The new retail: customise and multiply the value of your products


CATEGORY: strategies BRAND: Graphispag

How did a brand that started making music devices come to offer customisation solutions in a store environment? We spoke with Marc Codesal, Business Development Manager of the UV digital printing division of Roland DG Iberia S.L., about the experience of the Japanese brand in the retail environment and how customisation can increase the perception and value that the final customer has of a product.

A product such as a mobile phone casing can cost less than 1 euro. But how can that same article cost us €20 in a store? This is thanks to the customisation process, which increases its value exponentially. "Customisation is lived even in the realm of experience. There are brands that invest effort and money to make the customising experience positive and differentiating." As an example, Codesal mentions the case of Mini, the car maker that allows you to customise the interior of the car. "Not only does customisation itself become important, but also the process of doing it yourself and imagining what the final result will be like", explains the expert. Referring to previous cases, he recalls initiatives such as those of Coca Cola and Nutella, in which, although it was not customisation per use, the idea of putting names on the cans and labels of both products was very well received by customers.


Seller and consumer benefit from customisation

Customisation generates a greater differential value of the product, multiplying the value of the initial product, it reinforces the connection between brand and consumer, attracts new customers to the store, generates greater virality and allows a reduction in product stock by having blank products that can be customised instantly. The end result is an increase in sales. As far as the consumer is concerned, having a customised product enhances the experience and emotional value that is given to that product, and generates a feeling of exclusivity and differentiation.

According to a survey by the consulting firm Deloitte, the main reason why consumers opt for customisation is that when they customise a product, they consider it an excellent gift. For 50% of those surveyed this is the main reason, while for 41% it is feeling comfortable buying something perceived as unique. 34% of consumers state that conventional products or services do not offer them exactly what they want and 32% emphasise the fact of designing something oneself. Finally, for 28% it is important to buy something that expresses their own personality.


The in-store experience: an emotional process

What is the position of bricks and mortar stores when the consumer is no longer going to them and is shopping only over the Internet? For Codesal, "on the Internet, there is an effect that consists in hunting down and capturing the best price". "In this environment, stores are being relegated to the background and this situation is forcing them to reinvent themselves" he states. It is at this point where the expert believes that customisation can make the difference and added value between the online and offline environment. "The experience of being able to go to a store and customise the shoes you are going to buy to your liking is an opportunity for that store to attract the attention of a consumer who sees the Internet as a quick and easy way to buy a product," concludes Codesal.
So, the possibility of offering something different, avoiding the price war of online platforms, is a key differential aspect, because if the store offers the same thing you find on the Internet, the customer will have no interest or special motivation to go to the store.

One of the cases explained by the Roland DG Iberia expert is that of the Honda brand in Japan, where when you buy a car, they take a photo and immediately print a key ring of your car with your family inside it. With something so fast, simple and economical, the link between brand and consumer is being strengthened by appealing to customisation as an intensifier of the emotional part.

Customisation has no limits: electronic products, pallets, champagne corks, clothes buttons, cosmetics... For Codesal, everything is customisable. The company has even introduced a loudspeaker, balls and sports shoes into one of their machines. As they emit no heat, the machines can print on any medium and with variable data, allowing you to print with a single design thousands of copies applying a different number, name and photo to the repetitions. In addition, the machines can print in Braille, so they can customise any item in relief for the visually impaired, thus converting works of art in readable replicas in relief for these people. To sum up, digital technology can be customised to the max.



Success stories

Codesal cites the Wonder Photo Shop by Fujifilm and Media Markt cases as two examples in which they have carried out in-store customisation proposals with successful results. The first case is a customisation and cross-selling experience at El Corte Inglés. Buying almost any item in the storerooms you can take it to the Wonder Photo Shop kiosk and there they customise it for you. They even have tables so that the final customer can do it themselves. With this initiative, El Corte Inglés has succeeded in attracting new customers to its stores, especially the younger segment.

In the case of Media Markt, the company has seen how it has developed a complementary business, initially buying the Roland DG Iberia machine to customise electronic items and also proving to be a powerful attraction when it comes to customising decorative products. It is paradoxical that a company like Media Markt, which sells electronic products, is taking advantage of the customisation of decorative and photographic articles.


Roland, at the forefront of customisation solutions

Roland was founded in 1981 in Osaka and since then, the brand has evolved to offer not only technology but also a range of complete solutions including software, hardware, support, materials, machine decoration for customisation and training and customer advice. They offer a final software in which the customer can also carry out a customisation without needing to have any design knowledge. That is to say, it is a valid system both for professionals who use design software such as Illustrator but it is also designed for operators who do not have this knowledge thanks to a software that includes the entire library of articles and from which you can design everything. With the software, the end user can make the customisation in a library of predefined articles (from a PC, from a tablet, from the mobile and from anywhere in the world). This information is uploaded to the cloud and from there is downloaded with Roland software, and it can be sent to any technology until it reaches the final customer, who can pick it up in store.


Marc Codesal participated in the last edition of Graphispag with a talk about customisation in Retail 4.0.


Cristina Benavides, Graphispag contributor


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