Building loyalty through customized products and services

Eagle Watch Golf Course, Woodstock, GAAs kids we used to happily create personal gifts for our family and friends. It’s ironic, during my last move to my new home that keeping those special “Arts and Crafts” products made by my son are the very ones I still cherish the most. Of course, there’s the emotional ties included in those lopsided candy dishes and Christmas ornaments made out of popsicle sticks, but it reminds me of the latest trends labeled as “Go Green,” “Do-it-Yourself,” and “Buy Local Farmer Markets.” Buying custom merchandise, although a bit more sophisticated than the necklace made by my son with colored glass beads for my Mother’s Day present, still brings to mind being able to design a piece of custom jewelry in the colors I want to match an outfit, or even those custom sneakers specially made to lift my arches that truly commands a shopper’s appreciation of individualism – a concept we all cherish.

Macy’s, a Cincinnati based department store saw their sales increase in June by  7.5 percent rising from $2.2 billion to $2.4 billion. So how did they do it? Their innovative “My Macy’s” program divides the organization into small geographic segments, each of which is handled by “on-the-ground” buyers who select merchandise based on the specific demands of a store’s customers. Where fashion for the golf communities of Palm Beach Florida are infinitely more applicable to the Macy’s in South Florida, chances are there is far less demand in Wichita, Kansas. And if those same golfers in Palm Beach can avail themselves to custom golf shoes or other individualized golf course necessities, the more communication and individualization – the more likelihood of customers returning to the same stores.

This shopper customization service may cost companies millions of dollars collecting data to segment buyers, but the rewards no doubt are paying off. Finding out what customers in specific locations buy and how and why they buy, offers the company the opportunity to meet individual needs and ultimately build loyalty. As consumers find the easy way to buy custom products made exactly the way they want, it helps eCommerce establishments to interact with their customers. Of course that is exactly what any retail establishment wants since it makes consumers feel they are dealing with real people in real situations.

No longer will a  customer be lost in the generic “shopping cart” of Internet buying. Interesting concept, don’t you think?

photo credit: danperry.com

One Response to “Building loyalty through customized products and services”

  1. Sarah Hedayati said:

    Aug 02, 11 at 11:54 am

    I think this is such a great way to build loyalty. Companies are constantly trying to come up with ways to entice people to become repeat customers. What better way than giving people exactly what they want and making it unique to each individual? Genius. No wonder they are seeing profit increases!