Mass Customization, the next step in e-Commerce

Mass customization is a process that tailors products to an individual level, which allows for personalization and eliminates large inventory costs.

While the COVID pandemic undoubtedly shook up the way business is conducted, one of the largest impacts was the way 2020 saw a global acceleration in the adoption of digital trends. Among these, eCommerce was the one with the highest adoption rate. According to a recent February 2021 research, 84% expect their digital brands to have a seamless experience between physical and online.

For a modern retail brand, eCommerce is no longer an option. However, the rising supply of online shopping options has created an ever more competitive landscape in the eCommerce space. Tech giants like Amazon have created a high bar when it comes to customer satisfaction in the digital space. This, in turn, causes market trends to advance and evolve… and fast.

While the last decade saw the popularization of eCommerce as a concept, the next decade will shift the expectations of what a functional digital strategy and supply chain looks like to comply with the expectations of the modern consumer.

This brings us to the next big question on everyone’s mind, what’s next for e.commerce? What are the next trends and practices that will put early adopters ahead of the competition?

 

The answer: Mass Customization.

How can you implement Mass Customization?
 

1) Start With A List
Create a list of all potential customization options that fit into the shape of your specific needs. This will be important later on when it comes time for budgeting purposes as well as a presentation during the implementation phase with customers. This should be manageable, but keep in mind some items may not make the final cut.

2) Customizable Options
Make an inventory of the customization options you identified in step 1 and use that information to create a spreadsheet with a checklist of all of the options. This is where it comes in handy to have an overview of all the possible customization options available. You can use different colors, fonts, and other design elements for each option.

3) Listen To Your Customers
Brainstorm with potential customers on what they would prefer to see brought to life by your e-commerce business through a custom design. Invite them to provide you with their thoughts or ask them to draw a picture of their ideal look. This will enable you to create a design that includes your options and their suggestions. Win-win for Both!

4) Make Budgeting Easy
Once the design is finalized, work on the budgeting procedures. You will need to decide how much money you want to allocate for each option, whether there are any additional costs beyond the estimates in step 2, and if it is feasible for you to try out all those ideas at once.

5) Great UI and UX
Finally, you can create a user-friendly interface to add to your e-commerce website for your customers to understand their options and find the right parameters that fits them. A good way to do this is by adopting a parametric 3D Configurator approach. These are truly customizable 3D models of your product that can be shaped and molded by any parameter you want them to (scale, color, material…).

Mass Customization is a rising trend that is gaining popularity and becoming more accessible through the years. This practice is already allowing companies from all shapes and sizes to cut down on costs while increasing customer satisfaction and creating brand diversification. As e-commerce becomes the new norm of the retail world, tailoring experiences to the individual will no undoubtedly become the next step.

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