9 ways user experiences are enhanced by 3D parts catalogues

After sales Customer experience and loyalty Resources for C-suites

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The success of big tech companies is often attributed to their relentless focus on the user experience. This is evident in the intuitive nature of every Apple device and every Amazon purchase. With Amazon, ‘customer obsession rather than competitor focus’ is a core tenet of its guiding principle.

The reward for this obsession has been tremendous brand loyalty – which has helped to generate unprecedented levels of customer retention. In the case of Amazon, research shows almost 9 in 10 of its customers now ‘only consider Amazon’ when making a retail purchase.

To achieve similar levels of customer retention, manufacturers also need this focus on the user experience. But while huge investment often goes into attracting customers for the initial sale, the same level of attention doesn’t always continue for the lifetime product – and extend into the after sales market.

Technology is changing this, however. The adoption of online digital platforms is transforming the after sales experience, helping to increase the lifetime value of the customer – no more so than through 3D parts catalogues.

These platforms can legitimately be described as revolutionary. They are completely changing the landscape by consigning the traditional practice of supplying PDFs and printed product documents to the history books. These documents are designed to facilitate manual ordering processes that are time consuming and often push customers to third party resellers. The digital revolution is putting power back into the hands of the OEM, however.

Here are 9 ways in which these 3D digital platforms, like 3D parts catalogues, are enhancing the user experience:

Ease of use

1. Easy to identify
With a 3D parts catalogue, in contrast to 2D documentation, manufacturers can provide customers with a superior visual aid that dramatically reduces the time it takes a customer to find and identify the parts they need. In practice, they are being given a virtual twin of the product that can be disassembled. They can pull products apart, isolate components and access all the information they need about each specific part.

2. Easy to buy
Unlike a printed catalogue, digital parts catalogues plug into e-commerce systems – which makes buying parts much easier. They don’t need to email or call anyone – or wait for a response. They don’t need to go on any other website. One click is all it takes.

3. Easy to access
Customers no longer need to search through cupboards and drawers to find dusty old product catalogues. They can now locate 3D parts catalogues online – available any time, on any device. Partful can also be translated automatically into 71 languages making it accessible to almost anyone, wherever they are in the world.


Brand experience

4. Visually impressive
Compared to the 2D imagery available on a PDF, the visual experience provided by a 3D platform is far more impressive, and far more enjoyable for users to navigate. This higher quality will instantly endear a brand to customers – especially if they are being asked to put up with inferior offerings by competitor brands.

5. Always up to date
A major issue with traditional printed catalogues is that the information provided can become outdated very quickly – which can cause confusion and frustration for customers. But with 3D digital platforms, manufacturers can update their data in an instant – ensuring users are always looking at the latest information.

6. Environmental concerns
As there is no longer any need to print and distribute printed materials, 3D catalogues are vastly reducing the consumption of resources. This is great news for consumers who favour ethical manufacturers or B2B buyers looking to boost their ESG credentials.


7. Less administration
Easy identification of parts and one click purchasing is simpler for the buyer and reduces the administration that customers are expected to contend with. When users can easily identify the right part, there is no need for any email back and forth to check details. Not having to fill out order forms or hold lengthy conversations with sales advisors to complete a purchase is also far less time consuming.

8. Fewer errors
Being able to confidently identify parts doesn’t just reduce the administration involved, it also dramatically reduces the number of ordering errors– which are often a huge source of frustration for customers. Mistakes are so common in some industries that they contribute 11% of business costs on average.

9. More informed advisors
A major advantage of 3D digital platforms is that they can capture the ordering data needed to identify the common issues that customers are experiencing. This information can then be fed to customer services teams so advisors will be well-informed on the likely causes of problems that are leading to product downtime – putting them in a better position to help most customers.

If you would like more information on how 3D parts catalogues can improve your customers’ experience, book a demo with us to see it in action.