Oracle ATG

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Product Selectors

  • 1.  Product Selectors

    Posted 02-21-2018 10:33
    Hello Everyone, I am exploring options for a product configurator for some of our categories (e.g. foundation makeup). Have any of you built a product configurator with Endeca XM? Or 3rd party software? What were your experiences and what are pros/cons of the technology option you chose?

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    Jesse Amerson
    Ulta Beauty
    Bolingbrook IL
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  • 2.  RE: Product Selectors

    Posted 02-22-2018 11:43
    Hi Jesse,
    McFadyen Digital has used two approaches to product configurator requirements.
    1. Use a commercial tool like Oracle CPQ cloud.  We're working on two projects now with this approach - one OC and the other OCC.
    2. Develop custom code in Oracle Commerce (we did it in ATG instead of Endeca).

    Depending on the complexity of your requirements, the first approach is probably the quickest and easiest to support long-term.  However you do have to purchase a license of Oracle CPQ Cloud.  It can be integrated using Oracle Integration Cloud Services (ICS) as a middleware.

    Let me know if you'd like to discuss further.  tmcfadyen@mcfadyen.com.

    Cheers, -Tom

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    Thomas McFadyen
    President & CEO
    McFadyen Digital
    Vienna VA
    Offices in the US, Brazil, & India
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  • 3.  RE: Product Selectors

    Posted 02-22-2018 11:44
    Hi Jesse,

    By way of introduction I led your original launch when I was with ATG.  Take a look at FPX, it's a cloud based configuration solution.  If you are looking for more of a product recommendations engine, we have an IBM Watson AI interface that is used on sites like The North Face.

    Doug

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    Doug Gaffney
    IBM
    Chicago IL
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  • 4.  RE: Product Selectors

    Posted 02-22-2018 12:41
    Jesse,

    Product configurator can be done in Oracle Commerce itself. We have done product configurator for customizable products that can be configured by the customer before buying it. I am assuming you're looking for similar capability. Some of the key features we had to consider were:

    1. Allow merchandising team to pick products that can play in a configuration
    2. Add each configuration as a sku that can be purchased and priced
    3. Some configurations are only applicable to certain products
    4. Provide promotions on some individual custom configurations - aka when customizing a Nike shoe, you may want to allow certain designs free
    5. Provide price for a complete configuration that can be the sum of all the prices (including any promotions) used in configuration
    6. Provide a single price for pre-determined configuration with minimal changes by the customer
    7. An API to allow for configurator UX to be built on any tech for any device ( app, kiosk, desktop etc) - freeing up configurator UX technology
    There are different patterns for building a configurator and the platform itself can be used effectively to deliver these features. We have built configurators outside the platform as well as utilizing the platform. Customizing a shoe with personal stickers, customizing sports jerseys, customizing gift products with specific design, color and text, customizing a phone, plan and accessory etc are some of the examples.

    If you'd like to use XM to manage the configurator, it is all a matter of building different configurator cartridges that can be used for different product types. In this scenario, the foundation makeup configurator could be different UX / features than the configurator used for another product type.

    Pros of doing it in Oracle commerce is that you get the flexibility offered by the platform, especially when it comes to pricing and promotions. It is all integrated so you'll spend less time building it. I would advise you to build the API and allow for configuration UX to be done outside with latest front end technologies. When we originally built the configurators, it was using flash and now with HTML5 / JS you can do almost everything flash offered. Cons of building it in Oracle commerce is based on your strategy on platform and commitment to it. If you'd rather build it outside as a service, you have to consider all the complicated rules and pricing that needs to be built ground up. It may not be a bad thing. I think calendars.com chose that approach. To me, it is just an organization choice and not an architectural one.

    Hope this helps.

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    Jags Krishnamurthy
    Object Edge
    Walnut Creek CA
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