Custom Chic: Top 5 Examples of Personalization in Fashion
Personalized products in the apparel industry, while not an entirely new concept, have greatly evolved over the past few years. Though this retail trend may have seen its humble beginnings with $5 custom-printed tees and notoriously confusing “multi-way” jersey dresses, many brands have since come forward with cutting-edge systems that ultimately allow their consumers’ styles – and budgets – to stretch as far as possible.
A survey of more than 1,000 shoppers conducted by Bain Insights found that “while less than 10% have tried customization options, 25% to 30% are interested in doing so.” And while personalized products are certainly a boon to consumers’ wardrobes, they also present a massive opportunity for brands and retailers alike. In fact, back in 2011, NPD Group conducted a similar study which showed consumers were willing to pay up to a 25% premium for personalized goods.
Thinking of adding product personalization to your business’ arsenal? Read on for some of the best examples in the biz!
Building it from scratch
Have you ever considered giving your customer full control of your product design? There’s a reason the Build-a-Bear model works so well. Full customization is also commonly seen in menswear – you or a loved one has probably had to go in for a tailor-made suit at some point in your life.
Indochino, one of the largest ‘made-to-measure’ menswear brands on the market is the go-to for consumers looking for a bespoke, fully personalized suit. The custom menswear retailer allows shoppers to order suits via mobile or in one of their many showrooms at a relatively affordable price. Customers can pick from a full selection of suits, shirts, outerwear, and accessories to build a complete look. From there, they can customize every minute detail: lining, collar felts, stitching, and even monogramming.
Of course a great suit requires a great pair of shoes to match! Startup brand Awl & Sundry specializes in custom-made shoes perfectly tailored to each foot. Much like Indochino, the company sets its customers up with a wide expanse of options from shape and style to materials, colors, and everything in between. Shoes of Prey offers a similar option for the ladies, too. Visitors to the site can either customize an already existing template pair, or build one from scratch.
Kicking it up a notch
Shoes are a particularly popular item in the personalized products category, as many consumers share common issues when it comes to footwear. While many brands offer easily-foldable, practical flats consumers can just throw in their bags and go, others, like German shoe brand Mime et Moi are thinking even further outside the box. Their “height convertible” shoes allow for consumers to have 5 shoes in one. Wearers can go from high or medium stilettos, block heels or a flat in just a snap (literally!).
A little tweak here and there
If you don’t want to go the full made-to-measure route, how about giving your customers a template to work with? Womenswear brand eShakti offers a score of trendy garments for all occasions that shoppers can choose from. Once selected, users are able tweak each piece to either enhance their assets or cover “problem areas”. Prefer a longer sleeve? Done! Need a higher rise? No problem!
One thing to note is that mistakes happen. If you’re in the business of personalized products, you should offer a seamless return process. eShakti offers free return shipping for all US orders while Indochino offers a 75$ credit towards the cost customers may incur by having to go to a tailor if they sent in the wrong measurements online. As this trend continues to grow and more consumers become familiar with the options out there, a little understanding will take you a long way.
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