Shopify Product Configurator

7 min read

Learn about the benefits of adding a Shopify product configurator to your e-commerce store. Explore the two types of configurators available - Shopify app and custom-built - and discover which option is best for your business's needs.

Shopify Product Configurator

What is a product configurator?

A product configurator is a software tool allowing customers to customize and build products to their preferences and specifications. It typically includes a visual interface, either 2D static product images that change as customers choose different options or a 3D model that allows customers to choose from various options, colors, sizes, and other features to create a unique product that meets their specific needs.

The product configurator then calculates the price and other details based on the customer's selections, helping them make informed purchase decisions.

There are generally two ways to implement product configurators, either through a Shopify app product configurator or a custom-built solution:

  • Shopify App Product Configurators – These are pre-built, ready-to-use product configurators that can be easily installed from the Shopify app store and integrated with your Shopify store. They offer a cost-effective and efficient solution for brands looking for a quick way to offer product customization to their stores.
  • Custom-Built Product Configurators – Custom-built product configurators are tailored solutions that are developed specifically for the needs of a particular e-commerce store. They are designed to meet the business's exact requirements and can be built to integrate with existing systems, processes, and branding.
Watch configurator

What are the benefits of implementing a product configurator?

According to an edition of Deloitte Consumer Review, consumers are not only highly interested in customization and personalizations, but they are comfortable paying a premium for customized products. 36% of consumers would like to explore more product customization options, and 1 in 5 would be comfortable paying a 20% markup for a personalized product. 

There is a clear market within the consumer space for customized products. And the best way to provide this to customers is through a product configurator. Here are a few other ways a Shopify product configurator can benefit your e-commerce store:

  • Elevating the Customer Experience – By allowing customers to tailor products to their preferences, engagement, and involvement are heightened, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Boosting Sales – A product configurator has the potential to drive higher conversion rates as customers are more likely to complete a purchase when they have invested time and effort into customizing the product.
  • Upselling Possibilities – Shopify product configurators provide stores with the opportunity to offer additional customization options and accessories, increasing upsell opportunities.
  • Bringing Products to Life – Product configurators offer customers an interactive and realistic product visualization, providing them with the information they need to make informed purchase decisions.
  • Personalizing Products – A Shopify product configurator enables customers to create truly unique and personalized products, enhancing the value proposition and competitiveness of the e-commerce store.
Handbag product configurator

Shopify app product configurator

The Custom Product Builder is one example of a popular Shopify product configurator from the Shopify app store. It can help e-commerce store owners introduce more customization to their product offerings, helping to surpass Shopify's 100 variant limit. The Custom Product Builder app features a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for customers to create and preview customized products in real time. And it integrates with the store's existing product catalog and can be added to product pages, collections and home pages.

This app has advanced features such as real-time price calculation, multiple language support and the ability to handle high-resolution images. It also offers robust security features to protect customer data and ensures the store complies with data protection regulations. This app is available for as low as $7.99 a month but can be upgraded to a top-tier Pro Plan for $60 per month.

Wall sign configurator

Pros of a Shopify app product configurator

A Shopify product configurator app offers numerous benefits, making it a valuable tool for e-commerce businesses looking to step up their product customization game. These advantages include:

Cheap and Simple

Affordable and user-friendly, Shopify app product configurators offer a cost-effective solution for small and medium-sized businesses. The subscription-based model, with its low monthly fees, makes it a budget-friendly option.

The user-friendly interface and step-by-step instructions make it accessible for even non-technical users to set up and utilize the product configurator with ease. Shopify product configurator apps are relatively cheap and simple to use compared to custom-built software solutions.

Fast Implementation

Pre-built and ready-to-use, a Shopify product configurator app can be implemented quickly, saving time and resources compared to a lengthy and complex development process. The ease of integration with an existing Shopify store allows customers to start customizing products immediately after installation.

Cover a lot of Use Cases

Shopify app product configurators are designed to cover a wide range of use cases, including customization of products such as clothing, accessories, jewelry, and even home furnishings. They can be customized to meet the specific needs of each business, making them a versatile solution for many different e-commerce store types.

Additionally, as Shopify product configurator apps are part of a larger ecosystem of Shopify apps, they can be easily integrated with other tools, such as shipping and payment solutions, to provide a complete and smooth customer experience.

Cons of a Shopify app product configurator

While Shopify product configurator apps have many advantages, there are also several drawbacks to consider, including:

Increases Load Time

One of the main drawbacks of using a Shopify app product configurator is that it can increase the load time of the website. The additional visual elements and interactive features of the configurator can slow down the website, resulting in a less seamless and user-friendly experience for customers.

Design Doesn’t Fit 100%

Shopify app product configurators offer various customization options, but sometimes the design of the configurator may not align with the aesthetics of the shop, leading to an inconsistent experience for customers and potentially impacting the overall brand image.

