Eighty-six percent of consumers want products tailored to their unique preferences. And they expect brands to make it happen: 42% of consumers who seek customized products want brands to provide a selection of options. In short, brands have their work cut out for them. To rise to the challenge, leaders in consumer goods need to harness the power of technology. But with a blank slate initiative and hundreds of tools available, where do you start?
For product customization goals, look to CPQ and next-generation Visualization tools. They’re key to helping customers discover ideal products, while allowing the brand to track and learn from the customer journey.
Creating Easy Access to Customized Products
So, how do CPQ and Visualization tools help brands meet consumers’ needs? Consumers set out with specific ideas in mind for the products they want to buy — whether those products are customized or not. But despite wanting products that closely match their internal vision, they want to find them (or customize them) with as little friction as possible.
While many consumer goods providers are still figuring out what this means for their businesses, some leaders are already fulfilling this customer expectation. For example, garage and shed manufacturer Tuff Shed unveiled a robust CPQ tool on its website.
The tool allows shoppers to configure the building they need and visually try on multiple elements such as building style, square footage, number of windows and doors, placement of walls, paint color and more. In turn, the shopper receives an experience that makes it feel like they’re customizing a product from scratch, even though the CPQ tool and its robust rules and decisions engine allows the engineering team to build it as if it were a standard, off-the-shelf product.
Tuff Shed is known for its deep product catalog to the point that making a decision on paper for every single element of a shed can be tedious and overwhelming. But a visual-powered configurator allows shoppers to cut through the clutter and customize a niche product with all the features they set out to buy — and then make the purchase on the spot.
Implementing Customization-Driven Digital Transformation
An initiative like Tuff Shed’s appears clean, simple and ideal for the customer. But the road to concepting, building and implementing the tool isn’t so obvious. When they tackle similar Digital Transformation initiatives, consumer goods leaders often encounter multiple barriers, including securing leadership buy-in, fostering company-wide adoption and avoiding data silos.
To achieve the smoothest route to implementation, consider several key steps.
Secure leadership buy-in. For a Digital Transformation initiative to succeed long term, leadership must champion companywide adoption. While mid-level managers may be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day progress of Digital Transformation journeys, they don’t have the same cultural authority as the C-suite. But when the C-suite sets the tone of the project, all employees grasp its importance and change behavior to adopt the solution.
Be picky about your partners. Your organization will likely require the assistance of external partners to pull off a significant Digital Transformation initiative. But whether it’s a tech vendor, a consultant or a contract-based software developer, make sure to vet your partners thoroughly. The vetting process should determine whether prospective partners can help build a solution that can evolve based on customer feedback and changing internal use requirements.
Create your tools with all teams in mind. Just because you set out to build a tool to help the customer doesn’t mean other teams can’t find value in it. For example, Tuff Shed’s CPQ tool may serve customers first, but it also provides valuable data that helps team members do their jobs. Marketers gain insights about online shoppers’ customer journey and web developers learn how to improve the user experience. The bottom line: If you invest in the customer experience, you have to also plan to capture and share the valuable data that comes from it.
Customer expectations grow more sophisticated by the day, and meeting their tech-driven needs doesn’t happen overnight. By committing to a holistic Digital Transformation journey, you can enable your consumer goods brand to implement sustainable solutions and beat out competitors by offering the right products in the right way.