Personalize It Completely: A Full Guide to Product Customization

Image credit: Unsplash

The availability of mass-produced goods logically triggered soaring demand for made-to-order items that will set the person wearing or using them apart. Whether it’s sneakers in a particular blend of colors or a sofa in a sumptuous material and custom shade, more and more manufacturers see how important it is to give customers this opportunity for personalization though the use of so-called ‘product builders’ on their websites. In fact, the special Configurator Database Project has been collecting websites with product builders since 2007, and they now list about 1400 examples in 17 sectors.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss four major sectors where product customization is being implemented fairly widely, and we’ll then highlight a case study per sector and explore important issues that should be considered before adding a product builder to your website.

Website performance is key

When it comes to such advanced customization functionality, it’s important to understand that product configurators rely on your website to operate quickly and smoothly. If customers encounter constant lags while choosing customized elements, they’re unlikely to use the customizer again the next time.

One of the best ways for online stores to improve performance on Magento CMS, for example, is to build Magento 2 PWAs. PWAs stand for ‘Progressive web apps’, and they have all the best features of mobile apps while still being websites. Moreover, PWAs enhance your website’s desktop, mobile, and tablet versions all in one and make it better not only in terms of loading speed but also UX/UI. Check out other advantages of PWAs.

So, let’s take a look at four sectors that are already world-leading in product customization:

1. Shoe Brands

Footwear producers were among the first to leverage online customization. For instance, back in 1999, Nike came up with the idea of designs personalized by customers. The service was called Nike ID, now Nike By You. Since then, dozens of brands in the industry have added similar product builders to their websites.

Take a look at the screenshot below from the Jimmy Choo website. The “Made to Order” page invites you to customize shoes or bags. First, you choose the style and heel height of the future pair of shoes. Then you opt for the material (exotic, leather, fabric, or glitter) and color. Finally, you can add monogram or date plaque.

Screenshot taken on the official Jimmy Choo website

The process is handy and fairly quick except for one aspect that spoils the whole impression: the speed of the site. Jimmy Choo definitely should fix this issue in order not to lose potential customers.

Who else offers customization functionality:

  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Reebok
  • Converse
  • Vans
  • Timberland
  • Girotti
  • Alfred Cloutier

2. Apparel Brands

What could suit you better than a piece of clothing tailored especially for you? Answer: one that was also designed by you! The simplest product constructors allow you to choose colors and add monograms, whereas more complex ones give you the total freedom to create an item from scratch.

In the screenshot below, you’ll see how flexible the builder on the Suitsupply website is. Here you can make a bespoke suit, coat, jacket, waistcoat, trousers, or shirt. Let’s give it a try with the latter. You can opt for a particular fabric, experiment with the shape of the collar, hide the placket, choose the cuff style and buttons, etc.

A clever feature is that you can save the model to return to later: it will be sent to you by email. I also checked out what the customizer looks like and how it works on smartphones. Answer: Flawlessly!

Screenshot taken on the official Suitsupply website

Who else offers customization functionality:

  • Ralph Lauren
  • Gucci
  • Levi’s
  • The North Face
  • Indochino
  • Lanieri

3. Jewelry, Watch & Accessories Brands

Although the personalization ion products in this segment of goods is usually limited to engraving, some brands have taken it much further. Have a look at the screenshot from Swatch- the brand has a pretty creative and funny customizer called Swatch X you:

Screenshot taken on the official Swatch website

You can pick one of the numerous vivid sketches, then move your virtual watch around the artwork to find the background that matches your taste and mood. Then, opt for a mechanism color and add some text to the back of the case. That’s it!

Who else offers customization functionality:

  • Rolex
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Ray-Ban
  • Pandora
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Bamford

4. Car Brands

Traditionally, vehicles aren’t sold online (except for Tesla). However, car manufacturers have been adding configurators to their websites to get prospects acquainted with possible options, types of engines, technologies that can add extra comfort, and prices.

For example, Nissan suggests a service called Build and Price (see the screenshot below). You can modify the car’s exterior and interior, equip it with numerous features and add optional accessories. At the end of the process, you get an estimated price and can either save your creation or request an offer from a local dealer:

Screenshot taken on the official Nissan website

Who else offers customization functionality:

  • Tesla
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • BMW
  • Porsche
  • Toyota
  • Kia

Final Word

There are many more industries that support the creation of made-to-measure goods: electronics, furniture, stationery brands, and so forth. Consumers are really getting into the idea of customization in online shopping. For them, this is the opportunity to stand out from the crowd. They get precisely what they desire, create unique pieces of their own design, and feel satisfied. Besides this, a the product personalization process itself can be highly entertaining and engaging.

For businesses, product builders ensure prolonged sessions, more orders, and better conversions as a consequence. That’s why some experts predict that five years from now, most brands will provide clients with customization options.

About the Author

Kate Parish is the Chief Marketing Officer at Onilab. She has 8+ years of experience in Digital Marketing and website promotion. Kate always strives to stay in pace with the ever-advancing online world, and the sphere of Magento PWA development. Her expertise includes in-depth knowledge of SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, and the field of online sales in general.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.