Featuring product personalization will allow your company to differentiate itself and grow your brand and eCommerce business, but there a few elements to take into considerations before moving forward with it. Understandably, many businesses want to emulate the success of major industry players that have seen their sales grow substantially after featuring product personalization and customization on their webstore.
For example, more than a third of clothing companies offer product customization, according to Gartner’s L2 Digital IQ Index, and this new addition has proven itself effective in revitalizing their previously idle sector. Nonetheless, despite many benefits to product customization, questions about your businesses’ readiness, the personalization solution’s capabilities, and overall organizational goals must be asked before considering adding product personalization to your eCommerce site. To help navigate through your assessment, we bring you the following five considerations:
- List your Digital Assets
A true ‘inventory’ of your digital assets will help in the planning of the subsequent steps. Keeping these updated will assure a better integration with the personalization solution and a seamless user experience, thus being extremely important when it comes to product customization. When listing assets, consider these factors:
- Do I have my own webstore? If not, how do I choose my eCommerce platform?
- Do I have my own shopping cart? Do I have a payment gateway?
- How many products do I want to offer? Do I already have any products for which I can offer personalization? Will I be needing products to be created? Can I create my own products? Do I have a content creation tool?
- What are my product preview rendering capabilities? Would I like to be able to offer realistic product previews which yield higher conversion rates?
- What kind of digital brand awareness do I present? Do I want social sharing?
- Do I have stock images?
- Identify Business Needs and Objectives
Defining digital assets prior to adding product personalization to your eCommerce website serves both customer and business objectives as they’re a step towards knowing what your business can do with current resources, as well as where you would want to take it. While most customization solutions only focus on the visual appeal of the interface, it is equally important to consider operational goals and KPI’s that the solution will help you achieve. Consider asking yourself the following questions to determine your top goals:
- Do I have a clear idea of which segments do I want to target? How can product personalization help me conquer niche markets?
- What is my timeline to feature product personalization on my webstore? What are my expectations in matters of implementation time? Which technical resources, if any, can I allocate to it?
- What are my conversion rates, average order value (AOV), cart abandonment rates, repeat customers rates? What is the effect of product personalization on these?
- Consider the ROI
Answering questions to the previous considerations before adding product personalization to your eCommerce will help you get on the way to unlock the potential of investing in the right solution. Webstore conversion rates are noted to increase dramatically when product customization is offered, as you offer your customers exactly what they want. For giving them what they want, Millennials will indeed pay premiums for this ability of personalize products. As ROI can be quantified in money, setting clear expectations and addressing them with your solution provider will help you make the right decision. This assessment should include:
- How does the product personalization impact the time on site spent by my customers? How will it increase the checkout completion rate?
- What are my goals in matters of repeat customers and AOV?
- How does product personalization eliminate my inventory liabilities?
- How can personalization lower my order return rate?
- What should I consider in matters of fulfillment and shipping costs?
- What value does the data collected through customization experiences hold?
- Total Cost of Ownership
Assessing the potential for return on your investment will help you properly determine the budget for your product personalization solution of choice. Understanding what the solution encompasses, as well as its total cost of ownership (TCO) is crucial when creating a budget. Nonetheless, if done right, product customization should not add operational or technical complexities as a well-developed solution shall seamlessly integrate into your workflow.
- Choose the Solution
Doing a proper assessment of the previous points should give you an outline of the solution you need. You should know what digital assets and capabilities you have readily available in order to make the best out of the solution. You should also know what goals you want to reach and by when. Lastly, you should know how much you’re going to get out of the solution in order to determine how much you’re willing to bet on it. As consumers are becoming more demanding with regards to their experiences online, you should always aim for a solution with optimal integration with your existing eCommerce platform and workflows, and other aspects of your core business models. Beyond this, the leftover questions to consider when choosing the right platform are:
- Does the software provide end-to-end product customization capabilities?
- What is the list of features offered in the software?
- What customer service options are offered?
Knowing that Millennials, the largest living generation, are willing to pay a 20% premium for the opportunity of personalizing their product, it goes along that product personalization solution is truly a long term investment with proven benefits and returns. Hence, don’t be afraid to ask all the necessary questions during your meeting with the solution’s sales representative. You can run an expert business assessment for free to uncover the possibilities here.