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5 benefits of real-time 3D product configuration

November 14, 2019

Have you ever configured a new vehicle online? Pricing out a car built to your exact specifications is a powerful experience. From the interior and options packages to the engine, paint color, and drivetrain, the process results in a vehicle that’s purely for you — and real-time photo-realistic 3D configurators built with game engines let you watch it all come together.

Consider Audi's 3D car configurator. Car shoppers can create their dream car using millions of possible models and equipment variations. They can customize every aspect of their car, down to the finest detail. And to ensure each individual detail comes together exactly how the customer wants, real-time 3D configuration displays the product with the selected options in whatever setting the customer chooses, whether that's a mountain highway or a city street. Plus, the configurator can be integrated with an e-commerce platform to make it easy for customers to book a meeting at the nearest dealer.

The result? A whole new level of customer satisfaction and brand affinity.

By implementing photo-realistic and immersive 3D product configurators built with real-time rendering tools like Unreal Engine, companies and their customers can enjoy these distinct benefits of customization:

Read Next: Your top online resources for creating real-time 3D content with Unity and Unreal

 

1. Increased perception of quality and satisfaction

Custom-configured products are almost always considered to be premium and high-quality in the eyes of their creators. After all, the customer put it together herself with her specific demands in mind. When customers are directly responsible for the design and appearance of a product, they feel more ownership and are more likely to be satisfied with the end product and more loyal to your brand.

Let's look to fashion to explore this point further. Bain & Co. research found that customers who designed their own shoes gave brands a 50% higher Net Promoter Score — a measurement of the loyalty of a company's customer relationships — than customers who bought standard products from the same company. According to Bain, higher NPS tends to translate to higher sales, more referrals, and higher lifetime customer value.

 

2. Maximized purchase value and lowered acquisition costs

Speaking of a boosted perception of quality, customers also have an increased perception of value when they have the ability to take ownership of the design. When customers can create a fully customized product that perfectly fits their lifestyle and personality, they're willing to pay more. A Deloitte survey found that one-fifth of consumers who expressed interest in personalization were willing to pay 20% more for customized products.

On top of that, customer acquisition costs are lower because real-time photo-real 3D configurators allow brands to get much higher engagement rates on their digital properties, more qualified leads, and, therefore, higher conversion rates.

Just look at the engagement the 2020 Chevy Corvette Visualizer attracted. Upon the release of the new C8 Corvette and the Visualizer this past July, the manufacturer's website attracted five times its normal daily traffic load. Through the rest of the month, the C8's landing page alone racked up 2.4 million visits. And by the end of the month, over a million users had engaged with Corvette's Visualizer to create their dream car.

In total, site visitors built more than 940,000 Corvettes and logged a whopping 152,000 hours engaging with the Visualizer within its first month of being live.

Related Read: Chevy Corvette 3D configurator almost breaks the net (yours could do better)

 

3. Model accuracy

Ninety-five percent of customers favor interacting with 3D product renderings over video playback alternatives. These 3D configurations allow customers to completely customize a product rather than rely on a pre-made video that might not include all the features a customer is looking for. After all, how can customers know what add-ons they can't live without unless they actually see them?

Even if your product customization options are as simple as allowing customers to choose different colors, a real-time 3D configurator offers a hyper-realistic look at the end product for potential buyers and removes a point of friction — uncertainty — that they would otherwise have to overcome. As products become more complex, the benefits of immersive photo-real 3D configurators are magnified because the potential for uncertainty is, too.

 

4. Social validation

 

 

When customers are empowered to design their own products, they're going to want to share this exciting and empowering experience with their circle of trust. Photo-real 3D configurators make it possible for customers to capture beauty shots of their creations and get immediate social validation from friends and family that they've just designed an awesome product that's perfect for them and fits their lifestyle and needs.

Social integration doesn't only stand to benefit customers, though. Brand awareness can skyrocket as more and more customers share their creations, especially if they share a compelling video of their personalized and newly designed dream purchase. In fact, social video generates 1,200% more shares than image and text content combined.

 

5. More insightful data and predictive intelligence

 

 

As prospects customize products and then decide whether they should go through with a purchase, manufacturers are gaining valuable information about what customers really want, which drives home the importance of offering exciting, configurable add-ons and accessories.

Empowering customers to fully customize their product inside and out, at every angle, can give you insight into customers' preferences and interests, as well as which types of features are most successful.

If a custom option is common, for example, a company might want to consider making it a part of the regular model lineup. And if a manufacturer watches the sales performance of its custom options, this can inform future base models, available configurable options, and even inventory.

The compelling online shopping experiences go far beyond passive browsing. Dynamic tools such as ultra-realistic immersive 3D configurators that play more like a modern video game and are made readily available via cloud streaming technology are encouraging customer participation and getting prospects to invest time and money into the end result. Rely on a real-time 3D rendering and configuration engine to unlock these benefits of customization for your customers and, in turn, your company.

Read Next: Millenials and Gen Z demand a revved-up car-buying experience

To learn more about how PureWeb's interactive cloud streaming platform delivers interactive 3D configurators, developed with real-time rendering game engines, at scale to any mobile device and web browser, contact us to request a demo.

 

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