Christoph Strutzenberger: The configurator increases the shopping basket value enormously

INTERVIEW: Biohort, leading manufacturer of garden sheds, relies on 3D technologies from Roomle to offer its customers a unique shopping experience. In this interview with Mr Strutzenberger, e-commerce specialist at Biohort, you can find out more about the benefits of the Rubens 3D configurator, the collaboration with Roomle and the company's plans for the future.

Brita Piovesan, 08.04.2024

Christoph Strutzenberger, Biohort


Mr Strutzenberger, what prompted Biohort to look for a 3D configurator to visualise your sheds?

Biohort was looking for a solution to optimise the process of configuring and visualising its sheds, in particular the flagship product Casa Nova.

Although the 2D visualisation available at the time was helpful, it was not sufficient to adequately represent the customisability and complexity of the product. We realised that we needed more to bring our product closer to our customers and came across Roomle while researching configurator providers. The AR function, which makes it possible to place products directly in the garden, was ultimately the deciding factor. Once the decision in favour of Roomle was made, we immediately implemented 12 products.

One of the main objectives of introducing the 3D configurator was to make our online shop more attractive to customers. To create an internal tool for sales to avoid misconfigurations and to support sales and dealers in the DIY store in several ways.

What was particularly important for Biohort when realising the first configurator?

When selecting a 3D configurator, a few criteria were particularly important to us in order to offer our customers an optimal shopping experience.

  • The high degree of customisability of our products should be represented as realistically as possible in the configurator to give customers the opportunity to design and visualise their desired product according to their individual needs and preferences. The aim is to convey an accurate picture of the product so that customers make better purchasing decisions and customer satisfaction is higher.

  • Correct parts lists are the be-all and end-all: When using a configurator, customers assume that all details, especially the dimensions and configuration options, are absolutely correct. Having the right data, dimensions and accessories in the right place was a key point when selecting our 3D configurator. In this way, we avoid incorrect orders and complaints. Instead, we offer our customers a positive shopping experience while at the same time easing the burden on our customer service.

  • Another criterion for choosing Roomle was certainly its compatibility with all platforms: The configurator needed to be usable on all devices, including desktop, tablet and smartphone and without an app. All responsive for broad applicability and user-friendliness.

To what extent has the introduction of the 3D configurator ultimately had an impact on your sales and your product range? Can you give us some figures?

The introduction of the 3D configurator has had an extremely positive impact and has led to a significant improvement in the conversion rate in the online shop.

Since the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019, customers have spent an average of 25% more time on our website (from 1:30 minutes to 2 minutes) after customising their desired product in the configurator. This leads not only to a higher willingness to buy, but also to an increased shopping basket value for configurator orders.

5.25% of all online orders in 2024 were placed via the configurator, and 13.5% for orders in the four-digit range (over €1000).

Another strong argument for the quality and user-friendliness of our 3D configurator is the fact that we offer two of our highly customisable products - DaVinci (modular planting bed) and a privacy shield - exclusively via the configurator.
This shows the great trust in Roomle's solution and underlines the importance of individualisation for our customers.

The configurator has also helped us to drive forward the individualisation of our products and at the same time reduce the complexity of our product range.

Try it yourself!

Get inspired and try out the configurator right away.

How do your customers and retail partners react to the possibility of configuring products in 3D and viewing them in their own environment using augmented reality?

The reactions from our customers and retail partners have been extremely positive, everyone likes it.
Our customers appreciate the opportunity to configure products in 3D and view them in their own garden. This helps them to get a better idea of the product and make the right decision.

The configurator at the point of sale also offers enormous advantages for our retail partners: They can create the desired configuration together with their customers in real time, avoid errors directly on site and forward the finished configuration to the sales department in no time at all. This saves time, enables an appealing presentation and increases sales.

The fact is, the configurator has been well received from all sides.

Together with you, we have now been able to bring more than 20 configurators live. Looking back over the last few years, how would you describe your collaboration with Roomle?

The collaboration with Roomle has been very good right from the start. I myself have only been involved for three years and have realised several projects. However, my predecessor Arno Pirngruber was the main driving force behind the project.

