Need for Product Customization in Sports eCommerce Business

Give your sports eCommerce store a push by adding customization for your consumers

People have been fascinated by personalized items even before the industrial revolution sweeped in. Anybody who could afford a special item before that would head to an artisan to make a piece of clothing, furniture amongst many other products. Then came in the idea of mass production- (We have Henry Ford and his bulk black Model T to thank for the same) and convenience of easy availability made it the law of the jungle for consumers. However, history often repeats itself. The right business acumen ensures that past practices comply well with present strategies to result into unconventional trends. In this blog, we would be covering how product customization in sports is the trend that eCommerce merchants need to get ahead with:

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Benefits of product customization in sports

Since time immemorial, sports fanatics have recognized their favorite player based on the jersey name. It is something that helps players stand out in fast paced games such as soccer or baseball. Following a similar line, product customization in sports is all about making a sports enthusiast feel extremely close to the sport they like. These products can range from personalized sports tshirts to kit bags made for a particular consumer. The idea is to completely get into the psyche of your consumer base and make them an offer, they basically cannot refuse.

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In the year 2016, I visited Camp Nou- the home stadium for Barcelona Football Team. Now, I was well acquainted with personalized jerseys and studs since I grew up around football fanatics and the birthday gifts were almost always a customized sport product. (jerseys, studs, et al)

However, what caught my attention was that the merchandising team here concentrated on a lot more than just the conventional products. You had cookie boxes, you had watches and it was pretty much a gift shop- with just one thing; it was meant for Barcelona fans with all kinds of choices. Now, the reason why I remember this story is because even though it is not quintessential personalization based on a person’s name or design choices- it still complies well with their preferences. Who doesn’t like to own a product reflecting their favorite team or their favorite players?

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As a brand, the idea of product customization in sports is to provide your consumer with a product that doubles up as an integral identity factor for them while also helping you drive sales through exclusivity.

Changing trends 

In the past, the process of selling sports products for eCommerce merchants was pretty straightforward. Retailing and manufacturing was a mass production based system and everything was predicted based on consumer scale. This was to drive sales and to achieve efficiency too. But, after a point in time- for the sports industry- the need to stand out is a lot more due to the competition and the ever changing preferences.

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So, why do we feel that customization or personalized sports products have become more of a need of the hour? Well, customization by big brands became more of a trend in the late 90s, when Adidas moved on from its image of mass production to providing custom fitted shoes. Earlier, Adidas was known for designing special shoes only for top athletes. By bringing in the concept of mi adidas, they got into customization for the masses. What changed? Well, they brought in an exclusivity that parallelled with owning something that most of the top players were donning then!

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Even so, the idea of customization; be it in personalized sports balls or personalized sports kits, still remains a niche concept. The reason for this? It is the mentality associated with the term. People feel customization instantly translates to special or unique. Let’s back it up with a few statistics. As per a study, nearly 59% of consumers say that customization impacts their shopping decision. On the other hand, 40% executives say that personalization has helped increase their eCommerce revenue. So, why are eCommerce merchants still not making the most use of it?

Innovation that is here to stay

Now that we have established that customization is a way for retailers and merchants to fulfil the product aligned with what the customer needs, it cannot be denied that it is here to stay. Right from personalized sports t-shirts to personalized sports balls, there is literally no product that can be left untouched by the magic of personal touch. Digital technology is available at tips of our fingers while operational efficiencies in the eCommerce market make it easy for enhanced manufacturing power to satiate customers and keep them coming back to you!

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The best part is that, irrespective of how old it becomes- personalization in the sports industry would always remain niche. Ten years back, who would have heard of getting a personalized sports bag right at your doorstep; something you designed and you can proudly show off. It has become quite the reality now. With stalwarts like Nike introducing the ID venture in 2006, more and more brands are finding customization their top tool in their armory of ways to increase revenue.

Our client Phoenix Bats for one has been able to introduce the convenience of customizing over 100 elements in a baseball bat. Something that you picked up from an usual brick and mortar sports shop is now a reflection on your liking.Having said that, customization is still not as prevalent as it can be. A lot of our clients have initial hesitation because it seems like a tough feature to penetrate. Here are some challenges that you may feel can set you back:

The challenges

For merchants producing a large number of goods, the costs of differentiation can be a worry. However, if you have the resources and designs set in place, all you need is a swift process planning to make the most of this service. Your customers can literally lose interest if they see monotony day on day, with products they regularly use. However, the biggest worry still remains- operational inefficiency and the fear of failure on the hosted website.

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You may get the back end logistics sorted… You are even willing to shell out a hefty sum on your marketing strategy. Your customers are on board, but your portal does not seem to comply. The customization of red color is showing an ugly shade of green and your dissuasion begins to reach an all time high. All of these are probable scenarios that are pretty comprehensible from the perspective of an eCommerce merchant. But, with the right partner- there is literally nothing that can stop you from giving the edge to your consumers.

Using Productimize to Customize

What if we tell you, that all you need is to get your manufacturing processes in place. Once this is done, then no matter what the scale of your business; your end consumer would be able to customize his product. All this while the retailer or the merchant is able to offer the uniqueness of the product and the brand is able to drive higher revenue as well as emotional connect from the customers.

You can also choose to customize only a certain section of your products. This way, you give your special customers a chance to feel unique. Additionally, your sales will also see quite a leap!

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Our client Golf Iconic has a niche concept of creating custom club head covers. This is the core basis of their business. Basically, what we mean is that you can choose to customize a section of your business. Or, you can completely host it on a trusted platform that provides effortless integration with biggest eCommerce hosts. The options for hosts include- BigCommerce, Shopify Plus, Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Magento. Apart from the seamless experience for your customers, Productimize also helps eCommerce merchants achieve the following:

  • 3D Product Visualization gives the customers an extremely close experience to reality.
  • Enhance sales with ease of use.
  • Newsletters with updates that go out every month for your customers. This way they can keep coming back to you in case you offer something matching their interests.
  • Intuitive platform for the audience making the whole transaction easy.
  • Ability to host unlimited orders and products, so the inventory can be as vast as you like.

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It’s not only about ‘how you play’ being unique to you anymore, but also about ‘what you play with’ becoming equally exclusive to you! So play your eCommerce strategy well, by getting Productimize Ultimate for your online store and we promise-together we can customize your goals and products!

Reach out to us for a demo and constantly keep the edge over your competitors with evolving technologies.

References:

http://solutionsforsport.net/2015/04/19/customisation-in-the-sporting-goods-industry/

http://www.customers.com/articles/How-Adidas-Moved-to-Smart-Customization-and-Personalized-Coaching/

https://instapage.com/blog/personalization-statistics

 

Snigdha Chaturvedi

Snigdha Chaturvedi

Snigdha is a content writer at DCKAP who loves to delve into new worlds through different modes of communication. Her current habitat is the eCommerce realm. During her respite, she goes back to her first love - teaching kids and analyzing movies!

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