Limited Use Cases Possible

Shopify product configurator apps are versatile and can be utilized for various purposes, but they may not always meet the needs of businesses that require more complex or specialized customization. In these cases, a solution tailored to their specific requirements may be necessary.

Integrations with Other Services Missing

Another potential drawback of Shopify app product configurators is that they may not have integrations with other services that a business requires. This can make it difficult to seamlessly integrate the configurator with existing systems and processes, leading to additional effort and manual work.

Shirt product customization

Custom-built Shopify product configurator

If you're looking for a way to elevate your product customization game, consider going custom. These configurators are typically built by software developers who specialize in Shopify development.

Pros of a Custom-built product configurator

Custom-built product configurators have some major perks over their Shopify app counterparts, including:

Integration in a Headless Site

A custom-built product configurator can be integrated into a headless site, while it's not possible to use a Shopify app configurator with a headless setup. This is ideal for store owners that have transitioned to a headless setup or plan to do so in the future.

Better Performance

Custom-built Shopify product configurators are designed specifically for the needs of a particular business and can be optimized for performance. This means that they can offer a faster, smoother, and more reliable user experience compared to Shopify app configurators.

Design, Features, and Feel can be Matched to the Rest of the Store

With a custom-built product configurator, businesses have complete control over the design, features, and feel of the configurator. This allows them to match the configurator to the rest of their store, creating a seamless and consistent branded experience for customers.

Cons of a Custom-built product configurator

While custom-built product configurators offer many advantages, they also come with a few drawbacks that are important to consider, including:

More Expensive

Custom-built product configurators are generally more expensive than Shopify app configurators. This is due to the increased level of customization and development required to build a custom solution.

Takes Longer

Product configurators built from scratch can take longer to develop compared to those that utilize Shopify app configurators. This is a result of the extra steps involved in designing, developing, and testing a tailored solution.

Can Make Regular Maintenance Necessary

Custom-built product configurators require ongoing maintenance and support, including software updates, bug fixes, and security patches. This can result in increased costs and effort compared to Shopify app configurators, which are maintained and updated by the app provider.

If you're interested in adding a custom-built Shopify product configurator to your e-commerce business, consider reaching out to Excyted for assistance. We have experience building high-end custom product configurators for e-commerce clients that improve customer engagement and increase sales.

Types of product configurators

Product configurators come in a variety of different types, each with its own set of features and capabilities. Continue reading to learn about the five most common types of product configurators you can integrate into your e-commerce site:

1. Product Personalization

This type of custom-built configurator allows customers to personalize products, such as adding their name or a custom message, usually through embroidery, laser engraving, etching, or similar methods. An example of this type of configurator is EquiDreams, where customers can personalize riding boot bags with their name or other text.

EquiDreams personalization

2. Product Configurator

A product configurator allows customers to build and customize products according to their ideal specifications. This type of configurator can be 2D or 3D and are best used for products that come in a variety of options or configurations. An example of a product configurator is LeetDesk 2D & 3D which was custom-built by Excyted.

After the customer has finished customizing the product and proceeded through the checkout process, the item will then be built to spec before being sent to the customer.

Product configurators can be customized in a variety of ways to enhance the user experience and push for more sales:

  • 3D configurator – A subtype of a product configurator that allows customers to see a product in three dimensions and customize it in real-time. This type of configurator can be particularly useful for products that are difficult to visualize, such as furniture or machinery.
  • Cross-sell and Add-on – A cross-sell, and add-on feature allows customers to add complementary products or upgrades to their existing orders, increasing the average order value. An example of this is the LeetDesk Cart, which adds cross-selling and add-on products to the cart experience.
Leetdesk customizer

3. Bundle/Set Configurator

A bundle or set configurator is a type of custom-built product configurator that allows customers to build sets of products by selecting from a range of options. This type of configurator can be used to create product bundles or to build sets of complementary products. It is popular within the tech, beauty, and health industries and while there are similarities to a product configurator, customers can choose items for a bundle that better matches their budget.

Bundle configurator

4. Product Designer

A product designer allows customers to design their own products from scratch, usually by uploading images, selecting colors and patterns, and other design elements. The app is usually paired with print-on-demand, embroidery, or other services that will add the user's customizations to a base product.

Product designer for print-on-demand

5. Mix of All Types

Some custom-built product configurators combine elements from multiple types of configurators, offering product personalization, product configuration, bundle/set configuration, and product design all in one solution.

Taking the next step

You have two options for implementing a product configurator, either through a Shopify app or a custom-built solution. Shopify app product configurators are pre-built, ready-to-use solutions that can be easily installed and integrated with your Shopify store, offering a cost-effective and efficient option. Custom-built product configurators are tailored solutions that are developed specifically for your business and can be integrated with existing systems, processes, and branding.

Excyted has a team of experienced software developers that can help your brand build a custom product configurator. We will work closely with you to understand your business requirements, design a configurator that meets your specific needs, and integrate it into your e-commerce store. If you'd like to discuss your project, we'd love to hear from you.