Many B2B and B2C customers now demand customized and personalized products, so as a business owner, this might be the best time to start offering custom products. Product customization has grown throughout every industry and niche, and it’s now a factor in getting buyers to purchase from you.
In this article, we discuss why selling customizable products is profitable and how to sell them on Alibaba.com.
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Customization involves offering a variety of designs or details of a product specifically to a customer's preference and needs. In simple words, customized products are products where customers can select the features they want to make them more unique and personal. The products are designed to meet the customer’s specifications and may differ from those available in the general market based on the designs, colors, font, functionality, logo, size, etc.
Customized products are usually created for a specific market, not the general one. For example, if you sell mugs, you can allow customers to order one-of-a-kind mugs by adding personal details like their name, logo, image, or other things.
At least 36% of customers1 want customized products and would patronize a business owner that allows customers to alter designs. Businesses that sell customized goods will likely attract more customers, making customizable products very profitable for business owners.
Here are some benefits of selling customized products:
According to McKinsey, 80% of customers expect and desire personalized experiences.2 Fortunately, product customization lets businesses deliver tailored experiences to customers. This is important because different customers have different needs and customizations allow you to reach a variety of customers. Think about it: instead of just serving a single customer base, you can customize your products to suit different segments of users.
The idea of customization is a great way to improve the customer experience so offering customized products will make your customers happier because they like it. Adding a personal touch to a product will attract customers, improve their experience and increase their loyalty to your brand.
With the popularity of customization, businesses that offer customization elements for their goods and services are more likely to make sales than those that don't. A study shows that providing customized products can increase sales by 30 percent.3 Also, Invesp research shows that 59% of marketers get a good ROI after providing customized products.4
Brands that offer custom products offer a selection of customization options for customers. Ready to start your customizable online business? Here are some steps to help you start:
One of the first steps to selling customizable products is identifying your customers and creating a user persona.
Why a user persona?
A user persona helps you identify the different segments of your customers. User persona often includes customers’ details and buying habits like location, name, age, etc. This is useful to help you know your target audience and the kind of products they would like.
The first step to selling customizable products is to figure out the kind of products you can sell. You need to sell trending and profitable products.
Now the question is, what products sell well?
You will need to conduct market research and analysis to determine products your audience will like. If you already have products you sell, you can identify a product that will work great when customized. You can also take advantage of eCommerce platforms like Amazon and Alibaba.com to find popular products in the market. Some popular customizable products you can sell include clothes, drinkware, totes, phone cases, umbrellas, t-shirts, throw pillows, and so on.
Once you know your buyer persona, it will be easy to determine the design, color, tagline, or text your customers will like. You can do this yourself using tools like Canva, or you can leverage some print-in-demand service.
Now that you have products, the next step is to decide how to sell them.
There are two primary options:
You can customize products based on what you think customers would like and store them in your inventory. The second option is to use the print-on-demand method, which means you have to wait for customers to place their orders before customizing the products based on what they want.
Print-on-demand is the most popular option because it lets you work per order. In this case, you don’t need to stock up your inventory, so it prevents loss if customers don’t purchase the custom products. Also, print in demand lets you display as many products as you want, even if you don’t have them in stock.
You can partner with a designer to customize your products or do it yourself. Some popular print-on-demand platforms suitable for custom products include Printful, Printify, Sellfy, Lulu Xpress, etc. Also, you can use tools like Canva to create your design. Once you have a design you want to create or receive a custom order, find a partner to help you create the product designs.
Now that you know what product to sell and what method you will be using, you need a place to sell it. You'd need to open a seller account to open your online store and sell your customizable products on Alibaba.com. It’s easy to do this: visit Alibaba.com and open a seller account by following the prompt.
It’s pretty easy to set up an Alibaba.com store as it requires zero experience with coding. All you need to do is open a seller account on Alibaba.com, provide the correct information, and set up a storefront. You will need to provide your business information, such as the location and types of goods you sell.
The next step is to post pictures of your custom products to help customers understand what you offer. When it comes to selling online, it is essential to upload clear photos of products to help customers have a clear image of what to expect when they buy from you. If you already have the goods in inventory, you can take pictures of the products from different angles and then post them. However, if you offer print on demand, upload the image of what the final design of the product would look like.
Adding a product description will encourage customers to purchase and provide information about the product. Alibaba.com has a description box that lets you add a short detail about the products you upload.
One of the challenges with product customization is that you may not be able to think from every customer's point of view. A customer may want a specific logo or tagline on their bottle, so there is a possibility that they won’t find anything like that in your collection. For this reason, you should have a custom builder option to let customers decide the features they want in case they can’t find them in your catalog.
One of the questions you need to figure out when selling customizable products is who will be supplying for you. You can skip this step if you manufacture and design the products yourself.
However, if you partner with suppliers or manufacturers to provide the necessary products, you must ensure you work with the right person. Try to research suppliers in your niche and confirm they are known for delivering high-quality products.
Setting up your customized store without letting your potential customers know what you are offering is not enough. So ensure you announce that you offer customized products so buyers can know. You can do this through various platforms and methods like SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, and using keywords on platforms.
Now that you’ve decided to sell custom products, let’s get into some tips for a successful online customizable business:
SEO is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website and online store, and it helps you target relevant customers and make your brand more visible.
Create social media pages for your brand and share some of your products to attract customers. You can also provide informational and educational content to keep customers engaged.
Improving customers' experience through product customization is a great idea; however, be careful so you don't overcommit in the beginning. A good idea is to start small and test the market first instead of stocking your inventory with 100 versions of one product. This is very important if you have a small budget or are a new business owner without a customer base.
So figure out what products are in trend and start with a few versions. For example, if you decide to offer phone cases, you can start with a few designs and sets of colors so that they don’t go to waste in case people do not demand them.
Asides from conducting market research before starting your product, you should also ask your customers for recommendations. This will be very easy if you already have the products you offer. Set up a quiz on your website or share it on social media platforms to ask customers for ideas on customized goods they will like. Finding what clients need will help you provide what they want and avoid working on ideas that won't work for them.
Before going ahead to stock products, it may be a great idea first. Setting up a budget will prevent overspending and let you pick products within your budget.
Every product has its target market, and you must find yours. Figure out who your target audience is and offer products they will like.
No one wants to order a design and get an entirely different thing. Submit and upload good pictures of the customized products you are offering to avoid confusion.
We’ve covered product customization, why brands should offer it, and how to start selling them.
Are you ready to start selling customized products? Try selling your custom products on one of the best and largest global marketplaces, Alibaba.com.
Alibaba.com is a great B2B e-commerce site where buyers and sellers do business together. On this platform, you can easily reach your target audience and sell to a global audience regardless of location. Some of the benefits of selling on Alibaba.com include:
To start selling your customized products on Alibaba.com, open a seller account, upload your products, add customizable options and start selling.