Shopware product configurator as an essential tool for your online shop

Shopware is the leading German solution for creating online shops, which is becoming increasingly popular thanks to the many advantages it offers and its commitment to innovation and adaptation to the current needs of digital commerce. It is a modular online shop system with over 91,000 customers worldwide that was first released in 2004 as open source software. With this e-commerce solution, online retailers can design their own online shop with full flexibility and freedom. This is an excellent platform for creating modern and innovative online shops, which is characterized by its ease of use and emotional customer approach when shopping. 

The main advantages of this shop system are:      

  • Flexibility 
  • Scalability 
  • Search engine optimization 
  • Integration with all sales channels 
  • Different business models

But the competition in e-commerce continues to grow and shop owners have to adapt to the demands of today's market. And that is, above all, personalization

personalization

With just a few clicks to the desired product - this is possible with the help of modern configurators. A product configurator helps your customers to design the right item from many possible variants: individual and tailor-made. 

In some industries, the finished product can be made to order according to the needs of the customer, who can choose between different options. This is a very powerful tool for businesses that want to customize sales and customize their products/services to meet the specific needs of their customers. The most successful companies use product configurators, such as Nike or IKEA

nike

Why do you need a product configurator?  

Customized mass production is a challenge, but involves a lot. These are the most important advantages of a product configurator: 

  • You win new customers by offering individual products or services and, therefore, by differentiating from the competition. The main idea is: to meet the personal taste of the customer and at the same time to make shopping an experience. 
  • Configurators are also successful in B2B sales. In the B2B area, a product configurator can be used for the customer's independent research, support of a consultation, up to the complete independent ordering of your customers. 
  • Avoid product defects. A product configurator can offer an automated feasibility check to rule out product errors, because it is easy to get lost in the countless possible combinations. 
  • Better configurations result in fewer complaints, since the customer has usually thought the order through carefully.
  • Customer satisfaction is increased through customer-oriented advice and product orientation. 

A product configurator allows you:  

  • Flexibility in configuring items within the purchase and sales order processes;  
  • Ease of maintenance as BOM is used as the basis for configuration definition;     
  • Concept of mandatory items and optional items at the time of configuration.       

Here is a simple example of the design of a Rolex watch with the following characteristics:    

  • 2 possible configurations for the model  
  • 4 possible configurations for the material   
  • 2 possible configurations for the bezel     
  • 12 possible configurations for the dial      

Considering all the possible configurations presented above, we can conclude, that the finished product can have 192 different configurations, calculated as: 2 x 4 x 2 x 12. So, a simple example can present 192 different configurations, and there are even examples that can represent thousands of different configurations.   

rolex

Types of Product Configurators 

Product Configurator is an online product menu that allows website visitors to customize products. There are different types of product configurators, depending on the goal and logic: 

  • STO configurator: select-to-order

The product components are not dependent on one another. The customer chooses individual components during configuration and it does not affect other components of the product. This is the simplest type of product configurator. The number of variations is usually small.

For example: a t-shirt that comes in 4 sizes and 5 colors.

  • PTO configurator: pick-to-order

The customer selects available product components and must, however, take into account the dependencies of the components (options) without the help of the configurator. This type of product configurator is just as easy to develop and is used by most online shops.

For example: a logo on a t-shirt or engraved text on a wedding band.

  • CTO configurator: configure-to-order

With this type of configurator, the selection of coordinated components is possible according to a modular system. Customers create configurable products that are not limited to global variations. Each component can be personalized and combined with other components. This is also an easy-to-develop type of product configurator.
For example: a configurable handbag with many components and combination logic.

  • ATO Configurator: Assemble-to-order

This type of configuration allows the creation of modular products. Individual product components are pre-produced and the end product is manufactured according to customer requirements and specific component dependencies. This type of product configurator is more complicated to develop. 

For example: a modular storage system with complex logic. 

  • MTO configurator: make-to-order

With this type of product configuration, the individual product components are stored in advance and processed further after the order is placed. This can be used in companies with fully or partially automated production. This type of product configurator is very complicated to develop.
For example: modelling complicated furniture.

  • ETO Configurator: Engineer-to-order

This type involves the creation of completely customer-specific products with a very high degree of freedom of configuration. The individual parts of each order must be specially manufactured. Numerous solutions, highly complex modularity and high customer involvement in the production process. This is the most complicated type of product configurator. 

This type of configuration can be found in plant engineering.

The type of product configurator to be selected for your company naturally depends on the complexity of your products, business processes and logic.

3D Configurator - bringing your products to life

A 3D configurator offers better ways to answer every customer's key question: “Is this product exactly what I want?” 

It's an interactive tool based on live 3D models, and allows customers to personalize products and monitor adjustments made in real time. An excellent example of the 3D configurator can be found at Guerlain

guerlain

Main advantages of a 3D product configurator:

  • Increase in sales and customer inquiries
  • Reduction in returns
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • You understand consumer requirements and react quickly to market trends

Create individualized products with Shopware 6

From version Shopware 6 Professional Edition (also Shopware Cloud and Enterprise) there are options for designing individualized products - this is possible with the premium extension “Custom Products”, which is available in the Shopware Store

One can create product templates with selectable options and link them to existing products. Based on the selectable options, the customer can customize the product accordingly. Shopware also offers detailed instructions or  video tutorials on how to create configurable products using this plugin. 

shopware-product-configurator

Main functions of this plugin:

functions

An example of the website that uses the Shopware product configurator to create personalized products is gifts-online.de

standard

In the example above, if the company does not use a product configuration, it would need to register 1 product with 300 different BOMs, or 300 different products each with its own BOM, adding significantly to the complexity of product development. And with a product configurator, there is no longer any need to maintain different combinations of variants beforehand. So we can say that reducing complexity in product development is the main benefit of using a Shopware product configurator.                             

Creating a Shopware configurator is a time-consuming and complicated task, which of course depends on the variant combination of the products. Therefore, the costs for creating a product configurator for Shopware are only determined after an exact assessment. It's not a cheap tool, but it's worth it. However, after implementing the product configurator, it becomes a very quick and easy tool for everyday use and a very meaningful competitive advantage for your company. 

Our agency has been dealing with various e-commerce software solutions for years, and especially with Shopware. We offer our customers various services related to Shopware: Creation of a product configurator, design, further development and shop support, creation of plugins, migration to Shopware, CRM, PIM. We use modern technologies eg Neo4J, ViewJS and others. Our references tell more about us, for example BachelorPrint case study is a good example of a product configurator developed by us  

bp

Contact us for detailed information.  

 


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