If you are working with sales, you have probably asked yourself one, or two, of these questions:
- What can we do to sell more?
- How can we help our customers make that purchase decision?
- What can we do to upsell?
Here’s some consumer behavior theory for you: prior to purchasing a product, a consumer always struggles with whether she should follow her Desires or her Fears. The consumer typically Desires to solve a problem but also Fears that a certain product will not, in fact, work as expected or solve the problem at hand. The more the consumer desires a product, the more likely it is she will buy it – as long as the Fear of purchasing the wrong type of product is not stronger.
For example, if you buy a pair of shoes in a street store you can look, touch, and try the shoes beforehand. If you buy the same type of shoes online you do not have that same benefit and this introduces a fear of buying uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes. These are important features that could keep consumers from making the purchase even though the desire to purchase the shoes online is high (perhaps due to lower prices or a better selection).
The same goes for more complex products and especially complex, configurable products.
I will go with one of my favorite examples: a configurable truck. Trucks can often be customized and configured to suit every aspect of the customers’ need. Obviously, you can’t keep every configuration of the truck in the demo room so the customer typically has a couple of different configurations to look at. However, the exact product version the customer would use will rarely be on display. When the configuration of the truck is created, the final view of the product will usually be created only in the customers’ imagination.
When the customer cannot be 100% sure of the end result, a certain fear of a discrepancy between her view of the end result and how the actual product will be, might surface. This fear is costing money in terms of missed out sales and missed opportunities in upselling.
With 3D-configuration, the consumer will be able to see the result of every change on the product, both minor and major. This will reduce the fear of the end result not being as expected, which will push many customers to actually making that purchase decision. This benefit of 3D-configuration is quite straightforward and easy to understand. The upselling benefit of 3D-configuration is, however, an added benefit that is often overlooked.
Imagine the same truck and you, as a customer, get the option to add a “Deluxe Seat”. Even if the benefit is described in words, the visualization of it takes place in the customer’s mind – which leaves it out of your control. If you are able to show the customer how the “Deluxe Seat” will look and how this, in practice, would improve the driver’s comfort you can bring the customer’s idea of its benefits much, much closer to the end result. This will, in practice, reduce any fear of buying something unnecessary. It also creates a desire to add features the customer did not even have when he started the configuration of your product.
When you raise the Desire to add features to your product and reduce the customer’s Fear of making a bad decision, the result is simple: you will sell more with 3D-configuration.