No Longer Just a Gadget-
Customization Marks the Future in Online Marketing
So What’s All This Hype Over Customization??
It’s a cool concept, sure, and it probably adds some fun to the customer’s experience. But does it really hold potential for boosting sales? Is it really worth the effort?
To be able to spot the new trend that’s going to change an industry’s B2B experience, among all the other trends emerging from Big Data and new technology, is indeed a challenge. However, this one seems to rise above the others, and not just because it’s cool and ‘sexy’ for users. Customization is no longer just a gadget used to spice-up an exhausting ecommerce website, but a true game-changer in the ecommerce industry, and here’s why-
A Truly User-Centric Approach in a Personalized World
Everything is personal now. From medical tracking devices setting the right drug dosage for you, to identifying your taste in music and offering similar styles, to matching your next date according to personality preferences, etc. There IS no ‘business is strictly business’ approach anymore; if you want your brand to succeed, you make everything personal. You post friendly pictures of the CEO with co-workers on Facebook, invite users to comment on your products, and nothing is even worth talking about if it’s not ‘tweeted’ on or ‘liked’ on social networks, even by random online users. In other words, the customer has never been so right before, and their opinion never mattered as much as it does now.
If you’re anywhere near online marketing, you know this. You know that to be ahead of the game, you need to adopt a user-centric approach, it doesn’t even really matter what industry you’re in anymore. And though it sounds like an empty business school marketing slogan, this actually means basing your entire online marketing strategy on the user, really thinking how to make him happy. Because now more than ever, if he’s unhappy, there’s between tens to thousands of other providers he could turn to instead, online.
Starting to see it? Yes, customization came into the game just in time, and it is rapidly gaining momentum. In fact, a survey by Bain, of more than 1,000 online shoppers, shows that “while less than 10% have tried customization options, 25% to 30% are interested in doing so.” These stats can give us a sense of how far this growing phenomena could go.
The Force that Drives Online Engagement Strategy
What better way to make it all about the user than personalizing your products-
Online marketing strategies today mainly focus on one super-objective; user engagement. The philosophy behind this implies that if we could just keep the user with us a little tiny bit longer, if we could just make him interested in doing something more than just browsing, if we could just make him interact- we could increase his engagement, making him of much more potential to become a viable lead.
Customization is literally doing just that, sometimes even better than other engagement tactics-
- It makes the user visit your website more often
- It makes the user stay longer (which might engage him with other interactive activities such as commenting, sharing, etc.)
- It creates a sense of attachment to the product, which to some degree is a substance of the user’s creation.
- It gives the user psychological power, actual creative, productive power.
- And it gradually makes him loyal to our brand
All this and we didn’t even mention the user becoming our most loyal advocator down the line. And that’s before we even started with the whole follow-up process.
To Wrap This Up
Customization is revealed as the #1 tactic for online engagement strategies, creating a wholesome process of luring the user in, engaging him, giving him a sense of power, strengthening his connection with the product and consequentially with the brand, making him a loyal, satisfied customer.
To put it simply, this is Jack of All Trades right here, and if you are quick enough to realize it, you just might find yourself taking your brand one step ahead of the game.
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Spaulding, E., & Perry, C. (2013, November 05). Having it their way: The big opportunity in personalized products. Retrieved from http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/having-it-their-way-the-big-opportunity-in-personalized-products-forbes.aspx