In today’s competitive omnichannel environment, the ability to personalize products is vital for establishing a more loyal customer base. Customers are more engaged with companies that can customize products to suit their personal preferences. In fact, a new study shows that, with each new generation, personalization becomes more important to building customer loyalty – from 40 percent for Baby Boomers to 52 percent for Millennials and 54 percent for Generation Z.
It’s no surprise, then, that retailers will invest more on personalization efforts in 2018 than any other area of retail, according to Forrester Research.
Personalization can take many forms – everything from engraving a stethoscope to assembling beauty gift sets to personalizing the components of a subscription box. The goal is to set your company apart from the competition by offering your customers distinctive items that they cannot find elsewhere.
How Can a 3PL Help with Customization?
As you might have guessed, personalizing products can be time consuming and labor intensive to handle on your own. A third-party fulfillment provider can be a valuable resource for these value-added services. Here are five ways a 3PL can help:
1. Better manage inventory. With the ability to customize products, you’re able to stock fewer SKUs, thereby reducing the cost of carrying and managing inventory. For example, your 3PL might embroider names on jackets or add custom face plates to cell phones. By building “to order” instead of “to stock,” they can help you reduce production and inventory carrying costs.
2. Improve responsiveness. Many companies find that delaying product configuration until the last possible moment allows them to be more responsive to customer demand. A 3PL offering value-added services at strategically located facilities near your end customers can deliver customized orders quickly.
3. Eliminate overhead investment. The biggest pain points for personalization are space and labor. It can also be challenging to keep specialized equipment up to date. A third-party provider will have flexible space and staffing and state-of-the-art equipment, so you don’t have to make the associated overhead investment.
4. Accommodate fluctuations. The dramatic peaks and valleys in sales volume due to seasonality, promotions or business growth can make you feel like you’re on a roller coaster. A 3PL with a shared-space environment will have scalable resources to roll with the fluctuations.
5. Offer expertise. When it comes to personalization, you can’t rely on one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter solutions. An experienced 3PL will have the ability to tailor operations to meet specific business needs or accommodate unique requirements. They can also custom engineer processes for increased efficiency and productivity.
Ready to put personalization to work to help your business stand out from the competition? Talk to your 3PL today.