Selling straight-up product to consumers has been mastered by the likes of Amazon, Walmart, and many other large retailers. It is very difficult to compete with these massive brands that can invest so much into free shipping, logistics, and other amazing capabilities. One of the best ways to compete with this though is to create a product that is completely unique. A product no one else can get but on your website!
How do you do this? Well, one way is to make a unique product that you manufacture, but even sometimes that is not enough if it is something that is easily commoditized. A great way to become more desirable and unique is to offer product customizable capabilities such as what Nike did to Pioneer this via their shoe customizer. Many other companies have followed suit with product customizers which I have written about in the past.
So how do you go about this? There are many things you may have to do on the operational side to get this product to market, but you also need to make sure that you have the web capabilities to do this. In 2018 you don’t need to build this from scratch. Popular platforms like Magento and Shopify and an additional add-on can allow you to do this.
Here are some of the popular options for product customizers!
Fluid is used by some big name brands like Reebok and North Face. They have built arguably the most competitive enterprise custom product builder on the market. They don’t publicize what platforms this plays nicely with but I assume they can make it work with anything with enough money. By the looks of these brands, I would guess this is suited for sites on Demandware, Magento Commerce, Hybris, and other big-name enterprise platforms.
Adobe Experience Manager Dynamic Media
Adobe is the leader in content creation software. They have a product, Adobe Experience Manager Dynamic Media, formerly Adobe Scene 7, that allows you to create a robust set of images with one master file. This can be used to display a wide range of custom product options from one file. This is a great platform that could be used to build a product customizer experience online!
My customizer might be the best bang for your buck if your budget is limited but you want something robust like Nike. They charge per transaction and product, so the more products you add the more it gets expensive. We worked with them and were able to implement for almost no developer cost on our end on the Magento Enterprise platform! The client was able to get up and running with an amazing customizer for almost no upfront cost relative to most other robust solutions.
Magento Bundled Products
Magento has fairly customizable product options natively. Most people just don’t properly learn how to use them. It doesn’t have the native ability to customize each piece visually of the image of a product like you can with some of the more robust solutions but you could very easily out of the box with Magento create a fairly customizable product using configurable, bundled, or even add some custom options to that. There are similar apps and solutions out there for platforms like Shopify and I am sure some of the other major eCommerce platforms.
Smart Customizer has some big-name clients like Addidas and BMW so you know their solution can handle enterprise-level requirements. They claim to be able to integrate with your brand so I would assume they can play nicely with platforms like Magento, Demandware etc. They have a live demo on their site which is pretty impressive so this is certainly a premium option worth considering if you are looking to implement a product customizer versus building one from scratch.
I am sure there are solutions out there I am missing. This is a fairly fractured small market of new small tech companies so its not always easy to find whats out there for this. Please comment or add anything you think should be on this list!