E-commerce Berlin Expo brings us a lot of priceless knowledge, and we cannot have a better opportunity to make use of it. Today we would like to work on one of the most insightful ones. Christian Mohring, Founder and CEO of MadeOne, ex-Digital Commerce Manager at Nike, and ex-Head of Digital at IKEA would like to take us into the world of customization. So grab a cup of coffee, play your favourite playlist, and come with us to the most personalized journey that you can have. Fasten a seat belt, and let’s get started!
When we’re talking about mass customization, what we truly mean is a customization of products and services. When we start looking around, we can notice it in each aspect of our lives, especially if we dive into e-commerce platforms. Customization is maintaining a big part of our lives—that why it is so essential to understand it deeply.
If we speak about e-commerce worth mentioning is the fact that these models are most often cost-intensive and return of investment is highly doubtful, or it will come quite late in the game. And this fact is a day-to-day struggle for people like Christopher, yield similar function to him. We all are aware of the challenges which each of retailers has dealt with a packed market with excessive expectations.
Christian was kind to share with us one option, which is about customized experiences, and how we can surprise someone who has almost anything that he wants to have. This particular person is Dirk Nowitzki, former NBA player, and Nike ambassador. Well, we should rather say astonishing NBA player, because in many years Dirk was the top player till the time when he ended his career path. Nike made for him completely customized shoes signed by his name and crafted for his expectations- because it’s all about delivering a unique experience.
Nike and Adidas are the biggest competitors of all time, period. It’s hard to find any other companies that would be such competitive between themselves then these two. So when the first one is launching something new to the market, we can assume with quite a certainty that the second will accelerate their efforts to bring something new to the market. When Nike created a platform NIKE ID (right now better known as NIKE By You), Adidas has stopped his own custom footwear business – mi Adidas. And we can think about it as a truce. Still, for sure, this corporate giant is making one step behind to ready themselves to make a huge step forward as they comment on the situation there, moving into more in-depth and more advanced customization. These efforts show us how essential customization products for the market and new lines of customers.
As we start diving into this megatrend of personalization, we will notice that it starts to blossom almost anywhere. We will find examples in many industries, such as automotive, health tech, and many others. As a core of that, you will often see an online configurator (more or less advanced), which allows you to make some adjustments into products. Despite that, Christopher does not perceive it as a trend. He claims that customization is playing a massive role in our lives. And the entity of customization became a part of markets that we are observing. It allows us to transform and change many business models, and it can enhance customers to pay more for our services.
It’s all about values that customization is bringing to our business: Experience of participating in the creation of the final product, being a part of the community, having an influence on the design-wise aspect. It’s giving us an excellent opportunity to run marketing campaigns, to activate our users. We can give them the same feeling that Dirk Novitzky shared with us when he was unboxing a product. They will be able to choose a material that is closest to their expectations. It just counts for people.
It’s a fact that today the customer’s demand for more personalized product & services experience is higher than ever before. So that’s why he is assuming that this is something way more important than just a trend. If we take a look at numbers, we will quickly notice that they increase aggressively. Right now, more than half of the customers have an interest in purchasing personalized products. One-fifth of them would be happy to share details about them to receive the customized product. What’s more, 40% are love to see customization options on the website of the producer.
But the key to success is to take out the complexity throughout the end-to-end process. And for sure we can admit that for some part it will be complicated, starting in the production process, going to logistics and other relevant steps. And if we leave that behind us, we will be half-way done.
CEO of MadeOne is describing customization as a front-row seat of ECOM- comparing it to the price line of NBA rows. It’s not just about prices; it’s not about fast shipping. It’s all about different needs. When you start fulfilling customers’ more profound desires, he will be able to wait for it weeks and pay an escalated price for it.
If we take a look at the market development presented by Stanley M. Davis, we will catch how the evolution of it proceeds. From the Local markets, uprises mass market, which is dividing into segments markets. This one will turn into market niches and so on. At some point, the last stage will blossom- Mass customized demands. Christopher is claiming that customization can be a layer of each of these markets.
Customization roots are way beyond just picking a color, which is only a part of simple customization at the scale of complexity; it’s just a tip of the iceberg. Going further, we will meet personalized features like mass customization, including a wide range of products and design options and pinnacle representing custom fitting, original materials, and design from scratch. Of course, it will go along with more and challenges in the backend and frontend perspective as well.
Right now, we know our customers better than anyone in history. We are aware of their needs, expectations, and deepest desires. It allows putting additional value into personalization; we can direct it to the specific customer insights. The opportunities to use that are massive, and they Can be only bigger and better. A digital solution to personalize your on-site experience and beyond is growing and expanding constantly. Everything to this point is giving us endless possibilities. As optimistic it might sound, it’s bringing to the table other challenges.
The mass-market reality is showing that we are missing out on the actual product experience. Targeting is still not such perfect as we want to perceive it. And another disturbing fact is that customization requires embracing the production side of things. As is looking so promiscuous from the marketing perspective, it might not be so appealing from the entrepreneur’s point of view. If you do not care about it, it might shut down your whole idea in a blink of an eye.
That’s why you need to partner with proper peoples; you can look at Nike as an example. They were hiring and leading a team to accomplish this task since 1999. The key for decisions is to pull off the backend processes, including the fulfillment of custom orders in house. It is something that Madeone is helping to accomplish. They are helping other companies to add a value of customization to their running businesses.
To sum up, people are craving for customization- not only in production but it services area as well. That’s why it’s something worth caring for. It’s not a trend, and for sure, it’s not something which will end with the next season. Right now, not so many producers care about it, but this number will continue to grow. You should Take out the complexity of the end-to-end process. Prepare usable configuration, easy too enough to deploy it into production without any unwanted surprises. It should be cost-wise and scalable to make sense in each entrepreneurship. Because in the end, everyone is looking to tie a creative approach with a profitable one.