About the client
Our client offers premium furniture customizable in various styles and with a large selection of exotic stones and wood. Their business proposition was to offer their customers as many choices as possible, customized to exactly the way they desired.
The client wanted to offer premium furniture which was customizable with a large range of options in every category - be it the stone, shape, edge, size, or base style and base finish. They wanted customers to be able to visualize, customize and make any combination of features in order to create and buy the exact product they desired.
The client wanted to build an ecommerce store from scratch in order to showcase the various products they offered in different categories. However, they wanted to offer customization of 7-8 features of a product and provide multiple options within each feature – and they wanted to offer this across products in each of the 15 categories they had in their portfolio. This meant that there would have to be millions of images required to cover the entire range of products and a huge product listing database, which would have been a humongous task to manage on a simple ecommerce site.
Understanding the client’s business model and requirements
To gain a deep understanding of what the client exactly required, our in-house ecommerce experts first analysed the client’s business model and their business proposition.
According to the client, they wanted their customer to be able to customize a furniture piece on the site by picking features of their choice. Once they decide the features and place an order for the custom product on the site, the client would internally verify the order and assign it to one of their manufacturers. The manufacturer would then verify and send a confirmation to the customer, who would then approve the product. With the approval, the manufacturer would then create the custom product which would then be handed over to the client’s logistic partner for shipping and delivery.
During the discovery process, we understood a simple ecommerce site would not be sufficient to implement the client’s vision and supplement their unique business proposition. For a typical ecommerce site to cover every variation of product in every category, it would require millions of images, product listing details and pages. This would have been a huge workload for the client and would have been challenging to manage on an ecommerce platform like Magento.
With the analysis done by our ecommerce experts and our technical team, we realized the problem could be solved by using a product configurator on the site. A product configurator is a tool that enables shoppers to customize a product according to their desired specifications. It helps users create and get an idea of what the product will look like, which was exactly what the client needed.
Achieving the client’s goals with a Product Configurator
While we decided to go ahead with a simple and clean Magento implementation for their ecommerce store, we partnered with an agency to develop and implement the product configurator for the customizable products. With this product configurator, a user simply had to choose a particular category, and then build up on the base with any feature of their choice.
With the integration of the product configurator, what would have been millions of product listings was now reduced to just a single SKU on the ecommerce database. This was accomplished by simply allowing the data for the product configurations to reside on the product configurator’s Google Cloud server, while the product configurator itself would be displayed through an iframe on the ecommerce storefront. Any data that needed to be exchanged between the product configurator and the ecommerce site was accomplished by using Magento APIs. Thus, a seamless integration between the product configurator and the site was achieved.
Product configurator features
- Render configurations in real time– portraying the variations in the product as when the user changes it
- Product zoom in/out – being able to view the product in detail by zooming in or out Download design in different formats – downloading and saving the created design in .pdf, .png or .jpg formats
- Works on any device form factor – works the same whether the site is used viewed on desktop or mobile devices
- Dynamic price and weight calculator – the price and weight of the product is calculated according to the features selected, as and when they are changed
- Wish listing – adding the created product to the wish list of the site
- Social share – sharing the created design on popular social media sites
- Centralised management of configurations – data for the configurations can be managed through a single system
Benefits of the solution
Site kept lean
By using a product configurator and keeping the data on the configurator’s Cloud server, the site itself is kept lean.
Better load speeds
This means that the site has better load speeds and minimum waiting time, while ensuring the client’s vision was achieved and none of the project goals were compromised.
Add to cart
Functions like Add to Cart are executed on the Magento site through data sharing between the configurator and the site with the use of APIs, seamlessly done so that the end user never feels like he is interacting with two different systems.
Even with two different systems, the product configurator and the Magento site, analytics and order tracking can be seamlessly managed via Magento admin.