While the idea of personalization and hyper-segmentation has become a hot topic in the contemporary world of marketing, it’s nothing new. These concepts fall under the umbrella of mass customization, an idea that’s been around since the 1990s. However, the technology is finally catching up to make this strategy more accessible to businesses in varying industries.
Here’s what you need to know about mass customization and the five benefits that can make your company more competitive.
What is Mass Customization?
In simplest terms, mass customization is the delicate balancing act between mass production and personalization. It challenges manufacturers and retailers to offer as much customization to customers as possible without crossing the line into bespoke products.
For example, a company that makes laser-cut ornaments might have set designs and design principles (check here for a full guide) but allow buyers to add an engraved name. When you order a pizza from your favorite pizza place, the recipe is the same, the dough is the same, but you get to choose your ingredients. That’s mass customization.
Now that you have a better idea of what mass customization is, here’s how it can benefit your business.
The primary benefit of mass customization is the potential to boost your profits. Consider customization the ultimate upsell in the world of retail. Customers are open to paying more for personalized items, whether it’s an impulse suggestion or pre-planned expense.
One survey showed that 49% of consumers had purchased a product they hadn’t intended to after receiving a personalized offer. Of that 49%, 23% spent more than $50, and 7% spent more than $100. What’s even more impressive is that the vast majority were pleased with their purchase, with only a few opting to return it.
For retailers, the best way to take advantage of this benefit is to create custom point of sale offers based on individual customer data, such as a mix and match of their favorite products or a discount on their most frequent purchases.
Better Brand Awareness
Mass customization also leads to better brand awareness, as consumers will be happy to talk about their positive experiences. Zenni’s accomplished this with their eyewear company, becoming one of the leading names in online eyewear through word-of-mouth. Zenni’s has perfected the art of mass customization, offering set frames and styles but allowing you to customize your eyewear prescription.
Personalization improves the customer experience, making your patrons more vocal about the service they received.
Better Customer Retention
Improved customer satisfaction and the draw of personal offers mean one powerful thing for retailers: customer retention. Mass customization is one surefire strategy to keep bringing your customer back for more. This benefit saves time and resources in nourishing customer relationships or focusing on new customer acquisitions.
Stay Ahead of the Competition
Despite knowing that personalization plays a pivotal role in customer spending habits, many retailers fall short in providing personalization options. This creates a substantial opportunity for retailers who invest in mass customization by putting them ahead of any competitors who aren’t capitalizing on this opportunity.
Say there are two grocery stores in your area. One store sends you weekly coupons based on your previous purchases or offers based on your preferred products. The other does not. If all other variables remain the same (pricing, store layout, etc.), which one would you choose to give your business?
Having a high-quality product that appeals to your ideal customer is just one part of the puzzle. From there, it’s showing your customer how much you appreciate their business.
Connectivity Between Online and In-Person Shopping
There’s a common misconception that personalization is only for online shopping experiences. It wasn’t too long ago— before mass production, and fast fashion took over the market— that companies had the same concerns about eCommerce. Recall that the original retailers were the shoemakers and tailors that made shoes and clothing to size.
If anything, mass customization is the connection point between online and in-store shopping. Retailers can use data captured from online activity to shape in-store offerings and vice versa. Retailers can send a discount for the customer’s next purchase within minutes of leaving the checkout in-store.
While it may seem redundant to target the same person for both online and in-store retail offerings, consider it this way: the more touchpoints you have with customers, the more top of mind your business will become.
Now that you understand the benefits of mass customization, consider how you can incorporate this strategy into your business offerings to enhance customer relationships and become more profitable.