Personalization and customization are nothing new. Businesses have been doing these for years. But there is a renewed interest in personalized items and customized services in recent years because of the need to stand out on social media. Yes, it is social media that plays a huge role in further highlighting our need to be unique and authentic. The marketplace—whether physical stores or online—is incredibly crowded. That makes it more challenging for consumers to be different.
In the past, the mass production of products and cookie-cutter retail shops popped up like mushrooms. But the emergence of personalized experiences, products, and services are putting businesses up for a challenge. This added perk is generating leads, attracting customers, and influencing their purchase decisions.
This is nothing new, of course. Companies have been offering customization for many years now but never as flawless as the options consumers now have. For example, electric carmaker Tesla allows customers to design their cars. Other auto manufacturers followed suit.
Nike lets customers create the shoe design they want. Many clothing companies allow embroidery customization on clothes and accessories. That’s not even taking into account the events industry. Couples want their weddings to be as personalized as possible. Some even want table napkins with their initials on them.
The technique especially works on athletic clothing, footwear, and accessories. Today, you will be hard-pressed to find a custom soccer scarves store online that doesn’t offer personalization. But why is this such a hit, and what does it mean for businesses and consumers?
Businesses Can Charge More
Personalized products are more expensive. At first, retailers thought that customers wouldn’t pay double the price to get their initials on an iPhone case. But they were wrong. People are willing to pay the high price of customized items. A recent consumer survey showed that consumers would at least pay 20% more for personalized items as long as these items are made exclusively for them.
Many assume that only the younger crowd—millennials and generation Z—want personalized items. The survey indicated that even those aged 55 years old and above want custom-made items. They are even more likely to purchase personalized products than those in the younger age group.
The reason could be entirely financial. Older generations have more money to spare compared to younger people. But the survey also found out that during holidays, the sale of personalized items is on the rise. About 46% of buyers are willing to wait for weeks for their personalized items.
Great for Word-of-mouth Marketing
When people walk with a personalized necklace hanging on their necks, others are quick to notice. They will mention that to the wearer, and the wearer will point them to the company that made that necklace for them. This kind of word-of-mouth marketing is still the best in the industry. Getting a nod of recommendation from a previous customer is the best way for a business to generate leads.
Your customers are going to be walking advertisements for your products. If they wear a personalized pair of shoes to work and their colleagues noticed it, the wearer can easily point to the business making these personalized sandals, slippers, and boots. People are always intrigued by the idea of “owning” something; of being different. Personalized items make them stand out wherever they go. One of the many perks of offering customized products is that word will eventually get out about what special services you are offering.
Customers Are More Satisfied
Consumers want to feel that they made the right choice in choosing a brand to support. That’s what personalized items are making them feel. When they receive a handstitched item in the mail, it makes them giddy with excitement. This item was specially made for you, so how can you not be excited about it? People feel a different type of ownership when they see a kitchen towel with their initials embroidered on it.
Businesses that offer customizable items are offering more than a service. They are offering their customers a chance to be unique, a chance to stand out amid the crowd. Customization is more about the customer than it is about the business. Though if you think about it, offering this kind of service will only benefit the business in the end.
Have you tried offering customizable products to your consumers? If there’s a way for you to offer personalized items, do so. Even the simple service of engraving an initial on a planter will bring recognition to your brand. This type of service is making people feel unique and special.