Founder @ NowSourcing. Contributor @ Hackernoon, Advisor @GoogleSmallBiz, Podcaster, infographics
Now more than ever, people want to be able to customize their products. From 2015 to 2016, interest in buying customized products grew 2.4 times. It is clear that Americans want custom products, and it is now a necessity, not just a luxury.
With scale in mind, there are four approaches to customization, from low to high levels of consumer input.
On the lower level, it is adaptive and transparent. Adaptive means that products are standardized and designed to accommodate many uses. Transparent means that manufacturers adjust the product based on customer data. On the higher end of customization is cosmetic and collaborative. Cosmetic is when customer choices are restricted to final stages of manufacturing. Collaborative, which has the highest amount of customization, creates a truly unique product based on the customer.
While there is a demand for customization, a high level of customization—like a bespoke product—has high costs and is hard to scale up to a mass scale.
A product configurator is the key to finding the middle ground between standard products, where everything is exactly the same, and bespoke products. Configured products are cost-effective and mass produced. It combines the benefits of customization and standardization.
A product configurator is powered by rules and is built on a product database that data like the functions and features of each part and how products work together within assemblies. These rules are in place to make sure everything works as intended and prevent misconfigurations.
By offering configurable products, a business can improve engagement, grow profits and revenue, widen the customer base, increase brand loyalty, and reduce work and returns. Companies that offer customization are more likely to meet product targets.
To find the right configurator for your business, you should look for these key features: 360 degree visualization, customer experience, real-time pricing, and data available early on. Product configurators vary in complexity and so it is important to find a solution that works best for your business.
One product configurator to look into is CADENAS’ eCATALOGsolutions. eCATALOGsolutions is a rules-based product configurator that makes data for product configuration instantly available. It is ideal for industrial, architectural, and electronic components.
Previously published here.
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