Study: Customization becoming more commonplace
According to a YouGov survey, 26 percent of Americans have purchased a personalized product, also known as customization, either for themselves or someone else.
That compares to one in six who bought a personalized product or service in 2015, cited in a Deloitte study. According to YouGov, the five core personalization categories are apparel and footwear, food and beverages, technology products, vacation and travel experiences and household goods.
The YouGov study found:
- A subset of consumers is dissatisfied with one-size fits all products: Consumers who have customized product tend to be younger, tech-savvy and more outgoing than those who haven’t.
- Consumers will pay a premium for customization. Nearly half (46 percent) of those who have customized product would be willing to pay more for a personalized product. Of those who have customized apparel or footwear, 67 percent would pay more.
- The reasons to customize vary by product: For sneakers, the reasons to customize include “to demonstrate creativity,” “standing out,” “feeling pride in creating something,” and “designing something just for fun.” For technology items, “To identify a product as belonging to me” and “to demonstrate creativity” were the two reasons. For food and beverages, the reasons were “to design something just for fun” and “to demonstrate creativity.”
According to A Gift Personalized, an online seller of personalized special occasion merchandise, commonly engraved gifts include pocket knives, lighters, money clips, cufflinks, wine openers, key chains, picture frames, jewelry, tote bags, bedding and apparel.
Customization’s growth appears to be driven by ease of finding monogramming services on the internet and advanced technologies that enable items to be adorned with graphics and digital images.
Many flagship stores have added customization in recent years to add an experiential element to the in-store experience. At Nike’s SoHo New York flagship, the first floor is dedicated to customized Air Force 1 shoes and apparel that may include modifications to the silhouette and the addition of pearl, stud and feather detailing.
The next step for the trend seems to be 3-D modeling and 3-D printing, which some see leading one day to mass customization.
- Made to Order: A look at consumer perception towards product personalization – YouGov
- Made to Order: An Analysis of US Consumer Perception Towards Personalization – YouGov
- Making it personal – One in three consumers wants personalised products – Deloitte
- Under Armour, Nike, Adidas race to ‘personalize’ products with new technology – The Baltimore Sun
- A Guide to Monogramming – A Gift Personalized
- Nike can make a pair of custom shoes in under an hour – Women’s Wear Daily
- Nike Creates Custom ‘1 Reimagined’ Studio On SoHo First Floor – Snobette
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see customization reaching another level in the years ahead or will it likely remain a niche offering for many retailers? Will customization be critical for a few categories and irrelevant for most?