Generally, 3D product visualization and configuration is not a brand-new topic. Various kitchen and living room planning tools spring to mind. But by utilizing the latest web technologies, 3D configurators can now be integrated directly into websites and online shops. Thus, they can be used by anyone at home, without the need to install additional software.
If you’re the owner of an online shop, you, of course, want to present your products as perfectly as possible. You want to quickly convince potential customers that your product is right for them. Usually, that’s done with a good and engaging product description and several detailed and high-quality pictures designed to present the product’s every facet. However, if you’re selling very complex products with lots of different styles and variations, that can become a huge challenge. Especially when your products are custom-made or configurable by the customer, offering a product catalogue with any and all combinations might not be the smartest solution.
Moreover, with such a huge variety of potential configurations, your customers will find it very hard to visualize the finished product. But, of course, that’s exactly what they need to be able to do in order to want to buy your product. So how can you provide maximum configurability as well as visualize the end result as accurately and realistically as possible?
3D Product Configurators
You might have guessed it at this point, what might help you here is a product configuration system. Ideally one which lets customers put together their preferred configuration while visualizing their changes to the basic product accurately and in real time. Additionally, the 3D visualization offers a range of practical interactions such as the possibility to zoom, turn the object every which way and show or hide certain elements of it. Thus, your customers can take a very detailed look and thus gain a comprehensive impression of the product and its individual features.
In order to make the ordering process as easy as possible, the validity / orderability of the customers’ individual configurations is checked already during the configuration process. This is often an essential step, since the selection of additional features might be tied to certain conditions. Meaning that not every feature might be combinable with all others. Further, this configurator can be connected to existing systems, so that orders can automatically be recorded and processed.
How does that look in real life?
One example of such a system is a pool configurator, which we recently designed for an Austrian pool manufacturer. With the help of this system, customers can configure a pool of their choice, selecting from a range of designs and additional features. Every change to the configuration is visualized in real time as a 3D model. When their configuration is finished, the customers can directly send it to the manufacturer for a quote or save it for later.
We realized this pool configurator with the help of the latest web technologies. Thus, it can be used within different web browsers, independent of the platform (Windows, Mac/iOS, Android, …). Moreover, the system can be seamlessly integrated into existing websites or online shops for maximum comfort. One thing to note, however, is that because the underlying technologies are so new, the configurator can only be fully used with the latest browser versions.
As a big promoter of augmented and virtual reality applications, it’s important for us to not only look towards smartphones and other mobile devices. Instead, we also want to fully harness the (considerable) potential of web technologies in this area. The latest developments in this sector have turned web browsers into powerful tools, which can serve as the base for 3D product visualizations and configurations of all kinds. The e-commerce and digital sales and marketing projects we have realized so far, show that the combination of 3D visualization and product configuration is real added value, especially when talking about complex custom products. And the direct integration into existing websites or online shops helps to make this kind of experience more widely and easily accessible to anyone – even if a browser update may be required for some.