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People want to customize their products. On average, 71 percent of consumers were frustrated with impersonal shopping. Americans want custom products more than ever—it is no longer a luxury, customization is a necessity. 

For businesses, there are four approaches to customization, which rage from low to high levels of customization. The four approaches are adaptive, transparent, cosmetic, and collaborative. Adaptive has low customization with both the function and the appearance of the product standardized. There is no customer input. Next, with slightly more customization, is transparent. Manufacturers adjust the product based on customer data—the function is customized but the appearance is standardized. There is still no customer input. Cosmetic is, as the name implies, cosmetic customization. Customer choices are restricted to the final stages of manufacturing. The appearance is customized, but the function is standardized. The consumer input is minimal. The approach with the most customization is collaborative. This creates a truly unique product based on customer preferences. Both the function and appearance are customized with high customer input. 

Businesses should look at configured products which take the benefits of standard products (low cost, high scalability) and bespoke products (unique, one of a kind product). To have configured products need product configurators. Configurators are powered by rules. They draw from a database that includes data such as features and functions of each part and how products work together within assemblies. These rules are in place to prevent misconfigurations. Product configuration can improve engagement, increase brand loyalty, grow profits, and reduce work and returns. Key features to look for are 360 degrees visualizations, real-time pricing, customer experience, and data available early on. 

A product configurator to look at for your business is CADENAS’ eCATALOGsolutions. Like other configurators, it is rules-based with infinite configurability within rules-based parameters. It works for products, components, and assemblies. Like suggested, it has 360 degree visualization and exceptional customer experiences. The data it creates is instantly available for every product configuration, including: downloadable CAD and BIM models, PDF data sheets on each product, tiered pricing based on fixed data, and unique part numbers for easy repeat purchases. CADENAS’ eCATALOGsolutions’ ideal solutions are architectural, industrial, and electronic components.

An infographic detailing how a product configurator can enable scalable customization.

NowSourcing

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency , based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-2018. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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NowSourcing

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency , based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-2018. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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