A modern-day customer wants to feel special not only in the way companies treat them but also in how companies create something just for them. However, the caveat of high price cannot be ignored. So how can companies do the impossible, making product customization possible without shooting up the final price? It is in this context that the concept of mass customization gains traction among consumers as it helps in making the customer feel like what they are getting is completely different from others and best-suited to their needs. The key to success is to know what customers want in the first place. Customer preferences can be identified by collecting a large amount of customer data on purchase history, browsing history, transactions, and numerous other data sets. As a result, companies can take a giant leap in product personalization into mass customization. So how can companies ensure success in their quest for mass customization?
Learn from Data
Data is quintessential to know what the customers want. The ability of data analytics is not limited to identifying customer experiences; they can also accurately predict what customers want even before they know it. Mass customization gives companies a unique opportunity to determine customer preferences and make smart choices about supply chain and product options. By gathering data from personal and social channels, companies can create delightful experiences for customers; thereby, increasing brand loyalty and driving profits.
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Using Customer-Driven Design Interfaces
The advent of big data, cloud technologies, and 3D printing has opened up a host of opportunities and possibilities for manufacturers to perform effective mass customization. Such technologies put the power in the hands of the consumer to self-design the product. The additive manufacturing concept allows the user to add and customize their design over the base model to create their personalized final product. For instance, Mi Tubular Shadow shoes from Adidas allow customers to choose a basic shoe style and then choose the stripe color, sole color, lace color, and color of the upper line. With the aid of digital technologies, customers can put their feet in the digital scanner and get a truly customized end product.
Enable Customer Collaboration
Customers getting involved in the product customization process spend a lot of time creating something of immense value to them. When customers like their own creation, they look for a platform to share it with friends, family, and the outer world. If companies enable design sharing, then they can boost their customer engagement and get new customers. Additionally, other customers can collaborate on the same design to create a unique product for the market. For instance, North Face launched a gallery of designs created by the customer for its Denali jacket, serving as an inspiration point for the others.
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