Title: Principles for efficient and effective sales configuration design

Authors: Fabrizio Salvador, Cipriano Forza

Addresses: Department of Operations and Technology Management, Instituto de Empresa Business School, Maria de Molina, 12-5, 28006 Madrid, Spain. ' Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Vignolese, 9005/b, 41100 Modena, Italy

Abstract: When customers are offered multiple product or service options, they confront an opportunity as well as a challenge. More options, in fact, mean higher changes to find exactly what customers need, but at the same time, imply that more effort has to be put into the product selection process. Such effort can become such a burden that customers ultimately end up preferring more standardised items. Sales configurators offer an opportunity to help the customer reduce the complexity of the product selection process. Yet, to turn this opportunity into a reality, it is fundamental to identify what principles could be followed to effectively design such sales configurators and, ultimately, part of the customer-company sales interaction process. The present paper formalises the underlying principles through which a firm|s product assortment can be efficiently and effectively presented to the customer.

Keywords: e-commerce; product variety; product configuration; customisation; mass customisation; sales configurators.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2007.012816

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2007 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.114 - 127

Available online: 16 Mar 2007

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