• Martina

How to sell custom products on Shopify.

Updated: Jan 28, 2020

Are you curious about whether it’s worth the trouble to try to sell custom products online? One of the pleasures of selling online is that you can easily offer customizable, personalized items. Customers love to purchase something special by choosing from colors, sizes, engraving options, printing options, you name it! A customizable product can be very appealing.

And the stats speak for themselves:

  • 59% of shoppers are convinced that retailers who offer product personalization are more likely to provide them with the exact version of the desired products,

  • 53% believe that online stores with product personalization are more customer-oriented, supportive and provide better services,  

  • 56% of customers usually come back to a website that recommends products,

  • and 45% are more likely to finalize a purchase on such a website.  

Custom products allow customers to choose from available options, and add their own unique touches. Items can be personalized by adding custom text, names, dates, even special graphics or photos.

Being one of the most flexible eCommerce platforms, Shopify lets merchants create customizable offerings by adding product options with multiple variants. But before starting to add products you need to take into consideration how are you planning to sell your custom goods.

  • What types of customizable products will you sell?

  • Will the customizations vary from item to item, so that you’d need more than one product page template?

  • What types of options will you offer customers?

  • How will you display the options? Can people select more than one of any choice?

  • How will you display the personalization?

  • How will you manage your inventory?

It’s important to remember that the more options you offer to your customers, the more difficult it can be for them to choose what they want. We often recommend limiting the number of available options, and making those options as easy to understand as possible.

Once you've figured this out, the process of adding product options and their variant is pretty easy and doesn't require advanced knowledge of the platform.

To create a new product with options, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to ‘Products’ and hit the ‘Add New Product’ button,

  2. From there, (after you fill out all the request fields) scroll down to the ‘Variants’ tab,

  3. Here, you can define the option’s name and enter its values (comma separated),

  4. To add more options, click the ‘Another option button’

  5. Also, next to each option, you can identify its unique SKU and barcode,

  6. When done, click ‘Save’.  

Keep in mind Shopify limits the amount of options to 3 and around 100 variants. So if you'd like to add several options and custom text fields (for example for adding monograms), then you should hit the Shopify App Store, where you can find a dozen solutions that extend this default platform’s functionality.

So, adding custom options to your product is done. Now the challenge is how to showcase all this options in a way that doesn't confuse your customer or compromise your shops design. Finding the right way to preview your products is key to selling personalized gifts.

If you are dealing with little amount of personalization options, you can always rely on good product pictures that reflect what your client chose. This works very good if you allow changes in color, material or patterns, and it can be easily achieved with the help of some product visualization tools from the App Store.

However when your personalization gets more personal you know it's time to rely on a custom product designer. This is most useful when you want customers to add that unique personal touch to your products, such as a quote, name, date, monogram or even their own picture.

This type of software is great when looking for a product designer and previewer tool that takes into consideration your own designs. This means you can upload your own original design and let customers personalize on top of that, making their own unique products. This way you can guarantee a high quality design and print, while making unique original designs available that represent your brand.

Take the example of Customily. It integrates with Shopify with very simple steps, and it doesn't compromise your customers the shopping process at all. This means it doesn't add an extra step (the infamous personalize button) before adding to cart. Instead it adds a dynamic preview where your regular product photograph used to be, removing shopping friction and customers uncertainty.

With it’s web 2 print tools, clients can personalize online while seeing a photo-realistic dynamic preview, and you can then get the high quality files ready for printing after each purchase. Your orders will appear as usual on your Shopify Admin panel, only this time there will also be a link to download the ready to print file. There is no more need to manually process orders, since Customily will provides your clients designs ready for production in files like EPS, Ai, PDF, PNG, DXF for printing or engraving.

And hey, you'll be feeding two birds from one hand, since you'll be a step ahead on setting up your production process, and make your personalization process efficient. It's very important to define a strategy to process every order to deliver the personalized products in time and form (imagine a customer receiving their name typed wrong!). This means, have an efficient way to transform customers preferences into actual personalized products.

But let's just leave that for another post ;)

Have you tried to personalize products in your Shopify store? Feel free to share your experience in the comments.


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