What is the Difference Between a 3D Configurator and a 3D Viewer?

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Many people think of anything that is related to viewing a product or an item with a 360-degree view as being part of what a 3D configurator does. This is not strictly incorrect, but there is a difference between a 3D configurator and a simple 3D Viewer.

Your business model might only require that you utilize one or the other of these unique kinds of tools, and if you are not aware of this, you might be researching the wrong tool for your business needs. Knowing the difference between a 3D configurator and a 3D viewer can make a big difference to your overall experience when you are planning to use these tools in your online business plan.

If you are ready to learn more about the difference between a 3D configurator and a 3D Viewer, read on for more information!

What is the Difference Between a 3D Configurator and a 3D Viewer?  

Let’s start out explaining what each of these items is so that you know for sure what each item can do for your business. They are not actually parts of the same tool and this is the first most crucial thing that people often do not understand.

Each of these tools is a unique item and they provide unique benefits and services to those who are using these tools for their sales processes.

·         3D Product Configurator  

This is a tool that allows you to create configurable products in 3D on your site. You will use this tool to create the unique versions and styles of your product that can be used in complex design processes like car build or for custom quoting of complex products.

A configurator can also create 3D visualization of locations and spaces which can be a big help if you are trying to promote a wedding venue, a theme park, or some other kind of technology that requires a detailed map of a location or an item.

·         3D Viewer  

A 3D viewer is used most often in settings where you are not seeking to quote or build items. A 3D viewer might be used to promote a location or a venue to people who are not local and cannot visit it. A 3D viewer might also be used to describe or demonstrate a product that is proposed or in design.

3D viewers are usually connected more with promotions and demonstrations than with actual sales processes. Both a 3D viewer and a 3D configurator can be used to help you to sell products and services, but you will use them for different stages of the sales and marketing process in most cases.

What Can a 3D Configurator Do For Your Business?  

A 3D product configurator is usually reserved for products that are modular in nature. This means that you will use this tool for items that have many moving parts that can be customized, or products that have many different SKUs with unique patterns and materials.

3D configurators allow brands to create a fully realized demo of complex products and materials that can be viewed from 360-degrees as well as taken apart and restyled at the buyer’s discretion. Most of these configurators work with an additional tool that is used to create custom product skins and patterns.

Working with both of these items, you will be able to generate multi-layered, complex 360-degree renderings of even the most complex products. Your buyers will be able to feel as though they are holding the product in their hand or at least standing in front of it and viewing it from every angle.

High-end products and highly customizable products are often not fully realized without the use of a 3D product configurator to bring them to life. As online sales become an increasingly large part of the market, businesses of all kinds are moving toward 3D product configuration to offer buyers a truly personalized and effective shopping experience.

What Can a 3D Viewer Do For Your Business?  

This is the right tool to use if you are trying to promote a product for development or if you have a location or a place that you are showing to prospective buyers. Theme parks and other businesses with carefully designed and constructed locations will use 3D viewers to show what their proposed design of the location looks like, or what a new ride might work like.

If you are selling items that are not customizable and that do not require the use of quoting tool to price them, you can use a 3D viewer and have great success with the promotion of your product. A 3D viewer will offer the same 360-degree viewing of a product but you will not require that you offer access to quoting and pricing tools.

A quality 3D viewer will show the item from every angle and might also allow for a zoom feature that will allow potential customers to zoom in and examine specific parts of the item. This is the kind of feature that makes 3D viewers ideal for showing the benefits of venues or demonstrating the functionality of a new product.

How Do You Choose Between a 3D Configurator and a 3D Viewer?  

The answer to this has a lot to do with the products that you are selling. Many 3D configurators offer a 3D viewer product as well, so it can be possible to leverage both kinds of solutions for differing sales needs within your catalog of products.

As mentioned above, there is no need to create a complex 3D product configurator mapping for a product that is still in development and not yet ready to sell. You will also not need to use a configurator if you are not needing to link your product example with sales or quoting tools. The prime differentiation between the two kinds of tool is your own unique needs to promote

Imagine trying to customize a car online without being able to see what different paint, different wheels, and tires, or unique body panel styling can do to change the look of the car. You would never try to sell a car to consumers without the use of 3D product configuration, any more than you would be likely to utilize 3D product configuration to explain the function of a proposed product or to show the rides at a theme park.

The level of 3D configuration that is required for your business needs depends entirely on the type of products that you are selling. There are benefits for both kinds of 3D configuration or viewing, and you can assess the kind of tool you need to use if you consider which way you would prefer to engage with the purchase of a product if you were someone shopping for your product.

Configure, Price, and Quoting Using 3D Configurators  

One of the most important options that 3D product configurators offer when compared to 3D viewers, is Configure, Price, and Quote functions. The CPQ offerings that are often a part of 3D product configurators are a valuable tool when you are selling complex items that can vary in price widely depending on how they are customized.

For companies selling complex items with many variations, a CPQ tool included in their 3D product configurator can save them time and money over the long haul. Imagine allowing your consumers to view the items that they are interested in great detail and see what the price of each customization selection will be.

By the time the sales team gets involved in the sales process of this item, everyone will be clear about the cost of the item and there will be hidden surprises for the buyer. This will enhance customer satisfaction as well as overall buyer experience and it will save your sales team a lot of time and effort.

CPQ features are a huge part of the buying process for complex items and this is one of the most valuable features that is offered along with the 360-degree viewing benefits of 3D product configurators.

3D Configurators and 3D Viewers Provide Unique Benefits  

The choice between 3D product configurators and 3D viewers is mostly related to the complexity and type of products that you are offering for sale. You might even use a 3D viewer for most of your products but have a 3D configurator tool that you are using for unique products that are highly customizable or that are made for direct sales.

Choosing between a 3D viewer and a 3D configurator is often an easy decision when you consider what kind of product you are trying to explain to your customers. Both of these tools are going to become a standard part of all online sales before long, and you will be ahead of the curve if you invest in either of these effective tools for the promotion and sales of your products.

3D product configurators and 3D viewers both offer a great sales experience for buyers. You will never regret employing any of these tools in your online sales process and your increased ROI and conversion rates will prove that your investment was well worth it.

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