How 3D Configuration Tools Will Drive Furniture Sales In Hard Times

Both online and in-store, forward-thinking retailers and product manufacturers are catching on to the business benefits of 3D visualization.

Even at the best of times, furniture retail is a highly competitive market. But it can get even tougher during an economic downturn. Consumers tend to spend less on non-essential items, and new furniture purchases can become a lower priority.

Rather than pitting physical and digital sales against each other in a battle for market share, tech-savvy furniture companies are getting the best from both worlds. They’re creating a seamless customer experience using 3D product configuration tools. This offers a number of benefits, all of which can help furniture companies thrive when times get tough.

The benefits of 3D product configuration tools

One of the challenges of selling furniture – particularly during an economic downturn – is that customers are more reserved, and need to be even more confident before committing to a purchase. The use of 3D product configuration tools can enhance your business operations and boost sales, even during challenging periods. Here’s how:

  • Customizable products: When money is tight, customers can be more hesitant to spend on luxury or non-essential items. By offering customizable products through a 3D configuration platform, you can attract customers who are looking for high-quality products that meet their specific needs and give them the confidence to make the sale.
  • Improved customer experience: 3D configuration tools provide a more engaging and interactive shopping experience for customers. This can help to build brand loyalty and increase customer retention.
  • Increased conversion rate and AOV: Companies that utilize 3D visual configuration on their websites can experience a significant boost in their cart conversion rate, with some companies seeing an increase from 10% to 50%. Additionally, by offering add-on features, businesses can increase their average order value by 30% to 50%, thanks to a higher attach rate as a result of using these tools.
  • Reduced returns: With a 3D product configurator, customers see exactly what they’re getting before they make the purchase. This helps reduce the number of returns, in one example, from 20% to just 1%. Think about the costs you’ll save here.
  • Cost savings: By eliminating the need for multiple, physical prototypes, a 3D product configurator can help to reduce material waste, save on manufacturing and shipping costs, and streamline your production process.

How to use a 3D product configurator to boost sales

The key to getting the most out of a 3D product configurator is to put it in the hands of marketing and sales people to support both lead generation and the guided selling process.

Here are five ways you can use it to boost sales:

1. Let your customers engage with the product
A 3D product configurator can be used to help customers visualize, and engage with, the final product in real-time, sparking their imagination and inspiring them to place the order. Customers can see the different options and combinations available, and get a better sense of how the final product will look in their home. Bridging the imagination gap gives them greater confidence to buy, while letting them engage with the products also creates a higher involvement. As a result, the chance that they’ll place an order is very high.

2. Offer personalized design services in-store
Some furniture companies offer personalized design services to their customers. Customers can work with a designer to create a customized piece of furniture, and then see the final product in 3D before they purchase. Visiting a store to work with a designer in person can be a powerful motivator for customers.

In the Netherlands, a large furniture manufacturer has already equipped their dealer network with a 3D room planner that enables end-customers to produce 2D plans at home. They can then bring them to life in 3D by booking an appointment with a sales representative in store. And that’s just one way to use them!

3. Upsell and cross-sell
Salespeople can use the 3D product configurator to upsell and cross-sell additional products or features. For example, they can show customers how a different, more high-end fabric or frame can completely change the look and feel of a product, or recommend complementary products, demonstrating what they will look like together, using a 3D room planner.

4. Demonstrate all product options
Certain products are equipped with a wide range of layouts, features, and other customizable options, which can sometimes make it difficult for your customers to identify all available choices. Consequently, there is a risk of missing out on the options that would have been the most suitable.

However, with the aid of a 3D product configurator, all potential design options, add-ons, and features are presented in a clear and organized manner, making it virtually impossible to overlook any pertinent choices. In addition, a 3D product configurator enables you to present each option visually, eliminating the need for customers to rely solely on their imagination.

5. Generate buzz on social media
3D product configuration tools can be used to create eye-catching and engaging visuals that can be shared on social media. Creating and sharing 3D experiences of your products on social media platforms, like Augmented Reality on Instagram and Pinterest, helps to generate buzz and attract more customers to both your website and physical store.

Equip Your Dealer Network With 3D Configuration Tools

Putting 3D product configurators in the hands of frontline sales people and marketing teams is a great way to boost sales during an economic downturn and beyond.

As a furniture manufacturer, you want to invest in 3D visualization and configuration to equip your entire dealer network with tools that can give them a competitive advantage. No matter what the economic circumstances, stand strong, claim your market share, and distinguish yourself from the rest by offering unrivalled customer service and experience.

With so many possibilities – from 3D product configurators to 3D room planners – it can be difficult to know where to start. So why not let the experts at iONE360 help you?

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