Future of retail – customization

 4 minute read

Customers are willing to
share information

SAS report shows that customers encourage businesses to be more individual-oriented. 94% of customers are willing to provide their name and email information, 74% their lifestyle and hobbies. They are ready to share their personal information in exchange for personalized offerings and communications. In return, customers expect business to appreciate their time and offer personalized services as well as advertisement to suit their needs.

Individualized customization
is expected

Starbucks has improved its service by enabling to customize the coffee and add any extra fillings on clients’ choice. In order to measure the popularity of different ingredients before investing in ingredient changes, Starbucks launched the social site Frappuccino.com where users have possibility to build their own virtual drink. Moreover, Starbucks managed to use customization as a promotion campaign in social networks. Customers feel pleased when drink is prepared specially for them and has their name written on the cup. Indeed, wrongly spelled name on the drink is where it comes special. Bartender has a task to randomly respell the name in order to trigger clients’ response and share the picture of odd name version to social network. This has been a successful move, which evolved into a trend in social media and cost literally nothing for Starbucks.

Offered by leaders on
mass market

When it comes to the fashion industry, big brands like Timberland, Converse, Nike and New Balance launched new customization services in order to allow their customers to express their individuality. Customers have the possibility to design their shoes online, choose the colours, prints and materials up to their own vision. The delivery time of personally designed sneakers is from 3 to 5 weeks. Moreover, Reebok was the first to launch shoe customization mobile application. Inside Mobile and AgencyMobile worked on its creation. And now you can a design a pair of shoes just with the mobile phone whenever you have time. “The strategy was to develop a mobile service that embodied the theories of long-tail marketing – mass individualization – by delivering an application that was about people and not technology or marketing,” said Dusan Hamlin, managing director of Inside Mobile.

Mass customization coupled with
on-demand production is
the future of retail

Award-winning Australian online retail brand Shoes of Prey also offers shoppers to design their own shoes online. When it comes to designing, there is an opportunity to choose not only from 12 essential shoe shapes and over 170 fabrics, but also adapt the shoe for wide, narrow and odd sized feet, even to make one shoe bigger than the other. All designs are handmade within 4 weeks and shipped worldwide. Moreover, the company offers 365 days of full refund or free remake opportunity in case the shoe doesn’t feel right. The concept turned out to be extremely successful and shows very strong growth each year since launch in 2009. There is not much left to say looking at the numbers as the business broke even at two months and hit multi-million dollar revenue in under two years. 100 millions minutes have been spent designing millions of shoes on the site. Last year site had 5 millions unique viewers.

Insight box

The need to understand the clients is essential. As well as understanding that each of them is different with individual characters, needs and tastes. Nowadays, in the era of information and high technology, customization gets a new powerful turn on the same level as personalization. Service evolves from local to a global range. Business is to offer personalized adjustments for separate needs of each individual. And this trend spreads to every industry and to all levels of involvement.

#customer-orientation #customisation #massmarket #personalisation #retail
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