B2B eCommerce sales for manufacturers grew to around $458 billion in 2020, according to Digital Commerce 360, a trend that is likely to continue due to increasing competition among companies.

What is a Visual Configurator?

The advanced functionality of visual configurators is forcing manufacturers to take a more Configuration Lifecycle Management-based approach towards product management. According to The American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), the majority of manufacturers are attaining a perfect order performance level of 90%.

Difference Between 3D Product Visualization and 3D Configurator

The main difference between 3D Visualization and a 3D Configurator is that 3D product visualization allows the customer to see a static 3D model view of the product, whereas a 3D configurator offers a closer view of the product and the many configurations available. At the same time, both offer customers the ability to make a more informed purchase decision.

The main advantage of using a 3D configurator is that it allows customers to change parts or components of the product to achieve the exact configuration desired, which is not possible with the traditional static 2D or 3D models.

Reduces Returns

When customers can see a full 360-degree view of the product they are considering, they get a clearer idea of what to expect, which can reduce the amount of returns and improves loyalty. Another major advantage of using visual configuration is that the engineering department will not have to continue to render new CAD drawings for every custom configuration, as customers or distributors will be able to configure each product according to their specific requirements themselves.

This results in manufacturers receiving a complete and accurate picture of the design and specifications of a product, which helps speed up the entire manufacturing process.

Fast Turn-Around Times

Manufacturers that build multi-option and configurable products are finding that visual configuration can provide a competitive edge while improving workforce efficiency. In some industries, a fast turn-around time is considered a competitive edge. Since all the information needed to produce an accurate product is captured upfront, the internal order department doesn’t have to waste time going back to the sales rep or the dealer to track down missing or ommitted information from the initial order. The elimination of rework leads to fast turn-around times and an increase in customer satisfaction, building brand loyalty and reducing the rate of returns.

Ending Note

How manufacturers help customers understand the product they are about to buy, down to the smallest detail, can make all the difference in customer satisfaction. Leveraging the best digital technology can bring about a revolution in the way that companies both sell products and engage with their customers throughout the sales journey.

CDS Visual is at the forefront of producing life-like 3D Visual Configuration for the B2B eCommerce manufacturing and selling. To find out more about our visualization solutions for both standard and highly configured products, please visit us at CDS Visual.

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About the Author: Aaron Smith

A dynamic leader whose career in software and high-tech spans three decades, Aaron Smith is responsible for the marketing and solution execution of the CDS Visual strategic vision.With a wealth of cross-functional experience and deep operational expertise across both small and large companies, Aaron specializes in helping Industrial Manufacturers leverage the power of visualization to drive sustained growth and high-impact results. Prior to joining CDS Visual, Aaron was a solution engineer at Vistagy, where he led customer-facing sales activities and customer support. He has also served as a product manager at PTC for the Windchill PLM product, as a support engineer at InPart, which was acquired by PTC, and as a Mechanical Engineer at Applied Materials in the Ion Implant division.

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