Published on July 15th, 2019 | by Yahong Zhang0
Will Online Customization Ever Rule E-Commerce?
In a world where logic is combining with technology to form magic, it is not impossible to think of a technology that allows you to shop with comforts of home and benefits of a market. In fact, it has been some time since this technology has been introduced. Yes, you can now simply sit at home and purchase as if you are shopping in a mall.
Source: Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash
As a matter of fact, it is even better. Well, because this technology allows you to customize the own product according to your choice and will. This was once beyond the wildest imagination, but now, it has become a reality. Nowadays consumers can easily sit at home and personalize a product by direct connection with the retailers, and they do not have to bother about the material or color and other elements.
With this new technology, customers can be fully satisfied regarding multiple attributesdue to the fact that this tool allows them to select and design themselves. This technology is called online customization. It is becoming increasingly common in e-commerce these days.
So, how does this tool work?
Well, it’s simple. The tool provides a linkage channel between the consumers and the retailers. It’s not much different from the old-fashioned way where the vendors used to trade the product to the customer directly.
There are only two differences now. One, you are doing it from your house now instead of any crowded markets. And two, you have the option of deciding on the product of your own taste. Just as you feel to keep it, this is helpful to both the customers as well as the traders. After all, customers finally get what they want without getting in turmoil. Because in such hustle, you can never make good choices. There will always be some distortion. Also, with so many options, the consumers are left confused and thinking.
While customization allows users to make choices of their own, not selecting from a variety of options, on the other hand, a retailer is also profited with it as they receive more customers, and the customer/retailer pair can create new ideas that can be used for future sale or concepts.
Source: Screenshot from Schmidt website
The benefits of it?
Online customization is the perfect solution to improve the online shopping experience for customers. That is because the buyers look for a source where they can shop with direct customer engagement with the retailers and they do not have to get in the hustle of people.
So online customized shopping is an efficient method for such people. Personalization leads the customer to think about the latest trends, and for the sellers, provides a completely new perspective of a certain product according to the trend. Hence, the benefits it provides are countless.
Recently, an online marketplace of designers, Zazzle, began to run made-to-order customizable products. The conversion rates seemed to double after it. The products became a hit. The massive services it provides are tremendous.
People look for luxury goods, and this tool is the key to luxury service. Sophisticated and well-accomplished marketers in top tier luxury business go beyond levels to work up and match the luxury level required by their customers. Online customization and personalization deliver channel for such customer service that associates them together to form a new and effective product and increase profit both-ways.
Now that the sales are much better after online customization is introduced into the shopping world, larger brands are using it too.
A well-known company used it to increase their sales and found out that out of about 1000 customers, 25-30% of them were eager to use customization of products, while only 10% had tried it at the time already.
How do we make it better?
But, even after all the success, the world requires development along the way. It was also found out that a customer spends approximately 20 minutes to customize a product before he/she wants to purchase. Hence, online mass customization too, required changes and enhancements to improve consumer’s online shopping experience. Some of these are:
- 3D Product Configurator: Through the way to success in online customization, in e-commerce, it may require to pass through the process of 3D product configurator. These create a 3D effect for the customers so that they have complete satisfaction and can also feel as if they are shopping physically or in actual. Better graphics are a great way to attract customers. Whereas, for the traders, it can increase their sale.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): Now artificial intelligence is a wide range of technology. It is providing assistance in many technical issues and promoting lots of latest technologies. Hence, to improve online customization experience for customers, artificial intelligence is the most sorted direction to look through. It can give great customer service care as it allows them to make a choice. As for the retailers, it has become the most suitable way for promotion worldwide.
- Voice-controlled shopping: Another astounding facility that must be familiarized into online customization is voice-controlled shopping. This facilitates the consumers to shop just by voice-controlled devices, are helpful. Now, more people than ever before, are using voice-activated devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Each device has augmented the productivity of sales to infinity.
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): A next step in advancing online customization in luxury industries is with the use of AR and VR. Both have a humongous effect on the conversion rates of many enterprises. Each played a vital role in satisfying the consumers. They both provide convenient methods for time efficiency, hence a great choice for retailers. As for customers, they experience their imagination and virtual thoughts to meet reality and shop according to their requirements.
These improvements can be extremely beneficial. But, till the time they are being developed gradually in the system, the system itself is growing much faster. In fact, it has proved to be a great help for many renowned enterprises. Online customized shopping has enabled the bodies to enhance their sales, treat their customers with high-maintenance and better quality luxurious products.
A huge company Guerlain used this method and they also brought the use of 3D product configurators in it. It helped to increase their sales up to double the profit they got last year. The site of the company gives all the choices and options of all sorts of make-up. Another such company, The Baume, also a French company, used online customization with 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) to sell its watches in stores. More details of them are on their site.
Hence, to conclude, in the light of all the above-mentioned points, it is not wrong to say that online customization will be a significant lead in the future, by building a customer/retailer bond and by developing good relations between them. Therefore, for a better business and economic increment of a company, online customization is the next step. They allow customers to give an opinion on the good that they to buy so that their money is not wasted. Moreover, they increase the conversion rates of a retailer, and hence, it becomes a profit-profit situation for both parties.