Roomle has always impressed us with its professionalism and reliability. The developers, especially Alex, are fully committed to ensuring that everything runs perfectly. The close coordination with our designers ensures that the configurator is optimally integrated into our system landscape. The high availability of the configurator and the prompt helpfulness of the service team are very helpful.

I would particularly like to emphasise Roomle's open philosophy in dealing with the code. We have direct access to all code structures so that our developers can make their own customisations and extensions.

We and our customers also really like the permalink function. It allows customers to easily share their customised products via a link.

To summarise, with Roomle we have an absolutely reliable and competent partner at our side who makes a significant contribution to our success.

Customers and retailers can customise and buy all Biohort products completely in 3D. What's next for Biohort?

We have some exciting plans for the future. First and foremost is active dealer integration.

  • The 3D configurator is to be integrated even more closely into our sales strategy and made available to our dealers to make it easier for them to sell. Roomle has offered us an attractive licence model for this, which we intend to launch shortly. There are currently 5-6 dealers in the pipeline and one of our >>Top Partners has already successfully launched.

  • We are also dreaming of a digital model park. In this virtual place, our customers will be able to experience all Biohort products in 3D. The idea is to move away from individual products towards a walk-in park that you can wander through with the help of virtual reality. The use of the Rubens Room Designer, which allows customers to integrate products from other manufacturers into their configuration, also fits in with this.

  • Our aim is to offer our customers an even more intensive shopping experience. To achieve this, we are expanding our range and increasingly focussing on 3D experiences that offer our customers something unique.

How do you generally see the future development and utilisation of 3D & AR technologies in the area of product sales?

I am convinced that 3D & AR technologies will play an even more important role in product sales in the future. Customers today expect an immersive shopping experience. 2D images are no longer enough. That's why we rely on 3D technologies such as the Roomle configurator. This allows us to offer our customers a unique experience and actively shape the future of product sales.

Thank you for the interview!

More about the Biohort use case

Biohort aimed to improve the shopping experience for customers while increasing the effectiveness of sales advice in their distribution network. By implementing the Rubens 3D configurator on their website, Biohort achieved both an attractive shopping experience and more effective sales advice, resulting in measurably increased online sales.

Developer Interview

Insights into the development of Biohort products from our Roomle developer Alex.

Alex, thank you for taking the time for an interview today. As a developer at Roomle, you've been closely involved with Biohort for several years. What are the biggest challenges for you as a content developer when implementing Biohort products like Da Vinci or Casanova?

Alex: The biggest challenge lies in the diversity of Biohort products and the extensive accessories that can be attached both indoors and outdoors to the houses. It's important to strike the right balance and not overwhelm the user with too many options. "Less is more" is the motto here.

Are there any other points you need to particularly focus on when developing Biohort products?

Alex: Yes, certainly. Firstly, there's the material composition. Biohort products are mainly made of metal, making the representation of reflections and depth in the 3D visualization particularly important. Additionally, dimensional accuracy plays a crucial role, especially for the augmented reality function. The virtual models must accurately reflect the size of the real products to provide the user with a realistic image.

What learnings have you gathered from working with Biohort over the years?

Alex: We've learned that it's important to allocate sufficient time for the development and implementation of projects. For example, in the case of Biohort, we start as early as January to go live in December. Furthermore, the use of prototypes has proven to be effective for complex products like DaVinci. This allowed us to initially focus on the user interface and later integrate the detailed 3D data.

What do you particularly appreciate about working with Biohort?

Alex: Biohort is a client that demonstrates what good cooperation over the years can look like. Both sides have learned that patience and time are important factors for success. Particularly noteworthy is the open and direct communication with Biohort. The close contact with our contact person, Mr. Strutzenberger, enables quick and efficient error correction and problem solving.

Biohort is characterized by a high level of initiative and a strong interest in scripting. How does that affect your work?

Alex: Biohort's understanding of the complexity of development processes makes the collaboration very pleasant. Biohort appreciates our assistance with problems and at the same time strives to find its own solutions.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Alex: Yes, I would like to highlight Biohort as an exemplary client from whom other clients can learn. The detailed Jira tickets and product descriptions greatly facilitate our work. In summary, the collaboration with Biohort has been very educational and successful for both us and Biohort. We look forward to further collaboration and the implementation of new innovative projects.

Thank you for the insights, Alex!