With the rapid expansion of eCommerce adoption and omnichannel retail, the need to have a similar and consistent experience across offline and online shopping for customers has arisen.
Users now want the same experience of walking into a store and being shown different options and customization as they would, while talking to a representative from a store that sells personalised products.
So when a client recognised the need for this kind of a user experience for their online accessories store, we gladly took up the challenge to build out and deliver a seamless and truly optimized product 3D visualization experience in Magento.
To understand how we did this let us break down the solution and know further about it.
Connecting the dots to the bigger picture
Our client did not operate like a traditional eCommerce store. In a usual eCommerce store, the products or SKUs are stored in a warehouse and a digital product inventory is maintained. Stock availability is shown on the front end, and a customer then selects their product and makes an online purchase.
But they were aiming for something higher. They wanted to give local artisans and their indigenous products and skills a platform to incorporate into the modern day consumer’s demand.So while you were selecting a product and mixing and matching it as per your preferences, a local painter or tailor would actually hand-make the ordered product with the specifications requested by the customer.
So while it was complex, Codilar was very excited to create a unique experience like this on Magento with the help of our best Magento ninjas. After all, one of the initial taglines was We Can Turn Magento into a Barbie Doll, stating our ability to deliver anything and everything possible on Magento.
Putting the pieces together
To make this a perfect experience, our architecture had to be dynamic as well as performance focused. This meant that we had to build a responsive user experience that would show these customized products in real time while maintaining the load speed and heaviness of the site.
We built out a custom logic in such a way that it would allow for flexibility and multiple combinations. Here is how we did it:
Each Item (Product) would have Parts (Entities). Each Part then had its own separate rules and custom logic such as what material it could be; if there was an option to engrave; the colours available; different sizes; etc.
All of this architecture was then applied to the respective Items and Parts for a smooth and fluid experience for the end user.
This level of flexibility and personalization meant that we needed more than just default out-of-box Magento capabilities and had to custom code the parent-child relations so that everything worked as it should.
But the trickiest part was yet to be configured and that was a design feature that the client had requested. They wanted a 360° view of the selected product specifications in real time based on the user’s inputs and personalized preferences.
As we understood the problem that they were trying to solve was applicable to most online accessory stores (visualizing a product to make sure customers are not disappointed with anything when it is actually delivered to them), we also found a very unique solution to make sure the dynamic image loading did not affect speed and performance.
Codilar worked with the client’s product photography team to set up the photos of the Items along with their appropriate Parts in different frames and orientations. So when an item (For eg. a Lamp) was added to the cart, and its respective Part (For eg. Base) was picked along with the specified Material (For eg. Cloth or Fabric), a separate product was created with these custom attributes and stored on the backend. Upon completion of payment, the product was activated and the artisans got an order with these details to assemble the handmade item.
Below is a visual example with labels to help understand this better:
And if a customer wanted to submit their selected design ideas to the company, and the client liked how it looked, it would get listed as a separate product! How cool is that?
Get your store ready for eCommerce 3.0
While everyone has their own theories and vision of what Web 3 and the future of digital technology will be, one thing is for certain that it revolves around personalization and the focus will be a unique customer experience that is beyond just the look and feel of the apps and sites.
Even though the reliance and the aggressive adoption of online shopping might have been a necessity during the times of pandemic, it is a shift in consumer patterns and it is a graph that is only going to increase.With this change in behaviour, stores will also be expected to scale their user experience to match it to the comfort and personalization of an in-store and real time shopping experience.
To back this up with data, we can see in this SalesForce article that a massive 66% of consumers now expect brands to understand their individual needs and expectations. That is two out of every three shoppers in your store today.
Another very interesting study by Forrester Research finds that 90% of the leading digital businesses have already started investing in personalization.
This is because a personalized shopping experience offers multiple benefits to a business such as increased customer loyalty, lesser returns and refunds, higher customer satisfaction, and more user-specific data. All of which, in turn results in increased revenue and profitability.So while your eCommerce business might be doing well today, it is important to be ready to match the trends and choices of tomorrow’s tech-savvy customers.
Have a product personalization requirement or a Magento customization query? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to consult our expert ninjas for all your eCommerce needs.