Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
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Craftsman Custom delivers a premium experience for consumers to tailor a pro-quality tool storage solution to their specific needs and tastes. The experience leverages 3d visualization to deliver a blueprint-like experience that progressively builds into a photo-realistic vision of the consumer’s ideal product, all in real time.
The Sears Garage Planner experience is built on inspirations and “starting point” ideas. Consumers are presented with an interactive photo gallery of shoppable and customizable garage storage solutions. The experience is simultaneously inspirational and actionable, injecting the consumer with ideas and empowering them to make them their own.
Our team has a long history designing shopping experiences for customizable products, including …
- FunStamps (the first personalizable stamps offering)
- Timberland Boot Studio (custom footwear)
- Your Reebok (custom footwear) + facebook configurator
- Design Within Reach FLOR Designer (custom carpet configurator)
- Fine Stationery (card & stationery customizer)
- Vans Customs (custom footwear)
We’re fortunate to collaborate with such great brands to innovate new shopping experiences in such a nascent field. We’re proud to be among the first who have created configurators delivering consumers real-time visualization, product rotation, share-to-phone and integrated social sharing tools.
The business benefits of a better customization experience: 200%+ increase in sales, 16+ minute average consumer engagement on-site, spikes in sharing & heavy engagement with social media customization tools.
Some recent observations, field notes, and expectations looking forward:
- Before the “economic downturn” (or whatever it’s called now), Fluid was seeing RFPs for customization up approx 5-10x showing a sharp increase in interest across industries. The recession put most of those projects on hold.
- Those brands that continued forward became increasingly strategic around customization, seeing it as a brand and business building opportunity. In many cases increasing scope and decreasing timelines in an effort to get to market quickly with robust offerings (a differentiation/barrier strategy).
- Interestingly, over half of these brands are in verticals outside of footwear.
- Embedding up-sells in the customization experience has proven so effective that some retailers are pricing base models at-or-under cost and attaching costs per attribute selection (e.g. premium colors, extra set of laces, etc.).
- Providing the consumer with simple, intuitive social tools — both providing the ability to chat real-time with friends & ability to engage one’s facebook network without ever leaving the customization experience — has become a priority among most of our clients (and now considered a best practice within Fluid).
Finally, three predictions:
- Customization experiences will take shape in ways that are more subtle and less overt – more about great digital shopping and less about “configurators” per se. This is what most consumers want. Thoughtful experiences that embed customization vs. customization being the main draw will help launch this consumer-driven approach to digital shopping into the mainstream.
- Customization will make the notion of a crowd-sourced economy a reality. Champion and Keds are first movers (and got a lot of brand benefit as a result + some satisfaction at beating Nike to market I’m sure
- Customizable shopping experiences will increasingly be deployed exclusively to social channels like facebook. Customizing something lends itself superbly to a community atmosphere – expect to see brands fully leveraging all that facebook has to offer in that regard.