With modern digital tools, retailers can offer buyers more personalization than ever before - and the buyer, in turn, has expect to be highly individualized shopping experiences.
At the same time, customers who are good virtual shoppers are starting to miss out on some of the features of in-person shopping that you can't get with virtual retail - like a chance to own a product, see it under all circumstances. angles and compare. models.
Now, new tools called digital product configurators are bringing some of these features to online shopping while giving customers more personalization and personalization options.
Here's what Product Configurators are, how they work, and how they can increase retailer sales.
What are digital product configurators?
Product configurators are digital tools that allow customers to fully customize a product and view it before a purchase. These tools guide buyers through all the different aspects of a product, allowing them to add or remove features, change patterns and colors, and generally personalize the product they are purchasing.
As the user changes the functionality and specifications of the product, the configurator updates their visualization, showing what the item will look like and providing visual confirmation of the change. Some configurators may also offer advanced features that allow users to see what certain products - such as furniture, consumer technology, and decorations - will look like in a home environment.
Due to the flexibility of the technology, these configurators can be applied to almost any product that can be customized by a buyer. However, those for more complex products should be carefully designed to avoid confusing or overwhelming customers during the personalization process.
How product configurators drive sales
Research has shown that giving shoppers a product view can be a big boost in driving conversions. For example, TSUM, one of the largest luxury department stores in Europe, has conversion rate of almost 40% using 3D product visualization.
Additionally, better personalization can help drive sales. Customers often buy from the retailer who can give them the best experience. Some retailers have found the sophisticated offering customization options can increase conversion rates up to 50 percent.
Product configurators also offer other benefits, beyond the immediate increase in conversion rate associated with viewing and personalization. For example, they also reduce the risk of a buyer requesting an impossible or difficult to use combination of features. When a person selects an impractical combination, the configurator can alert them automatically or provide them with a visualization of why their selection may not be ergonomic or fully functional. These features help reduce returns and increase customer satisfaction with the products received. Customers of a configurator reduced their return rate up to 80% using its online platform.
Configurators can also provide retailers with better data on the type of features and designs that customers are looking for. If you only allow buyers to choose from a range of products with fixed specifications, you won't get as much information about the feature combinations they are looking for. With a configurator, you can also track buyer behavior throughout the personalization process, giving you a better idea of steps that can be confusing - or places where people may want more customization options.
Product configurators also provide visualizations of what user-generated content would look like on a product. They can provide quick and realistic mockups of how a design actually looks on a mug, card, or t-shirt, even without the user or vendor having to set up a photo shoot of all the setups and possible color combinations. .
Implementation of product configurators at brick and mortar retailers
While product configurators are most often associated with online retailers, physical stores can also benefit significantly from this new technology.
For example, furniture retailer IKEA offers a digital home planning tool that customers can use to view what a piece of furniture will look like in their home. Any furniture purchase is a big decision and is affected by several different constraints - size, color, pattern, material and more.
Giving buyers the ability to visualize the product - how much room it will take up, how easy it will be to move around, how well it fits with existing furniture and decor - can make the buying process easier. This helps them feel more secure in their purchase, thus increasing the chances of a conversion.
How Product Configurators Help Retailers Increase Sales
Product configurators can significantly boost sales for companies that offer highly customizable products but do not yet have a way for buyers to view the items they might be purchasing. At the same time, these configurators can also reduce product return rates and provide businesses with information that can be used to make decisions about what features to offer in new products.
While most of the companies currently adopting these configurators are digital retailers, physical retailers can also benefit. Some retailers, like IKEA, already allow users to use digital tools to visualize what a product will look like once it has been purchased and assembled.
Together, it all shows how better product configurators can drive sales and produce happy and loyal customers.
About the writer: Kayla Matthews is a tech journalist and retail writer who covers big data, AI, and real-time monitoring in the retail industry. To read more articles from Kayla, visit her blog, Productivity bytes. Follow her on Twitter @KaylaEMatthews.
Are you a retailer ( or retail sales associate ) who’s struggling with how to approach shoppers ? Worried that you lack the magic touch, or that you’ll come off as an annoying salesperson ? Would you rather be awkwardly staring at your store’s point of sale software screen than actually talking to the customer in front of you ?
You should keep reading because, after years of being one of the strongest sellers at my store, I can assure you : anyone can sell. That’s not to say it’s not going to take a lot of practice. But over the years, I’ve found that a customer will tell you verbally and/or physically how to sell to them. If you’re listening properly and looking for the right cues, you can always tell if a customer is interested in what you have to say, what approach to take with them, and what exactly they’re looking for.
Check out the tips below, put them into marche, and you should find yourself successfully closing sales : Practice Active ListeningActive listening isn’t just about standing in front a customer silently. There are a few important things you should be doing to engage in this practice :
The most important part of active listening is to not form a response while the customer is speaking. This is really to do, and is going to take a lot of practice. It’s very natural to latch on to one part of a comment and form a response to it, and then shut out the rest of the comment. to become a good listener, a sales person must resist doing this. Active listening should engage your whole body. Things like nodding and having an open stance show the customer that you are listening to what they have to say. Once it’s time for you to speak, give the customer a quick summary of what they said. This has a few purposes. First, it allows you to come up with a response post-comment without things being awkwardly silent. Second, showing the customer that you heard everything they had to say will often open them up to providing you with more information than they initially supplied.
Practicing active listening means that you are fully engaged with learning what the customer wants. This engagement makes a huge difference. Not only will you understand what the customer wants in a deeper way, but you also gain their trust easier.
