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How to Choose Between Product Configurator Options

It’s no secret that using product configurators for online product customization in the ecommerce world is one of the best ways to increase your conversions. If you’re considering adding or updating a configurator to your ecommerce system, you might be wondering how to implement this feature and what options are available. As Donald Rattner notes:

configurators take many different forms, each one being designed to suit the product being customized as well as the graphic identity of the site on which it resides

Most configurator options can be broken down into 3 categories. Here is a breakdown to help you decide.

Build it yourself

Perhaps your in-house developers have the time to build out your configurator and/or your project has very specific requirements. However, if you build your product customization engine, you’ll have to devote a lot of internal development and time to the project. Even after you’ve built your engine, more time will be needed to work out bugs. Testing, fixing, and more testing will take months, maybe even more than a year. The advantage is your team can tailor your configurator to your business requirements and goals.

Pay for custom development

This option is admirable if you have the investment to outsource your project. You save a lot of internal development time versus building your own configurator, but pay the price. Custom development for a product configurator could set you back up to $300K (or $1 million for the Nike configurator). Custom development takes a significant amount of planning and coordination to get a project started with developers. This means you also may not launch any faster then building it yourself.  You also get the advantage of a completely custom built product.

Use a SaaS configurator

If you’re looking for cost effective product configurators that can meet your businesses growing needs, a SaaS configurator is the way to go. This model also allows for continuous improvement, so you can scale to meet your business’s needs.  Additionally, you reduce internal development cost and time, making it easy to focus on other aspects of your business. With a SaaS model, make sure it has the ability to be modified to meet your needs and fully integrate into your site. Scalability and the ability to manage your products your way are also important features that should be considered in the solution you select.

A SaaS model is probably your best choice depending on your resources, given that product customization software is growing in popularity and advanced solutions are now available.

Product configurators are a quality investment because custom products are the present and future of ecommerce. Consumers and businesses alike demand custom products. Making sure that you select the best options for your business needs is not one to be taken lightly.

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