CPQ (Configure-Price-Quote)

5 reasons: Configurator for complex products

Author: Claudia Riener

In this blog article, you will learn why a configurator is the ideal answer to the challenges of complex products. We will show you how it not only saves time, but also helps to avoid errors and significantly increase customer satisfaction.

What are complex products?

With complex products, we often think of a multitude of options and variants, which makes quick and easy decision-making a challenge. But what exactly gives a product this complexity? As a rule, it is the variety of possible combinations of these variable components and properties, such as the choice of colors, size, material composition, special functions, etc. that are related to each other. Complex products are not only found in industry, but often also in the B2C sector, such as modular system furniture, which offers an almost endless number of possible combinations.

Why a configurator is suitable for complex products

1. Increasing efficiency in sales

Selling complex products often involves time-consuming consultations, defining needs and requirements over the phone or in person with customers, and preparing offers that are as tailored as possible. The high number of options and variants can be confusing for customers in the first step, there is a lot of confusion, the purchase decision is delayed, customers go to the competition or prioritize other investments higher.

With a product configurator, experience has shown that you can close the deal faster. On the one hand, all options and possible combinations are displayed in the configurator and customers can familiarize themselves with their product in advance and design the right solution.

Imagine a modular shelving system with countless combination options and expansion variants or an automation solution with many technical dependencies. A configurator for complex products takes over a large part of the advisory function here, significantly reducing the number of telephone or written queries to sales staff and allowing them to concentrate on the essentials: selling. A smooth sales process not only has a positive effect on the company, it also means a pleasant shopping experience for customers and thus strengthens customer loyalty.

5 reasons: Configurator for complex products
5 reasons: Configurator for complex products

4. Reduction of errors and misunderstandings

The implementation of a configurator for complex products may be viewed skeptically at first. Couldn't everything be clarified in a detailed personal discussion with the customer instead? Theoretically, of course. In practice, it's not always that simple.

On the one hand, time is a precious commodity and lengthy conversations can be a challenge. Getting the customer's wishes and ideas down on paper is also easier said than done.

The integration of a configurator gives customers the opportunity to enter their preferences quickly and easily. This not only saves time, but also ensures that no details are overlooked that could lead to misunderstandings later on.

By storing a product logic (e.g. product X is only available in the color grey or product Y may not be configured higher than 180 cm, etc.), only valid combinations are created in the configuration process, thus significantly reducing the source of errors.

5. Central product knowledge

As an integrated solution in your digital sales process, the configurator should not only present your product perfectly and offer your customers an optimal shopping experience. Just as important is the function as a central tool for product knowledge and a link to your downstream systems (ERP, PIM, store system...).

Think of your most experienced sales employees. Of course, it is no problem for them to have certain product dependencies, variants, combination options, etc. in mind in order to offer customers customized solutions. It becomes more difficult for employees who have not been with the company for long or when introducing new products or variants. Here, it becomes a challenge even for the "old hands" in sales to keep track of everything. Experience has shown that what sales staff feel comfortable with and what customers are professionally advised with is sold. This is exactly where a configurator can provide valuable services for complex products. By storing the product data in the configurator or implementing an interface to your ERP system, you ensure that all dependencies and constantly updated data are available automatically - without any duplicate data maintenance. This not only saves time, but also prevents errors and reduces your costs.

Once the data basis with all dependencies has been implemented in the configurator, the configurator can be used as an intelligent guided selling system. But how exactly does this "guided selling" work?
Due to the number of variants and possible combinations of complex products, it is often difficult for customers to find their way around or even make a decision. Guided selling means nothing more than asking customers about their needs and requirements step by step in order to guide them to the right solution. The configurator therefore also takes on the role of a consultant. This approach can either be implemented as a CPQ solution in sales or online in configurators for dealers and end customers.

The advantage of "guided selling" is that sales employees require less specialist knowledge in the sales process, while at the same time making it easier for customers to access suitable products.

5 reasons: Configurator for complex products

Possible feature highlights

When it comes to complex products, a configurator can be a great help. But which features should be the focus? Of course, the optimal features always depend on the individual area of application. Here is an overview of the most important features of our configurators:

Features for optimum product presentation:

  • Individual backgrounds (predefined or individual image upload)
  • Environment mode
  • Info areas
  • Augmented reality
  • 3D or 2D visualization

Merkmale der Benutzerfreundlichkeit:

  • Internationalization
  • Multi-Branding / Multi-Domain
  • Customized user masks
  • Save & send configuration
  • Social share function

Technology features:

  • Price calculation in real time
  • Generation of parts lists
  • CPQ (quotation at the touch of a button)
  • Interfaces to store systems and/or ERP systems
  • Simple embedding in website as iFrame

Click here for all features in detail.

Successful practical examples

Configurator for modular furniture system

Konektra is a provider of customized and high-quality furniture systems in the office and home interior sector. The products are characterized by maximum modularity and quality and give customers the opportunity to individualize their personal piece of furniture according to their ideas and requirements. One example of this is the "SYSTEM 01" shelving unit, which is extremely adaptable thanks to its numerous combination options.

Konektra faced the following challenge: the variety of furniture systems makes them unique. How can we ensure that the uniqueness, quality and functionality of our products are convincingly presented online?

The solution: modular, intuitive 3D product configurator

  • 3D visualization in real time
  • Interface to the store system
  • Easy to use, despite countless options
Shelf configurator is seen on a laptop.
10 %
more store visitors since the launch
90 %
time savings during order processing
returns for orders from the configurator

Configurator for complex storage system

H+H System is the world's leading expert in the storage and organization of medicines. The partitioning and storage system is primarily used in highly sensitive areas such as pharmacies and hospitals.

H+H System faced the following challenge: How do I present the immense range of variants of our system to the various customer groups in different core markets in an understandable and clear way?

The solution: 3D configurator as sales consultant

  • Sales support: for better visual representation
  • Internationalization (multilingualism, currencies, units of measurement)
  • Presets: ready-made 3D configurations help the customer to select the basic model
Shelf configurator on one screen.
40 %
more requests
60 %
more sales
80 %
time savings in the preparation of quotations

Conclusion: Are complex products suitable for a configurator?

In the previous sections, we have already talked in detail about the numerous advantages of a configurator for complex products.

But the question arises: is a configurator really the optimal solution for every product? The answer lies in the complexity of the product in question. The more variants the product has, the more worthwhile it is to use a configurator. This is the only way for customers to realize their individual ideas and receive a tailor-made product.

Of course, there are also exceptions to this rule. For example, a configurator may not lead to the desired result for products that consist of just a few elements or that do not have a defined solution space.  Nevertheless, it is generally advisable to take a closer look and carefully weigh up the advantages and disadvantages.

We would be happy to support you in a personal meeting.


This might also interest you: