, warehousing, and logistics requirements. In addition, configurators enable on-demand production, while also facilitating optimized inventory management that helps to reduce the chance of overstocking.
  • Customer insight: Usage analytics from configurators provide rich insights into desirable combinations, trends, and best-selling options. This data powers better inventory and production decisions and enables businesses to quickly adapt to seasonal or market trends.
  • Streamlining integration for contract projects: Firms working with architects and interior designers can empower them to independently customize furniture pieces for their projects, then download the 3D model for direct integration into their plans.

Fewer photoshoots along with minimal postproduction saves days or even weeks per product cycle, making launches faster and workflows more efficient. Those time savings directly convert to real cost reductions that quickly offset the initial configurator software investment.

And the benefits only compound over time as each new product leverages the existing 3D asset library, requiring fewer additional photos or manually edited images after launch. The efficiencies unlocked can be transformational.

Easy to use

While product configurators incorporate powerful technology and software, they are designed with simplicity in mind. This short video demonstrates how brands can create immersive product experiences in under thirty seconds.

The process is a straightforward one: first, upload the 3D model file to a configuration solution such as the one developed by Enhance XR. The user can then set which parts of the product can be configurable – this can be changed at any time via a simple on/off toggle – and the desired product personalization options, such as color, material, etc.

Product configurators enable customers to change attributes like color and material in real time. Furniture: Actiu

Color textures created during production of the 3D model can be uploaded to the configurator as variants, setting as many variant options as desired for each configurable part. Furthermore, custom thumbnails can be uploaded to showcase each variant, ensuring a lifelike representation of each product option.

All of this is accomplished through an intuitive, point-and-click user interface, giving companies complete autonomy and independence to define the product personalization options they offer customers. And just by toggling options on and off, firms can quickly alter that offering directly through the configurator – for example, to offer new variants or to only showcase options that are currently in stock.

Once completed, the tool will generate a QR code for printed materials, and a snippet of web-responsive code that can be copied and dropped into all of the company’s channels, enabling customers to launch configuration functionality direct from the existing product page.  

Product personalization: A win-win

3D and AR product configurators represent a win-win for both businesses and consumers. By offering efficiencies across operations such as marketing, warehousing, and logistics, and boosting conversions and sales through improved customer journeys, they offer a one-stop solution for retailers, manufacturers, and B2B players looking to boost the bottom line. Easy to use and simple to get started with, product configuration has established itself as the must-have technology for today’s dynamic and evolving commerce landscape.

Contact Enhance today to discuss how to bring product personalization to your business.

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