FMCG companies and retailers alike are implementing product customization as a way to drive customer engagement. A Bain & Company survey found that those customers who had customized a product online engaged more with the company: they visited its website more frequently, stayed on the page longer and overall were more loyal to the brand.
Customization in numbers
Customization is capturing the attention of more consumers every day. In fact, according to Deloitte (July 2015), 36% of consumers are already interested in personalized products and in some categories this percentage can increase up to 50%. And it seems that young people are more interested in this innovative feature: 43% of people aged among 16 and 24 years old reported interest in customize products, as well as 46% of people between 25 to 30 years old.
In the same research, Deloitte highlights that entertainment and leisure categories (holidays, hotels and flights) are the most popular for personalisation among consumers followed by big-ticket items such as furniture and homeware. Clothing and footwear are also popular categories, especially among the younger age groups.
And customers are also willing to pay and wait more for customized products: 71% of those surveyed notes that they would pay a premium for personalized goods, while 48% affirmed that they are willing to wait longer. How much longer? It varies according to the category; Bain’s survey found that footwear customers are willing to wait three to four weeks for a product to be delivered, but that interest in customized men’s shirts declined after a two-week wait time.
How can retailers embrace in-store personalization?
But personalization doesn’t stop with product design; retailers can also welcome this trend in their stores to boost their brick-and-mortar sales. In a survey run by Adroit Digital (2015), 85% of respondents older than 18 claimed they would be more likely to make a purchase if they saw something personalized to their interest on an in-store beacon or digital display. In the same report, is stated that males are more interested in this technology than females.
RichRelevance, the global leader in omnichannel personalisation, released on July 2015 a UK study, where they evaluate which features customers find “Creepy or Cool”. Almost three quarters (72%) of UK consumers find personalisation of product recommendations based on purchasing habits a “cool” capability when shopping.
Between the “coolest” options are those that give relevant information and promotions when customers are in the product research/purchase journey. These features are: Mobile product scan with recommendations (71%), mobile interactive map (63%) and in-store location deals (43%).
Among the “getting creepy” options are those services (particularly located in the dressing rooms) that can be perceived as intrusive when shopper are not ready to receive them. Between these features we can find: Dynamic pricing (44%) and digital recommendations in dressing rooms (45%).
The most unlike options are those that ties shopper to individual preferences and attributes. In general consumers find they might be too “big brother” for the store and some examples are: facial recognition that enables targeted advertising (68%), salesperson that greets by name based on mobile trigger (73%) and facial recognition that identifies the spending habits of the customer (77%).
Consumers are experiencing a real appetite for more personalisation of products and services. From 2013 to 2015 the percentage of consumers interested in customized products has grown 11 points and the figure seems to keep growing. The challenge is now for companies and retailers to evaluate how they can incorporate this element into their structures to avoid losing revenue and customer loyalty in the near future.