Why Product Configurators Outperform Catalog Filters in Modern eCommerce Environments

Jan 5, 2023 2:50:34 PM | CPQ Why Product Configurators Outperform Catalog Filters in Modern eCommerce Environments

If you're wondering whether a product configurator is worth disrupting the status quo – the answer is yes. We can show you exactly how configurators excel.

If there’s anything to be understood about developments in the configure, price, quote space over the past handful of years, it’s that they’ve been heavily focused on expanding product configuration capacities. 

Backend administrators, front-facing sales representatives, and self-guided eCommerce shoppers share a vested interest in experiencing the benefits of an optimized configurator. The right solution can minimize maintenance requirements for admin teams, reduce the ramp-up time required for sales reps to become effective sellers, and intelligently guide an online buyer through a uniquely curated shopping path.

Modern buyers have nine things they prioritize in a digital commerce experience. You’ll want to be sure you’re not missing out on any of their expectations. Ensure your eCommerce strategy is aligned with market preferences with our 9-Step Checklist. Download it now at https://learn.logik.io/digital-commerce-checklist

But, some may stop and ask: is there truly a need for these product configurators when existing commerce tools like catalog indexes and reductive filters exist? Or are top-of-the-line product configurators just another luxury bid to appeal to consumerized buyers? 

Let us present a hypothetical scenario to help answer such questions: 

Imagine you’re one member in a dining party of people with various diets. The dinner spot of choice for the evening is a pizza parlor with pre-constructed menu options – a meat-heavy combination pan pizza, a vegetarian thin crust, a classic margherita, and so on.
While each menu option is designed to appeal to a general portion of the public, the dietary restrictions of your fellow diners lead to modification requests. One wants the vegetarian toppings, but on a thick crust like the combination. Another wants almost all of the toppings on the margherita, but to substitute one out for flavor.

Each modification request is within the scope of the parlor to accommodate, but does come with risk – will the kitchen be able to keep all of the nuances straight when actually making the pizzas for the dining party? Will there be any delays that come with service because of the customized nature of the orders? And if something doesn’t look right, will they be able to fix it in a meaningful way?
Things could go well, absolutely. But the needs of the diners, while being accommodated by the parlor, are not being explicitly anticipated or welcomed.

We could call this parlor “Catalog Filter.”  

eCommerce sites standing on the foundation of indexes and filters are placing a substantial burden on the buyer to adapt to their lay of the land just to make a purchase.

It requires close attention to be paid by the buyer at every step of the process, which inevitably adds time and removes trust in the expertise of the seller. There’s no guarantee they’ll be able to manually identify or construct exactly what it is they want with so much information to sift through, and could miss a solution entirely just because of how the seller decided it should be categorized.

Such pedestrian filtration has been an acceptable option to get the bare basics of the job done, but hasn’t scaled or translated the way consumerized shoppers will appreciate, let alone reward.

Back in the world of pizza parlors, a similar dining group with equal preferences is at a spot structured just a bit differently than the first we looked at.

Instead of outlining their curation of toppings and doughs for the foundation of their menu, they provide diners with the ingredients they have and let imagination take it from there. Any combination of available options can be put together in real time. There are no expectations outside of what the diner tells them to put in the oven, and modifications to the default aren’t necessary – customization is already the name of the game.

Each diner’s singular preferences are not just tolerated, but actively welcomed in a structure specifically designed to support them.

This parlor, you may guess, could be named “Product Configurator.”

From the very first moment, the buyers are in the driver’s seat of the experience and can have a more hands-on approach to optimizing their cart.

Buyers in the modern age have more nuanced preferences when it comes to sales than have been seen in previous decades. The more individually tailored of an experience they drop into, the more likely they are to reward the experience with actual patronage.

Product configurators that stand at the core of tech stacks that support sophisticated selling experiences are not a luxury item or investment to be feared. Rather, they are the key to unlocking new channels of connection and trustworthiness with discerning clients. 

Attribute-based product configuration solutions, like Logik.io, engineer custom experiences based off of company expertise that aligns with customer input in real time. Buyers don’t have to pore over the catalog options and descriptors to try and finagle their way into something that looks like what they have in their head. Instead, they can outline the parameters of their ideal find and let the system do the heavy lifting from there.

Do you know the right type of configurator for your business? Between product-based and attribute-based, our experts strongly recommend one in a head to head battle. See which is preferred by most in The Configuration Guide, available for free, on-demand download at https://learn.logik.io/configuration-guide

Give the key players in your eCommerce sphere the experience they deserve, and reap the resulting client loyalty, with the implementation of a proper product configurator. The experts at Logik.io are ready and waiting to help you start your journey.


Blake Grubbs

Written By: Blake Grubbs

Blake has successfully helped several high-growth tech startups build and scale marketing over the past 10 years. Held marketing leadership roles at Seismic, Drift, Alyce, and Simplr, all who successfully doubled and tripled ARR bookings during his tenure. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Management from Boston University's Questrom School of Business.