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Home Furnishings eSeries – Visualize & Customize: What Consumers Expect from Home Furnishings

In my previous blog post I touched on how great product imagery and photography can help your home furnishing products stand out and make the best impression possible when users can’t actually touch or feel products online. This can be accomplished using interactive product imagery and visualization platforms such as Adobe’s Dynamic Media Classic (formerly Scene7) and ArtifiThese types of features are no longer just “nice-to-haves” in the home furnishings industry, but are what customers have come to expect.
Progressive marketers are taking the visualization process one step further by allowing customers to not only visualize products options, but to customize, visualize and submit orders (or quote requests) online. This is commonly referred to as CPQ (Configure, Price, and Quote) and a common theme in the B2B commerce arena, as it has traditionally helped dealers and sales people quickly and accurately produce sales quotes for the end user customer.
Configurators can include option-based pricing, customer-based pricing, purchase rules and include logic to present only the applicable product options for products, taking into account any dependencies that exist in the product selection process. Essentially, you are creating a step-by-step ordering system that allows customers to build a product on the fly with pricing, while also eliminating some factor of human error.
For the home furnishings industry, product configurators allow the retailers to showcase more product and in all variations, which usually is not possible with larger home furnishing items, as physical retail space is at a premium. Customers receive the benefit of viewing the product configured to their exact liking, which can provide additional comfort in the purchasing process. For many years consumers have had to rely on small samples or swatches which did help but didn’t always paint a complete picture of what the overall product will look like.
Well thought out product configurators that include visualization and order capture can provide:

  • Custom configuration tracks for product types
  • Product availability based on customer type
  • Customer based pricing in the configuration process
  • Product option dependencies (i.e. only show available options based on prior selection)
  • Shipping rules based on overall product build
  • Recommendations, inspiration and error messaging (providing suggestions at each step in the build process, i.e. ‘This really goes well with this selection’ or “Many customers have selected this option with your prior selection.”)

To see an example of a visual product configuration in action, see what we did for Loom Decor.

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Corey Miller

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