Product Configurator: The Key to Scalable Customization

People want customized experiences and products. According to Segment, on average, 71% of consumers express some level of frustration when their shopping experience is impersonal. Is mass customization possible, or are customers asking for the impossible? Product configurators are helping companies from consumer goods retailers to industrial manufacturers create personalized experiences at scale.

An infographic detailing how a product configurator can enable scalable customization.

Share the Product Configurator infographic On Your Site

What is a Product Configurator?

A product configurator is an online product “menu” that enables website visitors to customize the products they buy. 

Think of it like a build-your-own-burger menu. There’s a set of parameters that define what is possible; the number of patties, pickles, bacon, cheese, lettuce, and so on. The list of available ingredients standardizes a scalable framework for hundreds of thousands of possible unique combinations. Burger King® boldly claims there are 221,184 ways to mix and match ingredients for the WHOPPER® sandwich.

There are limitations to an a-la-carte burger. You wouldn’t get a burger with five buns, 375 pickles, and 25lbs of barbeque sauce. That’s not a burger. Even though there are many unique combinations, there are still parameters required for the restaurant kitchen to deliver an actual burger to the table.

Product configurators turn static product pages into a personalized customer experience. Nike By You is an excellent example of a simple product configurator that turns a commodity into a personalized online buying experience. Car companies often offer more advanced rule-based configurators that allow customization beyond the size and color of a product.

The menu options are the specific parameters of the product. The menu items are typically things like product type, color, size, etc. These rules determine which combination of features work together to ensure item customization is possible.

eCATALOGsolutions 3D CAD Models and digital product catalogs

Learn how product configurators increase leads for industrial marketers.

What type of product configurator do I need?


The three main types of product configurators are:

      • Simple Product Configurators
      • Rule-Based Product Configurators
      • CPQ Product Configurators


Simple product configurators are limited to features such as overall product type or style, color, size, and similar simple options. These enable a degree of customization but are guiding a user to one of a few hundred options at most. A simple product configurator is an ideal option for consumer products that integrate with an eCommerce platform.

Rule-based configurators enable far more options and variabilities. This type of configurator can create unique combinations of variables. The preset rules ensure the product is manufacturable, but the particular iteration may be new. Rule-based configurators are capable of infinite possible variations. They are ideal for part or component manufacturers, architectural manufacturers, and electronic component manufacturers but are also a fit for complex assembly configurations.

CPQ product configurators are for complex products that require dynamic inputs like current market pricing on materials used in the product. Salespeople typically use CPQ configurators to get accurate pricing to customers promptly. They are powerful and are worth the cost if you require the complexity, but they are expensive and time-intensive to implement.

A matrix showing three types of configurators

eCATALOGsolutions is Ideal for Industrial Manufacturers

eCATALOGsolutions is the perfect fit for industrial manufacturers, architectural manufacturers, and electronic component manufacturers. Website visitors can configure industrial components, parts, or assemblies to their exact specifications, even if there are millions or trillions of possible combinations.


Why is eCATALOGsolutions ideal for industrial marketers?

      • 3D previews enable users to see a 360 degree visual of the configured part.
      • Users can download the part as a 3D PDF or in 150+ native and neutral CAD formats.
      • Capture qualified sales leads when engineers or architects download parts.
      • Unique manufacturer part numbers are available in the downloaded models.
      • The downloads are form, fit, and function models to protect intellectual property.
      • Master files enable dynamic updates to entire product lines instantly.
      • Can be connected to eCommerce solutions to show pricing.


eCATALOGsolutions can power 3D previews for CPQ configurators.

Here’s an example of a rule-based configurator by eCATALOGsolutions:

Ideal eCATALOGsolutions Applications

Get the Free eBook

See how the world's top manufacturers sell more products. Learn how you can provide your customers with an exceptional digital customer experience.