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Configurators: Benefits, upgrades, and the impact on your ability to sell

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By BlueSky Commerce
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10.24.2017

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Home > Technology > Configurators: Benefits, upgrades, and the impact on your ability to sell

Configurators: Benefits, upgrades, and the impact on your ability to sell

Topics: Configurator / IBM

The internet is brimming with eCommerce. You can order the perfect outfit or custom build computers to suit the needs of your business. Two-hour delivery, free shipping, one-click ordering, discounts for bulk purchases, outfitting your business for success these digital choices are supposed to make life easier, right?

That’s the idea. But, how many consumers or businesses have abandoned a purchase because of frustrations in the ordering process? If you’re nodding your head, you’re not alone.

  • According to the Pew Research Center, 93% of all Americans have used the internet for an eCommerce activity.
  • Forrester predicts that B2B eCommerce will account for $1.1 trillion and 12.1% of all B2B sales by the year 2020.

These numbers present a difficult situation for both B2B and B2C sellers. With so many sales journeys taking place in the digital realm, the burden on merchandisers to provide a quick, error-free buying experience increases by the day.

With the increasing need for concise ordering and purchasing, how can your business make a complex buying experience easy for the buyer? You use the Sterling Configurator.

Imagine that you are offering a commemorative piece of glassware to promote an event you’re sponsoring that takes place on Saturday and Sunday for an entire month

You allow participants to choose:

  • A style of glassware: Wine glass, beer mug, or water glass
  • Color of glassware: Blue tinted, pink tinted, frosted, or clear
  • Date of event: Customizable based on the dates each participant attended
  • Name of the participant: Limited to one name only

Now, this is where it gets tricky:

  • The frosted option isn’t available for wine glasses and the tinted colors aren’t available for the beer mug.
  • The date of the event must be constrained to numbers and a max of six characters.
  • The name of the person is limited to ten characters on the wine glass and 12 characters on the beer mug and water glass to fit dimensions.
  • Also, you want to give participants the chance to order associated items based on their selections: a corkscrew for those choosing a wine glass, a bottle opener for beer mug selections, and an ice cube tray for any participant who goes for the water glass.

This might seem overwhelming with so many options for customization and different parameters. Not to worry, the Sterling Configurator helps you simplify the buying experience.

Configurator 101: Offering straightforward customization possibilities

A configurator is an application that makes this process of ordering complex products possible. Business users set rules and parameters with a configurator so that shoppers are presented with the appropriate options during each step of the buying process. By setting your rules in the model, you can offer dynamic content for your shoppers.

IBM Sterling Configurator integrates with WebSphere Commerce and allows you to set customization options, rules, and parameters for your offerings. With so many shoppers turning to the web to complete their purchases, don’t let a complicated order process keep you from remaining competitive.

Configurators work well for products that:

  • Require rules or parameters
  • Have steps that build upon previous ones
  • Offers features or options at different levels of the ordering process
  • Are highly customizable
  • Involve complicated processes for ordering or manufacturing
  • Complex service plans such as for insurance, mobile phone contracts

Ordering done easier: IBM Configurator upgrades

If you have used a configurator in the past, then you already know how useful it can be. The IBM Sterling Configurator just got a makeover and selling your products is easier than ever. For starters, the Sterling Configurator has been decoupled from the Sterling Order Management System. As a result, the Sterling Configurator is now

  • A lightweight design using micro service architecture
  • Easier to install
  • Equipped with business user tooling
  • Using RestFUL protocol, simplifying integration with existing infrastructure and newer systems
  • Fully integrated with WebSphere Commerce
  • Updated with a fresh interface
  • Compatible on mobile devices using responsive web design
  • More affordable
  • Easier to configure
  • Updated in Angular JS

The true power of Sterling Configurator revolves around how easy it is to use. Business users can now take control of how they sell their products. The updates make it far easier for a midsize company to take full advantage of Sterling Configurator without the need for extensive programming.

Making your selections: Reducing costs with a configurator

Configurators also help with your business’s bottom line. Reduced response times, lowering the risk of error, and lessening the need for customer service and order entry staff are all ways to increase your profits. With improved business user tooling, Sterling Configurator is easily accessible by marketers and sales teams and eliminates the need (and costs) for extensive programming. As your ability to provide accurate information improves, customers find it much easier to identify the products they want. Cross-selling and upselling are also a simpler task with a configurator.

Configurator in action: Complexity made simple

Ultimately, a configurator lets you offer an improved customer experience while lowering the cost of selling. Sterling Configurator eliminates frustrations, from the consumer perspective and the merchandiser point of view. With this application, both the buying and selling aspect of eCommerce are simplified.

Find out how BlueSky can help you integrate Sterling Configurator to reduce error and costs, while expanding your customer base. Get started today.

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