Next : Pay Attention to Body LanguageAlong with réactive listening, you should be practicing ‘active looking. ’ ( Yes, I just made that term up. ) People will betray a lot of what they’re thinking in the things that they do with their body. A lot of body language experts will tell you some odd things to look for, like watching if someone scratches their nose, but I don’t think that level of depth is necessary. In fact, I think that if you’re watching for a customer to scratch their nose, you’re probably not practicing réactive listening.
However, there is still plenty of body language you should be paying attention to while you’re actively listening. Let me give you a short list of tells you can easily pick up on during a conversation with a customer. 1. Eye ContactWhere a person’s eyes are looking is one of the easiest ways to tell what they’re focusing on. If the customer is looking at you, or the products you’re sérieux with, that’s a good sign. It means they’re engaged with you and are interested in what you have to say and sell.
If they’re looking around, at someone else, out the door… anywhere that’s not where you are – that’s not a great sign. Usually if this is the case you should say something like, “Let me know if you need anything else, ” and let them do their own thing. No eye contact doesn’t mean you won’t be able to close the sale – but it could spell dysfonctionnement if you don’t pay attention.
Hands/ArmsAnother important thing to pay attention to is what people do with their hands and arms. Typically, if someone’s arms are crossed, they are uncomfortable and probably not interested in what you have to say. You should tread gently : let this customer know you are there to help. If you’re talking with a customer who is clearly shy and uncomfortable with talking to you, I recommend acting in a more reserved manner and avoiding things like answering questions the customer has yet to ask. In addition, because this positionnement reflects a closed off mind, I mostly suggest avoiding suggestive selling. Suggestive selling does not work well on someone who is not interested.
Open arms and palms facing towards you, however, are an excellent sign. If your customer has taken this sort of posture in your conversation, you’re doing well. In fact, I would definitely recommend going for it with suggestive selling. ( Of course, make sure you’re showing them items that are actually related to what they want, not just some pre-placed item that your manager wants to get rid of. )
Facial Expression—Particularly the Curve of Their MouthLastly, you should be paying attention to the termes you customer is making. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to pay close attention to your customer’s facial termes. Even if a customer is pulling a straight face at you, most people’s mouths are fairly expressive in small ways. Often, the corners of the mouth will be curving slightly up or slightly down. Down is not good for you – it indicates frustration or annoyance. Curving up, though, is an génial sign. Additionally, you should pay attention to how tightly the lips are held. If they’re pressed tightly together, it can mean the same thing as crossed arms.
That’s the three major areas of body language you should be paying attention to while actively listening to your customer. Keep in mind that while the customer’s body can give you an indication about how they feel towards you and your product, it’s the listening that is going to yield you the important information about what they want. Now that we’ve established good customer reading techniques, let’s talk about what to do with the information you pick up :
Respond With Similar Body LanguageOne of the easiest ways to set someone at ease is to “mirror” their body language. You don’t want to go overboard on this – that can seem creepy or just mean. But little things are really important. Start with pace and timing. Is the customer in a hurry ? Or do they want to take things slow and steady ? Speak and act at the same pace as the customer. If she’s in a hurry, speaking quickly and speed walking across the store, then you should speak quickly and speed walk across the store as well. If she’s speaking slowly and moves slowly, your speed talking and walking will only come across as aggressive to her.
In addition, you can do subtle things like adopt a similar position, or use similar hand gestures. With the hand gestures, be careful. You don’t want to come across as mocking your customer. Don’t make exact replicas of hand gestures, keep it general. Determine if someone is ready to buy ( or not ) based on non-verbal cuesHere are a few more tips to help you differentiate shoppers who are ready to buy versus those who aren’t interested.
According to SCORE contributor Lee Perlitz, signals that shoppers are interested in a product include : Spending time looking at or discussing one product type – When a customer spends time focusing on just one product, there’s a good chance they’ve already set their sights on that one and are interested in purchasing it. Looking around for somebody to help them – Catch the shopper’s gaze when you see them looking around. According to Perlitz, you can approach them “if they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows. ”Body language – A shift in body language signals “a change in mental state that may well indicate readiness to buy. ” For example, if the shopper suddenly styles relaxed after you’ve answered their questions, that could be an indication that they’re ready to buy.
Be sure to approach customers once you see them exhibiting these signals. Failing to spot these signs or not acting in time could result in you missing out on the sale. On the flip side, here are the non-verbal signals indicating that someone isn’t ready to buy. Avoiding eye contact – If a customer doesn’t hold your gaze when you look at them, it likely means they’re not ready to make a purchase yet. Making ‘not now’ excuses – Statements like “just looking” or “not now” are clear signals that they aren’t ready to buy. Perlitz recommends that retailers “make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. ”Looking at many different products – Not being focused on just one product is another indication that shoppers should be given space.
When you see or hear people exhibiting the signals above, then it’s best to hold off on the sell. Figure out the type of customer that you’re dealing with and respond accordinglyAs you know, there are several types of customers who walk through your doors, and you need to tailor your approach accordingly. tera help you do that, we’ve put together a quick slideshow summarizing the most common genres of customers in retail. Check it out below :
More tips ? Those are our tips and tricks to help anyone become a good sales person. It’s important to remember that truly good sales people work on creating trusting relationships with their clients before they sell them anything. If you are capable of creating a trusting relationship, you are capable of selling. These tips are intended to help you create that relationship.
What tricks to reading customers do you employ ? Let us know in the comments below ! Author Bio : Cara Wood is a marketing administrative assistant at Capterra, a company that puts business software buyers in touch with business software vendors ! When she’s not hard at work at Capterra, she can be found horse-back riding, reading and just generally having a good time at life.