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Social e-commerce in China, mass customization & personalization

Published on May 13, 2011 by in online marketing

At present, 3digitalminds is working on a new project for Asian markets. With Juuway we will offer customized products for Asian customers, based on social media and social co-creation. 1,3 billion Chinese with black hair and brown eyes want to make a difference – the next China hype will be personalized fashion and other personalized products, combined with social media. The demand is overwhelming: 76% prefer customized products. 67% want a higher extend of personalization than just imprints. 62% are interested in an individualization of other product categories.

Please contact us for further information or knowledge exchange.

Oliver Hickfang, Partner of 3digitalminds, told cookiesncode some details about his philosophy of fashion mass customization in China. Read the whole interview here:

What are your personal associations with the term “mass-customisation”- what does it mean to you?

When I first time ever heard about mass-customisation I thought, isn’t that just a new commercial buzz word or – even worse – a contradiction in itself? I asked myself, how can a company make money by following a single customer wish on a scalable mass production plattform? Now, some years and some purchases of mass-customized products later I know better: the combination of smart management, smart production processes, the interactive web and last but not least the outsourcing of tasks to the customer makes mass-customization possible. And, by the way, DIY is nothing new but a re-invention of the “do it yourself” movement from the 50s and 60s when the mass effective production took place in the western world and some people just weren’t unsatisfied with style and image guidelines from the industry. The combination of our actual production and distribution knowledge with the creative and social knowledge of the customer will create the best customized products we have seen so far.

Do you remember in which context you first came across it?

As I remember the first time ever I purchased a customized product was some years ago during an Indiatrip where I found a custom tailor for suits. After measurement and agreeing on the style details the suit was ready to wear within 5 days. I had the chance to visit the production place and was surprised about the well organized processes: each tailor was responsible for sewing just very few dedicated pieces of the suit, one tailor sewed all pieces together and one was responsible for the final quality check. The concept of mass production with a personal touch was fully understood.

Do you know why there is this sudden interest in MC and related concepts at the moment?

First: people are sick and tired of wearing boring clothes or possessing mass products which they might find in their friends place as well. A person in an affluent society who basically has everything needs the next kick which is something special, personal, and individual. Second: The social web along with borderless interaction stimulates consumers to exchange and show their creations. Nothing is more appealing and worth talking about than own achievements and nothing is more interesting for friends to share and be proud of. Third: where a demand is also a supply. Companies are aware of the trend for customization and by answering it with products and services they even more stimulate the development.

Why/ in which situation did you decide to employ MC/work with MC- a little background?

Some years ago I had the idea to open a company for mass customized business shirts but a great offer from an international consulting company came across so I skipped that idea. However, I never totally buried that idea. After living in Chinafor some years and experiencing the matchless demand of 1, 3 Billion people with black hair and brown eyes for appearing a little bit more individual I decided to open my own company in the co-creation field.

How did that work out for you- what new challenges did it raise for you and how did you deal with them?

Asian markets, especially China, are highly challenging and demanding. Not only concerning the set up and the running of a company but also the complex cultural background and history which effects consumer’s predispositions. For example, the color white in Europemeans beauty and virginity; in Chinait might be associated with death as well as the number 4. Especially Chinais facing a development from an agricultural based country to a modern industrialised country in now time. While Europeand the USAneeded some decades to introduce landline telephone to every household the Chinese just skipped the landline and introduced mobile smart phones. Very fast developments not seldom have their victims and often the law and reliably regulations stay behind the actual reality. From my opinion the biggest challenge in Chinais having a strong and reliable network, a long term vision and piece of mind.

Source: Social e-commerce in China, mass customization & personalization

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One Response

  1. Ben

    China is huge with different cultures in different regions. getting it rights also requires internet reputation now. if yo fail on oneline and social media marketing, it is gauranteed 90% that sme will be out of the market. Many of my fds use professional marketing agent , one of the stongest they suggest to me is http://www.chinamarketingpro.com

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