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Conor joined Vervaunt in February 2021, having previously worked in-house for two retailers. Conor studied Computer Science at university and brings with him a wealth of merchandising and digital marketing experience.
Having a configurator on-site to showcase your products in 3D (potentially with AR) is an avenue many online brands are actively exploring, with many solutions making this easier and more accessible than ever. This blog post details some of our favourite examples that we have encountered in recent months with a particular focus on what makes these great; be it personalising your product, being able to try on with AR or simply having the freedom to view your product of choice at all angles and up close in high definition.
Featuring a product configurator on site can be a strong proposition that bridges the gap between having a brick-and-mortar retail offering vs. an online presence. But, why?
Configurable products typically have a lead time (by nature, being built to specification) and thus offering this configurable service online offers a rich experience. Being able to create something that is truly yours, in your own time and comfort is an experience that is perhaps restricted when shopping in-store.
As a precursor, the configurators we’ll be looking at feature across various ecommerce platforms, ranging from Shopify to Magento or a headless build. Generally speaking a lot of the solutions for product configurators are typically platform agnostic and would sit on top of your frontend via an embed or iFrame. This is the optimal integration in order to mitigate any performance woes with added page weight from the configurator resources.
Montec Wear is one of our favourite configurator examples. Though slightly different to the other examples that will follow on in this blog post, this is an interactive outfit builder which allows customers to build their entire ‘winter fit’ - containing jackets, pants, beanies, facemasks, goggles and gloves - allowing the customer to quickly visualise what their full outfit would look like.
What’s great about this is how performant this configurator is. The images are snappy to load, pricing is abundantly clear throughout the journey, previews of products are easy to access via the ‘view’ CTA on the product cards, and completing the journey leading to purchase is made simple.
Another feature here that we really like is the ability to save and share your creations. This creates a shareable link that you can easily go back to for future viewing. This also makes the prospect of sharing a link for gifting significantly easier.
For reference, this configurator is a bespoke solution but definitely possible to recreate with various solutions on the market.
One of the most engaging configurators we have encountered is from GAUVAIN. Their clothes have a cyberpunk-like aesthetic and don't fail to innovate in product and technology. Offering shareable links and an embedded size-guide, this makes purchasing and finding the best outfit for you incredibly simple. Not only is the entire configurable product 3D, the backdrop is also interchangeable - this allows the customer to preview their outfit in a variety of terrains and visualise how this will look out in the wild.
One final element worth touching upon with this product builder is the three icon tabs in the header. The first option is the 3D configurator view. The second allows you to view product options from a more modular level where you can see all options visually before applying. The final icon is where pre-built configurations exist, providing the customer with inspiration curated by the Gauvain team.
Oui, by Jean Dousset has one of our favourite examples for 3D interactivity. Whether it’s adjusting the carat weight, stone type, stone shape, metal type, ring size or engraving, this configurator is exhaustive and offers an experience that brands in the same vertical do not.
One thing to highlight with this configurator is the toggle to ‘hand view’. Enabling the customer to envisage their ring of choice on the closest skin-tone match provides great value.
One criticism is that the left-side portion where the product is displayed is not sticky, which would substantially improve the UX of this builder.
BOOM Watches has one of our favourite examples, and this configurator is built with Zakeke, a 3D and AR customiser. The 3D configurator is responsive, allowing you to see your choices in real time, and being able to spin and zoom into your product at high quality is really great.
What makes this experience special is being able to share your configurable with a link. This is great because one could potentially leverage this link to abandon browser emails. As an example - you can see the watch we configured here.
Continuing on from the above, and remaining on the topic of luxury configurators, Globe-Trotter’s case configurator is worth mentioning. Offering an abundance of configurable options, with a clear and easy interface to operate, makes purchasing a ‘make it your own’ case incredibly seamless. Having the option to view your case in 360 degrees (as well as the interior and exterior works) particularly well.
Another strong feature within this configurator is the ability to share a link to the configured case - this means you can either pick up where you left off or share the link with someone else. This is great for gifting.
AIAIAI creates a robust yet encompassing configurator. What we really like here is how each time a module on the headphone changes, so does the treble, mids and bass in tandem. This lets you know the strength and quality of the product you’re building.
Psychologically, this is great because one would favour spending that little extra knowing you haven’t compromised on quality.
Product configurators is an area of ecommerce that is continuously growing and improving as technology continues to become more and more accessible. Each of the above are of slightly different styles and achievability, whether it’s the simplicity of layering PNGs that compromise of untold configurable options or a more advanced 3D configurator, each fulfils their given purpose in its own right. If you want to discuss product configurators or any other area of ecommerce UX, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn.