Retailers using the Magento platform for their e-commerce storefronts are in good company. As of the writing of this piece, the site Built With reports there being more than 240-thousand live sites built on the Magento platform.
Some of that is because of Magento’s open source roots. For some, it’s the customizable nature of the platform itself.
For others, it’s because Magento makes it easy not for them to customize the site, but for their customers to create and personalize their products and orders.
Customization is an online retail trend that is growing in popularity. When you understand the benefits of it, including higher revenue and increased customer insights, it’s easy to see why.
Whether your products are customizable by nature or offering personalization is how you differentiate yourself from the crowd, Magento has the ability to support your e-commerce storefront.
Who Uses Product Customization for E-commerce?
When it comes to storefronts looking to take advantage of product customization features, the list is long and industries diverse.
An obvious choice for product customization are merchants that offer home improvement products, such as cabinetry, closet organization, and flooring. Standard ordering of flooring and cabinets is easy to achieve online, but retailers know that both higher revenue and customer satisfaction come from beautifully crafted, custom work that fits a home perfectly. With the ability to customize, quote, and purchase different combinations of colors, stains, widths, sizes, and design features, both builders and end consumers can see their options easily.
While home design and furnishings are a clear example, others might be more unconventional. Surprisingly, the leader in online customization has been Nike. The NikeID (now Nike by You) allows customers to create completely unique Nike shoes. Smaller retailers can take a page from Nike’s book – things like bespoke cosmetics and clothing are a fast-growing segment of the online retail world.
Automobile customization online has been available for years. But what about bikes? Big Shot Bikes in Ft. Collins, Colorado uses a mobile-friendly web interface that permits customers to personalize their ride – bicycle, that is – from colors to parts, seeing the results along the way. Big Shot stands out from larger competitors because customers can get exactly what they want. In their first 5 years in business, the company sold over 14,000 completely custom bikes.
The list goes on. Custom gift baskets, where each item is chosen individually. Glasses, where customers can choose frames type, frame color, and lens type independently. Even jewelry, where ring settings and stone can be combined by the customer and created by a master craftsman. Each of these would make a business stand out from the crowd.
The Benefits of Offering Product Customization
For some, like cabinets and flooring retailers, customization in their storefront is the difference between selling standard, lower end products and offering beautiful, unique solutions for customers. In other cases, like Big Shot Bikes, it’s a way to stand out. But there are many other benefits to offering product customization on your site.
Customers will pay more: Offering customization can result in a stronger bottom line. In a study by Deloitte, consumers who were interested in personalized products we’re willing to spend 20% more to get them. Forty-eight percent of those same customers were also willing to wait longer to receive a product they had customized.
Better inventory control: Small retailers are frequently concerned about inventory control. Surplus items sitting in the warehouse means capital that can’t be spent on other things. With customization, merchants can keep better control around their inventory and only order exactly what is needed.
Better customer insight: Personalization gives merchants the opportunity to gather more information about their customers – information consumers are happy to give as part of the process. Companies can then use information regarding buying habits and preferences that come along with customization to create a better customer experience in the future.
How Magento Enables Customized Products
One of the most powerful aspects of Magento as an e-commerce platform is the Marketplace. Here, merchants can access themes and extensions that substantially increase the number of features available for their business.
Thanks to the increased interest in customized products by online merchants, there are a number of additions that can be downloaded from the Marketplace and installed, no matter which version of the platform a company is using.
The platform has clean and easy to use admin tools, so managing a customized product section is not overly complicated. Magento also has tools that allow retailers to take advantage of the additional customer data they have access to, thanks to the personalization process.
For companies with a skilled, Magento certified partner to help with implementation, product customization is an easy and profitable addition to a storefront. Nearly any retailer can benefit from offering product personalization, and realize increased revenue and customer insight as a result.