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Made for You: Customisation in Retail

 
adidas

We all want something different these days. Why have a carbon copy when you can have something that’s been personalised to suit you?

 

Customisation has been a growing trend in retail; no longer just for bespoke brands, larger retailers are increasingly seeing the value of offering products and services designed by the customer, for the customer.

There has been a significant rise in the level of investment that retailers are making to ensure they remain relevant to customers. Serving up identical products and services runs the risk of not appealing to individual tastes, but offering custom merchandise eliminates that possibility.

 

 

Just a few examples of this trend are adidas’ ‘Knit for you’ pop-up in Berlin, 3x1’s tailored denimcustom watches at Nixon Newburgh Street, and the ‘Make your own’ weekend at Topshop’s Oxford Street store. These have all proved hugely popular amongst their respective customer bases, suggesting that shoppers today need something out of the box to excite them. 

Today's consumers also lack loyalty, which means they’re likely to shop elsewhere if something fails to hold their interest. Just look at McDonald’s. Billions of Big Macs later, it went bespoke last year in a bid to revitalise a tired brand with the introduction of its McDonalds 'create your taste' burger-building service.

Custom companies recognise that they hold a level of accountability to their customers - showcasing their expertise and reinforcing their authenticity. It’s only relatively recently that the retail sector has started to tap into this trend and exploit it.

 

 

“There’s this sense of stewardship. You want to make sure the customer is making the right choices, and you want to inform them to make the right choices” — David Hamilton, co-owner of Hamilton Shirts

 

We recently completed a store refurbishment for mountain sports retailer Ellis Brigham, which included a Ski Patrol hut where the team at EB offer their ‘Sure Fit’ boot fitting services. More than most retailers, Ellis Brigham truly understands customisation.

When you shop with them, you know that the advice and services you’re getting from them are the best out there, and that the personalised experiences they offer are ones that their customers don’t easily forget.

 

 

The hunger for personalised products is influenced by a number of factors, from the continual evolution of retail driven by the development of technology, to consumers who are increasingly sophisticated and brands with a desire to stand out in a crowded market. The challenge for retailers is the need to map out new processes to handle the demands, speed and innovation of something like customisation.

 

“Current systems are there to be challenged. Standard pathways are primed for reform. Now is the time to innovate...... Now is the time to play, to envision, and to create.” — adidas