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More than a third of polled U.K. consumers want personalized products, manufacturers rethinking supply chains


July 27, 2015   by Canadian Underwriter


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A new Deloitte LLP survey out of the United Kingdom shows that consumers want their products personalized, with the greatest interest voiced by those aged 16 to 30.

More than one-third of surveyed consumers reported that they are interested in personalized products or services

Mass personalization is set to become a reality, with 36% of surveyed consumers reporting they are interested in personalized products or services, notes a press issued Friday by Deloitte LLP, the U.K. member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

More specifically, research by the business advisory firm indicates 43% of respondents between the ages of 16 and 24 and 46% of those aged 25 to 30 say they are attracted to personalized goods and services. Of the consumers who expressed an interest in personalized products, 71% notes they would be prepared to pay a premium, the statement adds.

“Businesses have not only developed the capabilities to measure specifically what each individual consumer wants, they are now in a position to link their processes and resources to provide it,” Ben Perkins, Deloitte’s head of consumer business research, says in the statement. “Flexible manufacturing and 3D printing enable mass personalization at lower costs, allowing manufacturers to rethink their supply chains radically,” Perkins points out.

Deloitte notes, however, that take-up to date has not matched the stated interest. Only one in six of consumers have ever bought these products or services.

The three product categories where customers have already made the most personalized purchases are holidays (25% of surveyed customers), clothing (19%) and furniture (18%). If businesses can successfully add a personalization process or personal touch that consumers are seeking, they “can simplify their range and benefit from more predictable levels of demand, and may even command a price premium,” Deloitte suggests.

“Businesses are now postponing production until the latest point possible to allow individual customization,” Perkins says. “Beyond the ability to provide more customized products, postponing production can help reduce inventory levels and, ultimately, increase efficiency. We believe the low take-up so far is down to availability, and suggests an advantage for the first-mover.”