Make product personalization work for your eCommerce.
Updated: Jan 28, 2020
Personalization is present in every facet of the online and retail world. ECommerce has recently been coined “meCommerce” due to the fact that so much of the online retail community depends on big data to provide that ultimately customized shopping experience for each of their unique customers.
If we look at product personalization specifically, Deloitte research found that at least 1-in-3 customers want the ability to personalize their products, and this number is on the rise with Millennials coming into their prime purchasing years.
ECommerce owners are well aware of the fact that personalization is a perfect way to drive substantial business growth. But many businesses are taken aback by assuming that adding product personalization to their site requires heavy investments and setups.
So, how can eCommerce stores take advantage of product personalization without losing their minds and pockets in the process?
Let’s see what stores should take into consideration to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity that personalized products mean.
Make personalization efficient.
When offering personalized products, eCommerce stores enable customers to design their own products by choosing different color combinations, designs, styles, and even adding their own text and pictures. This might sound easy when described. But the fact is that implementing the design and getting the product ready can be a challenging situation if it’s not tackled efficiently. In order to make the personalization process smooth, eCommerce owners should do the following:
Create the front end of the store in such way that it becomes easy for customers to personalize the different products available. This can be done by using any of the most popular eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, etc. or with a custom developed site, and adding different personalization fields to the products.
Add a preview tool to the product picture, so customers can know exactly what their personalization will look like in real life. This can be done by working a product personalization software that can generate dynamic previews while customers input their preferences.
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. Work with a product personalization software that offers web 2 production or web 2 print services, in order to have the personalization ready to apply on your products directly from the customers input. This will translate into reducing manual error, reducing delivery times, and saving on manufacturing fees.
Now that we mentioned manufacturing, another important aspect needs to be considered. Will you manufacture in-house or outsource with third party manufacturers? This is a very important question to ask, as you will have to work with different locations and teams if you wish to customize out of your facilities. Having a structured process is key to avoiding delays, and misunderstandings. Again, working with product personalization tools that export files directly will make the outsourced production (and the in-house as well) more efficient and cheaper by removing the need of manually interpreting the orders.
How much is enough personalization
There is no need to scare your customers with a blank page. Many think that personalization means giving your customers complete freedom as on what to design, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The fact is that facing your customers with an entire blank product will often cause confusion and product abandonment, or unpleasant (not to say ugly) results. The personalization experience should be fun, but should also guarantee a good quality product by the end of the process.
Depending on the products, each eCommerce should decide how much customization to offer. Predefined templates where customers can make certain changes and add their personal touches, are the best solution for eCommerces that want to offer personalized products but still remain true to their brands designs and identity. The best way to do this? Add a simple product configurator to your store. Whatever your choice is, make sure that the designing process isn’t complicated and full of different options, as this might overwhelm the shoppers and they would think twice before visiting your store again.
Fulfill demands in real time
Demand and supply have always been the most important elements for any business related to customer goods. When it comes to personalization, it gets even more crucial to take care of them. The profitability of your business will depend on how you deal with these elements. You need to decide how will you manage your inventory, meaning how many products will you mass produce according to default specifications and how many will you keep for personalization.
Also, product customization is one of the best tools to understand what your customers want. If you keep track of this real-time information, you will be able to keep yourself updated about ongoing market trends, expectations, and the evolution of your customers needs.
Be ready for success
It is high time for the eCommerce business owners to understand that personalization is the future. Customers not only decide what the product should look like but also how and when it should be delivered. So, it’s not only your online presence that matters, you must also get your supply chain organization in place if you want to follow the trend. Also, if you want to offer your customers with exclusive bespoke products, you must invest into a personalization tool or software that helps them create what they want, and make sure that it works according to your business requirements and helps your customers design what they love.
Now that you know what the fuss is all about, what are you waiting for? It’s time to dive into the thriving market of product personalization now! If you are ready to set up your own eCommerce website and want to sell customizable items online but are still not quite sure how to make it work, you can always talk to us!