Creating an eCommerce Experience with Visualization is the next frontier of manufacturing
2020 taught us a lot of lessons, the main one for manufacturers is that it’s a necessity to enable an eCommerce journey for customers. We’ve learned a lot and so have manufacturers who have started creating an exciting sales journey for their customers. regardless of where they are located. Many of our manufacturing customers have found ways to shift to an online journey, and they all share one secret, visual configuration. Let’s look at just how much the market has shifted in the past year and why visualization is important for long-term eCommerce success for manufacturers.
New to visualization for manufacturing? A quick definition:
Visual product configuration (also known as Visual Configuration, or 3D product configuration) is the combined use of digital technologies (Augmented Reality, 2D and 3D visualization software) in order to be able to configure products directly in the three-dimensional visual representation. Visual Configuration software enables your sales team and customers to configure their 3D products quickly and accurately from anywhere.
A rapid shift to an eCommerce experience with visualization
In the last year, alone manufacturers have started looking for different solutions to work with a reduced workforce and an increasingly online customer. Just check out how much go-to-market models have changed since April 2020.
With so many companies changing their go-to-market strategies it’s important to consider how internal initiatives are affecting your own manufacturing business. With so many companies finally shifting to online sales it’s time to go beyond just a normal eCommerce journey, with simple product photos, technical drawings, or even text-based descriptions. Customers want to see their product, interact with every change and see how it will fit in their real-life workspace or environment.
B2C companies like Nike have been doing this for years. Other companies are using visualizations to place furniture, medical equipment and more in the real-life environment of a perspective buyer. Creating custom products intrigues buyers, keeps them online longer, and will ultimately get them to spend more this isn’t just a trend, but something that can transform a manufacturing customer experience.
A custom journey for every customer
Think about those shoes again for a moment. Everyone who goes to the Nike ID store wants something a little different. Their favorite colors, materials and more are picked out with exact detail for the shoes. They are quickly shown the product they want in a fun 3D interactive way and can quickly check out. That’s where manufacturing and the typical B2C journey split.
Manufacturers often sell highly configurable products that can only work with certain product features. A pair of shoes has its limits on what you can change, a Nike Swoosh color won’t make the sole of the shoes do not work. If you create a truck, for example, the bed of the truck may need six tries to support one product feature but need 8 to support a different one.
Without accurate quotes and visuals, it’s more likely to create products that have design errors, costing money and time for your business and upsetting your customers. That’s why it’s important to visually create the custom products your customer wants. Giving them visuals will cut down on errors, lead to upsell opportunities and create that wow factor you’ve been looking for.
Think bigger for your eCommerce process
Once a prospect identifies their needs, it’s time for industrial manufacturers to reinvent their buying experience using Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) with Visualization– all integrated into their website and internal systems. This enables a seamless buying experience across channels that connects customers directly to your brand. Powered by CPQ integrated into your web experience, anyone has the power to configure highly customized industrial manufacturing products based on their defined needs.
Guided selling asks questions based on customer requirements, building an optimized solution in real-time. When paired with 3D visual configuration, the customer can see every change they make on their screen in real-time.
Additionally, leading visualization capabilities include augmented reality (AR) for an even more immersive B2C-like experience. A powerful CPQ paired with 3D Visualization all but guarantees you are generating high quality leads with low touch- all through your website. After all, when is the last time anyone comfortably made an eCommerce purchase without visuals?
Go beyond standard eCommerce visualization with Tacton
Creating clothing, shoes, furniture, luggage, and more is a classic use case for many visualization companies, but if you’re in the manufacturing industry it’s time to go beyond with a combination of CPQ and visual configuration. Here are just a few reasons Tacton goes beyond the typical visualization for manufacturers:
Visual Asset Creation
Manufacturing products are bigger and more complex than ever. This makes input data much larger, taking time to prepare especially to ensure acceptable performance quality. Fitting together these parts with geometrical constraints and parametric components adds just another layer of complexity. This is all that goes into just one product, not doing that with an entire product portfolio may be challenging. Many 3rd party visualizations simply can’t handle the complexity.
Learn more about visual asset creation in our Tech with Tacton Blog: The Visual Asset Creation Process
With so many moving parts in manufacturing products it’s important to be able to define what is changing, when, and how. Imagine visually configuring a truck and changing the bed of the truck, the wheels may need to change, typical visualizations would make you restart the process, Tacton visual configuration enables you to see the changes in real-time. This also helps with updating configuration and constraints which are constantly changing. If a product is updated in CPQ those changes will be reflected in the visualization.
Self-Service and visual configuration
Embedding a visual product configurator directly on your website can be part of a self-service customer experience that will make you the envy of the industry. After all, customers are more likely to spend more time, and more money on a product they’ve built themselves. Check out the amount of money customers are willing to spend if they have a self-service experience:
With fewer human interactions buyers are still willing to pay top dollar for their custom products. It all starts with a visually appealing product. Visual configuration remains an essential part of the buying journey for customers. The more excited they are about the product, the more likely they are to buy the product and come back for more. Real-time visualizations can make all the difference in empowering your online customer journey. Reinventing how you sell products sounds intimidating, but the benefits will keep your operation running fast, with leads and sales being more interested than ever in your products.