How to Increase Sales through Product Personalization

Hitting your sales targets in such a highly crowded space requires advanced tactics. With its ability to build a connect with buyers, product personalization can do wonders for your business.

The online market is steadily getting more saturated with each passing year. Thanks to the COVID 19 pandemic, now even offline-only businesses have been forced to embrace the eCommerce market. 

Hitting your sales targets in such a highly crowded space requires advanced tactics. With its ability to build a connect with buyers, product personalization can do wonders for your retail business. 

And the best part is, thanks to modern digital technologies, it is now easier than ever before to add personalization features to an eCommerce platform. 

What is product personalization

As individuals, we often yearn to own products that are truly unique and customized. You can easily identify a personalized product – it could be a t-shirt with a photo of your pet, stationery items with your insignia, and so on. 

When a business allows its customers to modify products in this manner, it can be called product personalization. Though it can be applied in a wide range of segments, product personalization is most prevalent in niches like apparel, shoes, accessories, and stationery products. 

Is there a difference between personalization & customization

These two terms are often used interchangeably, but there is enough difference depending on the context to cause quite a lot of confusion. 

When talking about allowing customers to make changes to products, customization and personalization have broadly the same meaning. Customization might be a bit more limited, as the options are predetermined – like different color choices, add-on features, and so forth. 

Personalization would be taking things to the next level, allowing the customer to add inputs. Most often, this is done through the ability to add custom images, photos, signatures, handwriting, and so on. 

Personalization also has a whole different meaning from a business perspective – it can also be used to describe the type of shopping experience you deliver to each customer. Using historic individual data, you can suggest specific products and categories – like Amazon or Netflix does.  

Since this article talks about personalizing a product, the first definition is more applicable. 

How product personalization impacts sales 

There are many compelling reasons to consider product personalization as a part of your growth strategy. Here are some of them: 

The demand for personalization transcends generations – the appeal for personalized products is not restricted to any age group. Teenagers, young adults, senior citizens all appreciate this option, albeit on different products. 

Customers are willing to pay more – According to Deloitte reports on the topic)PDF link), retail consumers are often willing to pay as much as 20% premium for personalized products. 

There is a clear demand for personalization – From big brand apparel retailers to small local bakers, everyone is offering this feature, according to the NY Times. Ignoring this would mean losing out potential customers to rivals. 

It helps build a connection with customers – Buyers tend to show increased loyalty to brands that provide personalized products. They may also be more willing to share user data in such cases. 

Important Question to Ask About Product Personalization

While it applies to many products and niches, personalization cannot be easily cut-and-pasted on any segment. Without proper planning and preparation, it could easily end up as a costly, unviable failure. It would be prudent to find the answers to these important questions right at the beginning:

Is my product suitable for personalization? 

There are no straight answers to these questions. Personalization is possible both at mass-manufacturing and smaller scales of production. Some products like t-shirts, cakes, jewelry, etc allow easy customization and personalization. Others not so much. Figure out which side your product falls into. 

Does my customer want personalization features? 

Perhaps, this is the more important question. Even if a product can be personalized, there might not be much demand among the demographic. For instance, personalized shoes and apparel may appeal more to younger generations, while accessories and stationery may attract an older clientele. 

How much customization should I offer? 

This is an often-overlooked aspect. Unnecessarily deep personalization/customization options may drive customers away. In some instances, at least, it is better to keep things simple. It will also reduce the level of changes that you need to make to your existing manufacturing or supply chain capabilities.  

Getting Started with Product Personalization

Here are the main steps involved in adding product personalization from scratch to your online shopfront: 

Collect & Analyze Customer Data

To find answers to the questions we mentioned above, you need data from your target demographic. There are many ways to collect this – through surveys, suggestion forms during checkout, market research, and so on. 

Create Personalization Templates

Based on the information gleaned from the customers, identify specific products (or even aspects or products) that can be easily customized. It is always better to start small here. Try creating small personalization templates for a few products in the beginning, with limited options for customers – you can expand them later if necessary. 

Implement changes to your Production workflows

Often, you can do personalization in-house using specialized equipment like 3D printers. But in the case of more complex products, you may have to work with vendors to implement the necessary modifications and changes. Calculate appropriate lead times by testing your personalization templates. 

Add customization modules to your eCommerce platform

The importance of this step cannot be overestimated. The interface can make or break your personalization project. Many e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Amazon offer specially designed customization modules for a wide range of products. If you operate an independent site/app, work with your DXP or CSM vendors to add vital features including: 

  • Real-time 3D product visualization 
  • Mobile optimization
  • AR/VR, visual search

Integrate other customer-friendly features

When it comes to product personalization, the user experience is critical. Try to add extra features and services to improve the overall digital experience. Video guides, tutorials, design suggestions, trends from other customers, live assistance – these are features that can greatly enhance the user satisfaction levels. 

Take feedback from customers to improve customization features

Running an online commerce platform involves continuous optimization and tweaking. This is especially important when launching a new feature. To identify and iron out all the kinks that will inevitably crop up, don’t forget to watch for feedback from customers! 


Whether you like it or not, product personalization is here for the long haul. The digital technology which enables it is getting better with each passing day. More and more businesses will start offering such services in the future, given the sustained interest among consumers. To get the most out of product personalization, it is important to get on board as soon as possible!


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