If you think back to the last time you made an advised purchase, a product that requires some thinking through before you acquire it, how many demands did you have? You probably had a preferred color, shape, and functionalities in mind. If not more requirements the product had to live up to. What if you could custom make the product according to your demands? Make it your own design. And, it would be delivered to your doorstep a few days later. We are all aware of customer satisfaction due to product customization, but what else is in it for consumer-oriented businesses?
A fast-growing market hyper-trend
Consumers are increasingly comfortable and empowered online. They can express what they want, when, and where they want it. A Deloitte consumer review (linked) showed that 50% of consumers desired personalized products for some product categories. This leads to businesses no longer distinguishing themselves only with high quality or pricing. Individualized products based on digital manufacturing are one solution that makes you stand out from the competition.
More consumers are discovering the possibilities of product personalization. Previously, this meant just being able to change the color of the item. The current state of the art of personalization includes advanced features such as geometry adaption and customization based on the customer’s biometric data—for example, a custom-made 3D printed orthotic or helmet from the data of a 3D scan.
Customization is a fast-growing market hyper-trend fueled by the demand for advanced individualization. Here are some of the benefits of offering customization and making the switch to a digital manufacturing flow.
1 Capture the value of advanced customization
In the same Deloitte consumer review (linked) came forward that the majority of consumers are willing to pay more for a custom product. A customer sees the value in a product that is custom-made according to their wishes and needs. This means that offering customization could heighten the customer experience and increase engagement, revenue, and margins. Some may see customization as a large investment and an intricate process. But it is not. The value of customization for a business goes beyond pleasing the customer; it is a win-win for everybody.
2 Supply chain optimization
Customization introduces a digital production flow into your business model. From configurator to manufacturing, the supply chain is connected by advanced software technology. Because the order file is automatically created and sent to production when an order is made, the digital flow optimizes efficiency. The process is made simple and fast, which results in a shorter lead time.
Additionally, a digital flow is more scalable. It allows any company to scale up or down if necessary. Scaling is more difficult with manual labor spread over different locations, but customization based on a digital manufacturing process makes it possible. Digitalizing the production flow also prevents errors that can often occur in the chain of a traditional system.
Finally, another advantage when rethinking logistics and production is that product customization is enabled at a lower cost. This makes the process more cost-effective and the product more affordable for the customer. Providing the opportunity to expand customer base and sales.
3 Better products through unique features
The online platform offers a digital user experience where customers can design their own personalized products. The configurator can provide aesthetic alterations such as color, shape, or texture. However, it can also offer the possibility of loading a 3D scan into the platform and shape the product accordingly. Because the customized product is based on the biometric data of a customer (a 3D scan of a hand, foot, arm, …), it will provide more comfort. The final product will adhere closely to customers’ wishes and needs and therefore maximize their satisfaction.
4 Sustainability in product DNA
Another trend that keeps on growing in importance is sustainable purchasing, not only for companies but also for consumers. When offering made-to-order customizable products, you are implementing a sustainable production process. There is less waste due to the production based on already made purchases.
As a result of consumers finding this increasingly important when searching for a product, you will experience the advantage of thinking ahead and being sustainable. Customers will value the brand more and feel better about their purchase.
5 The competitive advantage of customization
The marketplace is becoming more and more competitive. Everyone has an online presence, and the product choices are endless. On the other hand, there are still innovative ways to stand out from your competition.
Because of the developments in technologies, companies can differentiate themselves by offering their customers customized products. People tend to notice things that are different; therefore, a custom product unlike any other attracts attention. Besides, by offering product customization, you are increasing demand and customer loyalty.
6 The digital era
For most consumers, the digital path is the main channel to discover new products. The current climate sped up the transition from shopping at a physical store to online buying even more. The result: the number of consumers shopping online being at an all-time high.
As consumer-oriented businesses must adapt to the developing customer behavior, offering a customizable product via an online platform is a must-have solution. The customer can change the product features via their own digital device and order them directly. They can design what they want, when, and where they want it and buy it with a click.
7 Customer loyalty
Thanks to all the previously mentioned advantages of offering customization, customers will be satisfied with their purchase. They find value in the unique experience of personalization and the exclusivity and functionality of a custom product. It fits their needs precisely. And, when a customer is happy, they will become a loyal customer. Customer retention is vital for any business and more profitable than acquisition. To conclude, adding custom products to your product lines is a path worth considering.
A final thought
Next time you are looking to purchase a product and have a few requirements, we suggest you look for a customizable product. Choose your own design and create the result you had in mind, ensuring complete purchase satisfaction.
The same goes for businesses looking to add value to their product offer; we suggest exploring customization because of the reasons above (and more). Make the switch to a digital manufacturing flow and offer a unique personalized customer experience. As we say at Twikit, let’s make everything personal.