Top 5 Features of Custom Furniture Configurator to Drive Revenue
Traditional furniture production methods are increasingly faltering to meet the changing and personalized needs of the modern customer. An online custom furniture configurator successfully solves this problem, by accelerating quote cycles and improves conversion ratios by increased profits.
In the furniture manufacturing industry, witnesses the rise of make-to-stock (MTS) production systems giving a very limited time-lapse between sales order and delivering the final product. However, this production model is highly challenging to cater to the unpredictable customer needs fast and probability of overstocking.
Mass customization (MC) linked with Made-to-Order (MTO) production is the ideal solution for such a scenario as it has:
- The potential to meet customer’s needs
- Minimum [almost zero] inventory levels
- Capability to enhance customer-company interaction
But to meet the above mentioned features, manufacturers must adopt latest design automation tools to make the most of mass customization.
Key factors influencing furniture sales
- Enhancing customer experience is key
Furniture retailers find customers going through a variety of in-shop products, searching for the right combination of product features to best fit their requirement. The ardent assistance from sales personnel leaves an everlasting experience on the buyer.
- Convenience increases conversions
83% of consumers think convenience when shopping is more important today than it was five years ago. It is true that quality and price are important things for consumers while shopping, but lately polls suggest convenience plays a major role in closing a product sale.
- Accessibility leads to opportunity
The proliferation of online shopping has made accessibility to shopping a key factor for sales. Hence, the goal for retailers and manufacturers today is to make their products accessible to customers no matter their age, skill-level, location or need.
These factors can be governed by a furniture configurator build as per your business needs and helps you propel the sales in right direction. Let us delve a little deeper into specific features of custom furniture configurator & their impact on your business.
5 Key furniture 3D configurator features to drive your revenue
1) Interactive 3D model
A custom furniture configurator created using DriveWorks empowers the customer with the ability to not just see but interact with 3D models.
Specific custom features mentioned below make that possible:
- 3D interactive experience: Customers can zoom in out, rotate and interact with their customized 3d models. Direct interaction through clicks or indirect interactions through control panels can be made available for improved user experience.
- Real-time 3D view: The modifications made by the customer are updated in real-time in the custom configurator without any lags.
- 3D Rotate: A 360-degree rotation of the product is possible, allowing the customer to analyse their customized product from every angle.
- 3D model library: DriveWorks configurators also provide a library of 3D models which can be used for customization, thus reducing the long implementation times.
2) Automated real-time quotes
Furniture manufacturers need to provide positive customer experience and simultaneously reduce material costs, shorten quote cycles and protect their profit margins. On the other hand, customers are concerned about exceeding their budget while customizing a product.
A 3D product configurator creates transparency throughout the product development cycle. It shows the customer real-time quotes with 3D mode and generates accurate quotations accessible to manufacturers, customers and sales teams. It connects with business systems such as ERP, CRM etc. to offer automated discounts.
A USA based widows manufacturer adopted DriveWorks configurator to connect MS Access database for enhanced interactivity and faster response to customers. It helped send an automated email to customers with a custom sales quote, 3D models, and other relevant documents within two seconds of placing the order.
3) Guided selling
66% of best-in-class organizations implement guided selling to “help reps identify optimal messaging at each cycle stage.”
This feature of the configurator actively guides the customers through the decision-making process by using questionnaires. The sales end of this feature empowers sales rep with the ability to guide the customer through the buying and configuration process. They can also use this feature to up sell overstocked product components or cross sell high margin products.
Guided selling offers:
- Upselling and cross selling capabilities for the seller
- Reducing sales conversations to accelerate decision making
- Reducing design iterations to cut non-productive tasks
- Increasing conversion ratios for meet sales revenues
4) Website compatibility
Adding a configurator to your current website adds a huge value to it in the eyes of your customer. The possibility of interacting with the product in multiple ways increases the amount of time a customer spends on your website.
Through DriveWorks Live Integration theme added last year, the new DriveWorks API allows bidirectional control to truly customize and integrate a configurator into your business processes. RESTful API is a DriveWorks server-side API, which facilitates access of DriveWorks groups, projects and specifications through web service calls. Thus, easing the process of obtaining/passing implementation information and taking actions.
5) Integration with existing platforms
Customers sing product configurators expect that once they have customized their product, they expect to have the custom sales quote. Once orders are placed, the customers become restless and continue to contact the sales team until the final product is delivered. And if it doesn’t turn out to be exactly as ordered, friction is created.
With DriveWorks configurator you can easily integrate it with CAD, ERP and CRM systems. Web-based integration with ERP ensures design data and customer details are mapped accurately to respond to the customer with the 3D models of the products, delivery dates, and other details over email. For example, if the customer selects table sizes, the configurator automatically extracts inventory data from ERP and provides executable suggestions to the customer.
Drive your revenue with a furniture configurator!
In the highly mature and competitive furniture industry catering to customer’s demand of positive experience, convenience and accessibility is a necessity. The traditional mass production systems are outdated & need to be replaced by a mass customization approach which can be achieved by using a custom furniture configurator.
Custom furniture configurators provide an integrated system with enhanced features which help shorten quote cycles, increase conversion ratio and protect profit margins.
Usha B. Trivedi is an engineer at Hitech CADD Services, a provider of computer-aided-design services. She frequently writes about mechanical and industrial equipment designs, furniture designs and the fabrication industry for manufacturers and engineering professionals. Follow her on LinkedIn.