Adding a shed design and quote tool (“shed configurator”) to your website will substantially improve your customers’ shopping experience and increase your team’s efficiency. Obviously, you want your shed configurator to display most of your shed styles and accessories but there are other critical features to evaluate before you decide on a shed configurator provider. Below we compiled the top five critical considerations when evaluating shed configurator providers.
For your evaluations, ask the shed configurator vendor to provide you with links to one or more live versions of their configurator on actual customers’ websites. This ensures you know how the shed configurators perform in real life.
Remember to evaluate the shed configurator from your customers’ point-of-view. They are not as familiar with shed design and could be more easily confused if the shed configurator is disorganized.
Also, try the shed configurators on several internet browsers and devices. For browsers, we recommend trying a couple of the most popular browsers. Currently, the top three browsers are Chrome, Edge (formerly Internet Explorer), and Firefox. Since more than 50% of online shoppers are shopping using smartphones and tablets (and that percentage is growing fast) be sure to test the shed configurators on a mobile device as well. Ideally, you would test both an Apple and an Android phone or tablet.
As you are evaluating, consider the following critical elements:
- User Friendliness – Your shed configurator should be simple and intuitive for your customers to use. The software should guide your customers through the design steps. Be sure to evaluate a variety of options including adjusting the door and window placement. We recommend asking a non-tech savvy friend or family member to compare the design experience of each software you are evaluating. They should be able to design a shed with little or no instructions.
- Graphics Quality –The shed graphics should show your customers how beautiful the sheds will look in their backyards. The graphics should be detailed enough to allow your customers to see the difference in materials, like wood, vinyl, and metal. The design of the configurator should highlight your sheds, without a distracting background or busy user interface.
- Load Time and Responsiveness – The amount of time it takes for your shed configurator to load is critical. If the load time is too long, your customers will give up and shop elsewhere. The shed configurator should also respond quickly as your customers make their design selections.
- Streamlined Process – The shed configurator should not introduce extraneous steps that slow down the process for your customers. For example, the shed configurator should not require customers to install or enable any software. Also, customers should be able to save their designs with just the push of a button and entering minimal contact information. Unnecessary steps confuse and frustrate customers and they might give up trying to use the configurator if the process is too clumsy or requires them to enter too much information.
- Efficient Sales Workflow – In addition to offering a fantastic user experience, your shed configurator should increase your team’s efficiency and effectiveness. When your customers save their shed designs, your sales team should automatically be notified with the customers’ contact information and shed design. Ideally, the configurator will also integrate with a customer relationship management system (“CRM”) that allows you to track your customer leads through the sales, billing, and installation process. Since you can’t evaluate this element yourself, you should ask the vendor to demonstrate how the shed configurator will streamline your workflow.
IdeaRoom has been creating and hosting shed configurators for some of the top national brands for years. Use the form below to schedule a demo with one of our shed configurator experts to learn more. You can also evaluate one of our award-winning shed configurators in action on the Studio Shed website.