Retail data analysts at Deloitte just released their projections for the 2017 holiday shopping season. While retailers in general are on track to post a 4 – 4.5% jump for in-store revenues, individual winners and losers will be determined by how well they are able to customize what they offer and seize customer attention.

The holidays look even cheerier for ecommerce sites, which are likely to see a 18-21% increase in revenues, up to $114 billion over the shopping season.

However, not all businesses will share equally in the gifts that keeps on giving. The report concluded, “Consumers have unlimited alternatives and often bounce between brands, touchpoints, and influencers, making it more difficult for retailers to attract shoppers without some level of customization.”        

Old-fashioned methods that used to drive revenues — like advertising blitzes, themed sales and creative in-store displays — won’t be enough for the new omnichannel shopper. Deloitte wrote, “Retailers should modify their assumptions about what drives traffic, engagement and holiday sales growth, and realign around customer experience, creating relevant, emotional and inspirational connections that go beyond just product, price, and assortment.”

The Emotional Pull of Customized Goods

“It is an established fact in behavioral psychology that people absolutely love things they’ve toiled to create.” – Anthony Flynn, Custom Nation

The emotional bond between a creator and their creation is undeniable. It was recognized as a basic human trait all the way back in Greek mythology. In the story of Pygmalion, a sculptor creates a statue so beautiful that he prays for her to come alive, and she does. That same wish is at the heart of the Italian folk tale Pinocchio, and its many adaptations.

From the taste of tomatoes grown in your own garden, to the pride that comes with self-publishing on Amazon, collaborative customization has grown to be a driving force in business. Interior designers and chefs have long been able to testify for the enthusiasm customers bring to co-creation. In Flynn’s collection of customization stories mentioned above, he points to the data from custom winemaker Crushpad. They enable customers to take part in making their own wine and then put on tasting events. 80% of customers are convinced that their own wine is the best by objective standards.

One of the foremost academics studying the emotional component of customization is Dan Ariely, Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. Flynn interviewed Ariely in Custom Nation to gather insights into Crushpad-type customer responses. Ariely said, “The moment you believe people are different, you [also] know that people want individual customization…. There’s no other way to think about it.”

One of Ariely’s most cited studies involved subjects who created simple art projects like origami frogs and Lego helicopters. Subjects rated their own creations compared to those of others. The report concluded that there was a financial valuation component to their emotional attachment. “The first thing we found was if there was an origami that you built and an origami that somebody else built, you think that yours is much, much more beautiful. Not only is it more beautiful, you’re willing to pay much more for it….”

Surprisingly, this effect even comes into play when customers simply chose from a list of premade designs and virtually add them onto pre-built objects using on online customization engine. A study by the Vienna University of Economics and Business, started with two groups of customers. One group added designs for a pair of skis from an online collection of art. The other group simply selected from among professionally designed skis. Those who took part in picking out the design said they would pay almost twice as much for the finished product than those who selected from ready-made professional designs.

Visualization and Personalization For Every Kind of Product

The Doogma Designer™ utilizes Doogma’s patented technology to enable sellers to rapidly deploy product customization and personalization options with the best-in-class user experience. No matter what kinds of products you sell, the Doogma team will be able to leverage its powerful software and extensive experience to your advantage. The Gallery at displays a very wide range of visualization, customization and personalization solutions deployed by Doogma.

Contact Doogma to see how we can help you realize your custom product designer needs for your online products. Visit or call 312-270-0700.

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