For decades, personalized products were reserved for wealthy consumers and limited to hand-made products and niche industries. But today, personalization in the luxury sector has become an important way to attract and retain new customers. Bespoke fashion for the average consumer is no longer a luxury, it’s an expectation.
Today’s consumers show less brand loyalty as previous generations and have come to expect benefits from brands that go beyond price. Companies such as Apple and Dell understand that consumers want to be involved in the design of their products, whether it is picking the color of a cell phone or the individual components of a computer. Consumers today expect this level of personalization when purchasing everything from shoes and clothing, to smartphones and luxury goods. Brands that can’t adapt to marketplace demands for personalization are finding themselves struggling to compete in world where consumers are overwhelmed with choices.
This evolving market trend has been challenging long-time leaders in the watch sector while upstart customer-centric brands that focus on micro-marketing and customization are thriving. One of the most successful ways to achieve and retain customer loyalty is to get them involved in the design process and allow them to create unique, personalized products that are more meaningful to them.
Deloitte Research points out that one in three customers surveyed were interested in personalized products and over 70% of those were prepared to pay a premium to have a say in the design of their products. The rise of blogs, forums and social media means customers that are more educated about the products that they buy and more interested in a shopping experience that includes their input in the design, look and function of the products they choose.
Brands who do not offer an element of personalization, risk losing sales and customer loyalty over the long term as customers increasingly demand a more meaningful shopping experience that lets them satisfy their own personal style.
For watch brands, adding personalization and point of sale customization may seem challenging due to the greater number of components and inventory management required. However, transforming to a more agile and customer-centric model doesn’t require a re-engineering of production processes or tooling, but instead takes advantage of the latest industrial internet and cloud-based technologies.
The FINS solution for the watch industry gives brands powerful tools to easily and quickly create new watch models based on available component stock. For distributors and retailers this means creating new collections with a few simple clicks. FINS neatly coordinates supply chain, marketing and online sales so that new watch creations can automatically trigger a Just-In-Time manufacturing request and immediately begin production. Placing an order will automatically replenish components stock for the new item under the FINS inventory management system.
This powerful tool is not just reserved at the manufacturing and distribution levels. Custom solutions are available to integrate FINS on a website to offer a “create your own” experience for brand consumers that includes online visualization tools for real-time selection of preferred product specifications, styles and components. This real-time builder allows consumers to try out different looks and create a product that perfectly fits their personal style.
Shoppers can select different combinations of features, colors or materials to create a customized design. This personalization model fits well with market trends, adding individuality and a sense of involvement with their purchases that modern consumers crave. This unique B2C system allows watch brands to offer an enhanced customer personalization experience while simultaneously reducing inventory value, streamlining order generation, automating restocking and delivering products to their customers faster.
For luxury brands that have suffered recently due to changes in market demands, through personalization is a win-win situation that smart brands can use to survive and succeed in today’s turbulent consumer marketplace.
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