A favorite web-surfing habit of mine has always been visiting sites that allow me to create my own product, such as a dream-car, personalized jewelry or one-of-a-kind shoes.
These types of sites that provide the “product configurator” feature give consumers the feeling of empowerment — like a child that has just gone to the local Build-A-Bear Workshop and made their very own, personalized and unique stuffed creation.
So why don’t more retailers offer this customizable feature? And more importantly, how can e-tailers provide this feature to their customers? Aside from getting this feature built custom, there are some options for integrating this feature into a site. Below are five product configurator solutions that are worth checking out. However, feel free to add some more options in the comments section.
This solution provides shoppers with the ability to customize and personalize products at fast speeds, without having to refresh the browser. This solution is easy to maintain and integrates with most of the popular e-commerce platforms. Notable features include hover previews, recommendation and sharing options — through email, Facebook and Twitter. Check out this custom bag and custom children furniture site for examples of what Treehouse logic can do.
From Early Impact, this solution is targeted for small businesses. It is a complete e-commerce solution that also includes a built-in product configurator. The product configurator feature allows merchants to organize items within stores, so that the items become options that users can select. This solution includes a quoting system, the ability to provide product details and flexible pricing options. Check out this solution's computer-store demo.
Compatible with most existing CMS or e-commerce systems, this plug-in puts consumers in control by letting them customize products or services according to their needs. This build-to-order option is compatible with solutions like Prestashop, Magento, VirtueMart, OS Commerce and more. Additionally, this option is ideal for an array of industries — ranging from shoes and clothes to pens and cars.
Fluid configure is a solution that allows brands to offer product customization easily and cost-effectively. This solution includes an instantly updated, photo-real product with zoom, multiple views and color changes, as well as sharing options for customers through email, SMS and social media. This solution also offers complete compatability with exisiting e-commerce platforms, analytic services, manufacturing and fulfillment systems. Big name brands from Avery to Timberland have used this solution.
This company claims to be “mass customization experts.” The platform is designed to manage the complexity of custom products, including defining the rules and options of products, displaying product information in an online configurator, managing production and fulfillment. While this is an end-to-end outsourced technology solution, it is able to integrate with ecommerce solutions, provides social media tools and facilitates production materials, order tracking and integration with shipping vendors. Clients of Archetype include QVC and Lands' End.