Product customizers are a class of software applications that allow customization
What is a Product Customizer?
Product customizers are a software application that enables you to add customization features to an eCommerce website.
They vary, quite considerably in terms of their functionality and power. From very simple drop-down custom text fields, to image overlays, dynamic visual configuration and even 3D.
Product customization would not be possible without significant custom code changes on the website. This is resource intensive to create and maintain into the future. Customizers makes this whole process much easier.
Types of Customizers
There are three broad types of product customizers you should be aware of
Product Options Apps
These applications allow the customer to choose from multiple options that relate to a base product. At it’s most basic level, this could be choosing a preferred size or color via a drop-down field.
Sometimes, the app will go one step further and update the default product image with an image which reflects that new selection from an existing library of images (see the image here).
Technically, these are not true customization apps, and more like a detailed product variant feature, but they will do the job for a lot of small eCommerce merchants.
2D Product Customizers
The next step up is a 2D product customizer where you can layer visuals on top of a background product image. For example, if the customer enters their name into a text field, this text will be shown via an overlay function, on top of the product in the background. See the image here for an example.
These are popular for simple, 2D or flat products where a 3D visualization is less critical. T-shirts, posters, books, monogramming of wallets etc.
The problem with this option is that the layer which is being superimposed on top, doesn’t always blend into the background image very well. It can look ‘pasted’ or unrealistic, because it is.
3D Product Customizers
3D product customizers are the highest quality option. They typically give the user what’s called ‘visual configuration’ or ‘product configuration’ ability. This is a fancy way of saying that you can customize the product, in real-time and see the product change before your eyes in 3D.
Again, 3D customization apps are not all created equal. The way the different layers of customization blend into the base 3D model varies considerably.
Featured here is an example of our 3D product customizer app in use on the Hand Dyed Shoe Company’s Shopify website.
Don’t Forget Down-stream
Being able to show customization to the customer on the front-end of the website is much easier than integrating these orders requests down stream.
For small retailers who receive infrequent purchases, a manual process (while time intensive) can be satisfactory.
However, it only takes a few sales per day or more, before things can get complicated very quickly. Manufacturing and/or the fulfillment process gets problematic.
This is where the power of our app comes in handy because it’s built for mass customization aka customization at scale. This means that we can integrate the order requirements into your manufacturing or fulfillment operations so everything happens seamlessly without error.
Very few customizer apps will have these critical features needed by larger volume retailers.