The Case for Custom: Fluid’s NY Customization Workshop
“There is no more personal retail experience than a bespoke product,” said Vanessa Rumbold, Chief Client Development Officer at Fluid. “In a world where Amazon has won on price and selection, custom experiences are the future of brand differentiation and personalization.”
Trends and Insights: The State of Customization
One of the key points of the workshop is the need for brands to take an approach to customization that focuses on personalization, or the creation of an intimate customer experience that truly makes the customer feel like they are unique, creative, and valued. This is not always easy in a marketplace where consumers have become jaded by “impersonal personalization” such as recommendation engines that simply say things like “you might like.” In fact, a study by GfK research found that 69% of consumers find the way that some companies use personal information is “creepy.”
Far more effective are personalization experiences that go beyond simple recommendations to create actual product offerings that are uniquely tailored to an individual’s tastes. Companies that do so stand to create enormous added value from their customers, many of whom are willing to pay 40-50% premiums for customized products.
“One way we view customizable products is as a way to get customers to pay full price,” said Jeremy Levine, Vice President of Ecommerce at Michael Kors. “The key driver for us is product differentiation. With so many of our customers turning to our distributors for pricing bargains, custom brings that business back in house, and gives us something unique to offer that commands a premium.”
The past year has witnessed a proliferation of new product offerings that are tailored to meet an individual’s unique specifications. And where clothing and accessories have been classic use cases for customized products, many other industries are jumping on the custom product bandwagon. The 2016 Dodge Viper will offer 50 million unique color configurations, while Daihatsu has partnered with 3D printing company Stratasys to offer custom body panels that ensure that each of their Copen Roadsters is unique.
“In the past several years, customizable products have gone from being mainly a marketing feature to being the cornerstone of entire business models,” said Jud Barr, Principal at JTB Consulting. “We’ve seen businesses driving well north of $100M a year in revenue from custom, and over 60% of Nike’s dot com business is custom. And more and more, customers are expecting to be able to customize products when they come to your site.”