Numerous online retail websites that offer made-to-order items are really picking up their game. And no, this doesn’t necessarily mean having a photograph printed on a coffee cup, T-shirt, or phone case. We’re talking about the modification of “off-the-rack” items that are sold in eCommerce stores with the help of online product builder functionality.
Having a product customizer provides an interactive and convenient way for users to personalize the browsed product. It’s a creative opportunity that allows shoppers to assemble a unique design of the item to their liking that they can purchase from your store.
On this page, we’ll introduce you to why product customizers can be an advantageous choice for online retail businesses. Plus, we’ll share ideas of what such a feature could be like on the examples of renowned brands.
Product Constructors in Online Retail
Product builders are currently among the most popular technology trends for online stores. After all, a large percentage of shoppers are craving to obtain unique things, so even the big brands are getting ahold of this amazing opportunity to sell more. According to the data collected by McKinsey:
“Once consumers are offered product customization, conversions can grow by 22-30%. Moreover, such products generally come at a 20% higher price.”
In case your business has the chance to produce products in their modified versions, you should surely add product configuration to your eCommerce site.
Generally, such custom-designed products are more expensive, yet for a large percentage of the buyers who wish to order something one-of-kind, the extra charge isn’t a big deal.
Most likely, you’ll have to turn to experienced designers and hire developers to craft a solution that would be suitable for your specific online store. Yet, after getting the feature, you can count on:
- an increase in orders;
- longer on-site sessions;
- a boost in customer loyalty and satisfaction;
- growth of social media shares and user engagement;
- insights on what your customers want (useful for changing your product lines).
But what do product builders look like and what are their capabilities? The complexity of this feature really differs from one constructor to another.
Greatly, this depends on the product itself and which changes can be made to it, the platform that the online store is based on, the creativity of the designers, the invested resources, among other things. Let’s take a closer look at several examples.
1. Clothing Personalization (Gucci)
As shortly mentioned earlier, equipping an eCommerce website with a product customizer is usually done with the aim of increasing sales and making users happier. So, the first example that we’d like to overview is quite a plain yet neat product builder that’s present on the official Gucci website. The site positions its builder as a solution for creating personalized gifts.
For multiple brand-crucial reasons, Gucci doesn’t offer too much customization of their ready-to-wear product lines. Yet for select items that are placed in their “DIY” section, some personalization is possible. That said, they allow choosing a letter of a person’s name to be placed on wallets, tote bags, and knitwear.
As seen on the screenshot below, the user can indicate the monogram (that usually stands for someone’s initials) by selecting a letter from the given box of the product customizer located on the right.
Plus, the pre-defined color combos suggest the color of the letter and of the cardigan. Based on what was selected in the right section, the sweater changes accordingly in the gallery image on the left straight away.
2. Jewelry Builder (Tiffany & Co.)
Moving on to a more complex product constructor example, here’s the one that’s available on the official Tiffany & Co. website. This luxurious jewelry brand offers a tad of customization too.
For starters, the site allows making engravings on certain products. These are, for instance, charms and tags. The user can select the option of getting a hand-written engraving by a human specialist or applying standard machine-written initials or symbols that may come in various fonts.
What is more, the “Build Your Own” tool offers one more handy thing. When selecting a bracelet or a necklace chain as the “basis” element, the user can pick various charms and pendants to match it.
The user is allowed to select more than 5 of them, and when finished, he or she can press the “Start Building” button to try on the pendants or charms on the chain. The shopper can drag and drop the chosen items to the placeholders on the chain to see how the items look like together.
For convenience, the total for the entire jewelry set is shown in the right corner of the builder. The user can also save the selection to their “Selected Items” area.
But one more cool thing about this feature is that it provides the chance to “Send a Hint”. This way, the recipient will receive a clue about what someone wants to get as a gift. What an amazing way for helping your shoppers and boosting sales!
3. Shoe Customizer (VANS)
The last builder tool in this overview is more advanced. This customizer on the official Vans website provides its users grounds for modifying the design of shoes.
As such, the selected shoe model is opened inside the builder. The shoes can be rotated and displayed from various sides and angles in order to visualize what is being changed in the best possible way.
As you can see, the graphics are quite fancy with various close-ups and neat twists. The changed elements are shown on the shoes immediately, helping to guide the user through the process as they create their “masterpiece” design.
By the way, did you notice the “Share” button at the very top of the shoe customizer screenshots above? This button is placed there for a reason too, and that reason is social promotion. Based on the information given by Artifi Labs:
“Consumers who personalize products are more likely to share designs on social media. With 80% of consumers more likely to purchase an item based on a friend’s suggestion and social media affecting 74% of purchases, that ‘like’ can go a long way.”
Therefore, when creating the design of your own product builder, consider adding a social media share option too. This may bring you some new curious site visitors and potential customers.
To conclude, any profitable eCommerce website should be ready to add modern functionality to its store to lift it up a notch. User needs and their expectations constantly grow, so if your business can afford to produce customized products, then such a site feature can be very beneficial.
No matter how simple or complex you want the builder to turn out to be, if carried out correctly, you may see a boost in orders, conversions, and revenue!
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Kate Parish, Chief Marketing Officer at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Digital Marketing and website promotion. Kate always strives to stay in pace with the every-advancing online world, and the sphere of eCommerce PWA development. Her expertise includes in-depth knowledge of SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, and the field of online sales in general.