Choice is everything. Everyone from car sellers to clothing designers to parts manufacturers are giving customers 3D Visualization into different configurations, accessories, and colors—either in store or on the web. And why not? 3D Visualization Software allows customers to see exactly how the product would look, act and feel, giving them a personal connection with their potential new purchase.
Imagine shopping for a pair of pants online. In the past, you’d see a static photograph that you could maybe zoom in on. And maybe there’d be some digital swatches on the side of the page showing you different patterns. With a visualization tool, you’d be able to view how different configurations look in real time. Maybe you’d like to see how various patterns would work. Then maybe you’d want to upgrade to 100 percent cotton. You’d then be able to view the pants on a 3D model that you can spin, zoom, scroll and rotate. Suddenly, you remember you also need a neckerchief, and you have the option of dressing the model on screen with different colors and options to see if they match. Maybe you are under- or over- weight, so you can choose different sized digital models to see how your new outfit would fit on your individual body type.
Visualization tools aren’t just for retailers and car companies. Anyone that sells a customizable product can benefit from customers seeing how different options look in real time. Visualization tools can also replace prototypes, eliminating the need to manufacture, ship, return and reprocess models.
Adding Pricing to Visualization Tools
Introducing visualization software into the sales process presents a problem, however. As customers change configurations, add an accessory or upgrade to the next trim level it’s important to update the price of the item in real time. This transparency is not only appreciated by customers, it can be used as an upsell tool—perhaps showing customers that they can add certain features or functionality at a price lower than they thought.
Integrating your visualization tool with your Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software can provide this real-time pricing information. As a potential SUV buyer upgrades the entertainment system, adds passenger-side airbags and declines the tow package, the quote changes as well, giving them accurate pricing information as they are making buying decisions. For the seller, integration makes sense because it reduces human error and the resulting inaccurate quotes that may confuse or turn off the customer. Above all, integrating visualization software with CPQ provides a powerful customer experience that leads to more sales and higher revenue.
Here are four things to consider when integrating visualization software with your CPQ solution:
- Make Sure Your APIs Can Talk to Each Other
The majority of modern enterprise solutions include open APIs, but you never know. It’s imperative that your CPQ software and visualization tool are able to integrate with each other. Lumo Graphics, KBMax, and Catalog Data Solutions are three really good visualization tools that are relatively easy to integrate.
- Embrace the Cloud
Integration is much easier between two cloud applications rather than on-premise solutions. Typically, you just need an integration URL that you plug into an API portal, and authentications are done automatically in the background by cloud vendors. On-premise, on the other hand, requires manual configuration through firewalls and other network infrastructure. Plus, you have to maintain an on-premise network infrastructure, requiring resources from IT that have to be pulled away from other, more strategic projects.
- Create a Seamless Experience
Make sure your CPQ software includes iframe capability, allowing you to render a 2D, 3D or engineering drawing directly in the CPQ platform. That way, everything is included on one page, and both the user and the customer have a seamless experience.
- Include Specifications
Customers are going to want the details behind the drawing as well. Your CPQ and visualization tool integration should include specifications. This is important for retail as consumers will want to know the rough dimensions of the shirt, car or gadget they are buying, but it’s especially critical in the manufacturing space where buyers absolutely need technical specs on specialized equipment, so they can check the distance between pins in a plug or determine whether a replacement part will fit their need.
Visualization tools are an important part of the sales process, and rising customer expectations are making them ubiquitous in the certain industries. It’s absolutely critical that you are able to integrate your CPQ solution with your visualization tool, so prices can be updated in real time as options change and accessories are added on. This can be a complex process, but it doesn’t have to be. Just make sure your solutions’ APIs are open, they live in the cloud, you’re creating a seamless experience and you are able to include specification in addition to the visual rendering.
Your customers will love you for it, and your company’s accountants won’t complain either.
See this in action! Watch our On-Demand Demo of 3D Product Configuration with Oracle CPQ Cloud
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Config Consultants is a systems implementer focused on creating Digital Transformations strategies. Our A5 methodology modernizes your lead to cash process and makes your supply chain lean by leveraging industry-leading packaged software, such as Salesforce, Oracle, Apttus, and Anaplan.
Tarun Sharma, Practice Director at Config Consultants
Hari Kempula, Senior Oracle Applications Consultant at Config Consultants