The World of Customization - Generating Additional Costs or Meeting Customers' Requirements?
In a customized world – a cost-generating strategy or meeting customer’s needs Customization is becoming an increasingly popular term used in various areas of business. In practice, it refers to crafting the product or service accordingly to the individual needs of the customer. From the perspective of the business, it might concern in addition to the standard offer or allowing the user to create his own product by using a given type of tool.
However, many consumers are not aware of customization in their everyday life. Whether it is a possibility to choose the seats in a cinema (or even a type of the seat), or a double espresso in a cafe – this is customization working. It’s also present in social media or during Christmas time, when we all prepare presents. Even though customization is often related to the start-up boom in recent years, it has been utilized before. And nowadays it has become crucial.
The reason for it are constant changes, both in the customer needs and preferences as well as in the shape of the markets. As for today, it is not enough to “just” use any kind of email box or order a product from a limited offer. The consumer usually expects the company to meet more complex expectations, whilst in the long run perspective – help in building his vision of the product. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the vision of the best coffee in the morning or service that determines his company’s performance. We are supposed to be a helpful partner – not a cold, distant corporation.
Therefore, customization allows attracting clients. The modern consumer lives in a world of an excessive surplus of offers, he is literally bombarded with a huge number of products. To find the one that suits him best, he is armed in search engines, price comparison engines, and other users’ opinions. It all means that such a customer is not an easy target.
Customization changes the relationship between a company and its customers too. One can see it as an invitation for cooperation, which further allows understanding the client. Treat is as an opportunity for a dialogue. If it works out, the possibility of gaining a loyal customer raises.
A good example of an industry where customization is beneficial for both sides of the transaction is the production of boxes and packaging – the specialization of Packhelp. Based on our experience, more and more companies decide to use branded packaging as one of the marketing channels, because it is the only channel that provides 100% reach. Furthermore, it is the first moment to “wow” the customer. And from our side – the producer and service provider – a customized offer allows Packhelp to meet the expectations of our customers more precisely.
Considering it all, a question pops up – if customization is such a great tool, then why there’s plenty of companies that do not customize their offer?
The reason is simple – customization is not a flawless strategy. Let’s take the example of a mobile app. Usually, customization is a natural way to develop such a product. However, in some industries, customization might be responsible for many additional costs – especially in the businesses that include complex distribution channels.
Quite frequently, customization is profitable only under certain circumstances. Some companies use strategies like diversification (with a premium or custom version of the product) or bundling in order to implement successful customization. And the fact is that a clearly targeted, special offer, can be like hitting the jackpot.
Apart from financial costs, custom requests are more time-consuming. If the user is solely depending on a certain tool in the process of placing an order, it is usually automatized, and from the perspective of a company, it’s easy-peasy. However, custom requests are less automatized, which causes them to “cost” more time.
- You should follow the trends – if your consumer expects customization, it might be a good idea to meet these expectations.
- Watch out for costs of customization – is it going to be profitable?
- Consider diversification of your offer – even the basic distinction of standard and premium offer can be beneficial.