In our March eCommerce news roundup, we reported that Amazon now allows sellers to offer product customisation – a feature that fellow online marketplaces Etsy and Shopify have long provided. Product customisation is a huge market but what is it and how can it help drive your eCommerce sales?
What Is Product Customisation?
Product customisation allows online shoppers the opportunity to tailor your product to their individual needs. Huge in the gift market, this could include customisations such as colour, material, font, size and wording.
Benefits Of Product Customisation
Research shows that 36% of consumers are interested in personalised products, which makes it an eCommerce avenue worth exploring. Here we explain the main benefits of offering your customers product options.
1. Differentiating you from your competitors
In a huge world of products, services and ‘also available from the following sellers’, standing out from the crowd can be difficult. Customisation is a great way to differentiate yourself from the other sellers by appealing to what your buyers actually want and allowing them the opportunity to create something unique.
2. Increased price tag
Buyers expect to pay a premium for customised items – a 20% premium to be precise – and furthermore, buyers are happy to spend a little extra on special gifts. Customised products can help to increase your sales margins.
3. Longer turnaround times
48% of buyers are willing to wait longer for customised products, which provides you with a little more time and little more understanding, especially during the busy seasons.
4. Buyer endorsement
7% of consumers buy personalised products so that they can share their design on social media: They made it, they want to shout about it. This is an easy way to increase your brand awareness, without spending money on advertising.
Customisation provides you with market research data on exactly what your customers want and, furthermore, 22% of consumers are happy to share data in return for personalised products. This can help future sales and buying strategies.
6 Lower return rates and repeat sales
Customers who more involved in creating products, feel more connected and attached to them. This means that they are less likely to return products and more likely to buy from you again. Win, win.
Challenges of Product Customisation
Product customisation doesn’t come without it challenges but these can be minimused by the following:
1. Make it easy
Offering customers a blank canvas can bring out the artist in some and the back button in others. Keep customisation options simple, whilst allowing customers to contact you directly if they require more advanced customisations.
2. Be clear
Although customers will be understanding of increased delivery times, ensure that these are clearly advertised. Also work to streamline your order management processes, using tools such as multichannel management software.
3. Inventory management
Customisation can be an inventory nightmare, with multiple variations and products to stock and record. Furthermore, Amazon Custom does not currently support Fulfilment by Amazon. Inventory management software will help you to keep on top of your inventory, allowing you to quickly fulfil orders and avoid overselling.
4. Multichannel selling
Currently, Amazon Custom does not allow customisation of wine or media, eBay doesn’t offer product customisation and Etsy attracts a particular kind of customer. Multichannel management software allows you to sell on all three platforms (as well as your own website) simply.
Selling Customised Products
Selling customised products on Amazon, Etsy, Shopify and eBay is simple.
Amazon Custom supports three types of product customisation:
1. Text – Words, colour and font
2. Image – Uploaded photographs and logos
3. Product – Make-on-demand items customised with unique drop down options
Etsy offers three types of product customisation options:
1. Fixed customisation – e.g. colour or size
2. Personalised customisation – e.g. text
3. Private and custom customisation – based on buyer’s requests
Currently, eBay relies on buyers messaging you following their purchase, with their particular customisation details. However, following this move from Amazon, this might change in the future.
Make product customisation easy with Expandly
Expandly is multichannel management software that allows you to manage your Etsy account, alongside Amazon, eBay and Shopify, all from one central location.