Whitepaper

What do consumers want from an
  online product customizer?
        September, 2010


     info@treehouselogic...
Contents


•    Background
•    Research methodology
•    Key findings
•    Conclusions
•    About Treehouse Logic




   ...
Background

A new generation of shopping tools are driving innovation on the web.
   Shopping online is becoming increasin...
Survey Methodology

•  Research problem: What are shoppers tastes and preferences in
   the context of online product cust...
Key finding: The pillars of Ecommerce apply

When asked to build a product online, shoppers described the
following as som...
Key finding: Focus on quality, fit, and price
“If you were to 'build-your-own' product online, how important
would the fol...
Key finding: User experience is critical
 “If you were to 'build-your-own' product online, how important
 would the follow...
Key finding:        Users are price sensitive

Surprisingly, most respondents are very
concerned with price when customizi...
Key finding: Most respondents prefer simplicity
“If you were to ‘build-your-own’ product online, what extent of
customizat...
Key finding: Shoppers want guidance
“Generally speaking, what would be the best way to build a bag
online?”




    Takeaw...
Desired method of customization - Example


78% of respondents either prefer to select a
base bag and build their custom r...
Key finding: Visualization and co-creation

 “If you were to 'build-your-own' product online, what web features
 would hel...
Desired features – Visualization


Visuals




     When users are customizing a product on a website, they expect to see
...
Visualization - verbatims


Visuals




 What did you like most about the customization experience?

 • “The visuals when ...
Desired features – Co-creation




When users are customizing a product on a website, they expect to
interact with the com...
Co-creation - verbatims




How could we improve the customizer?

• “More suggestions or creations by others.”

• “Better ...
Co-creation involves the community

Co-creation is the convergence of customer design, vendor tools, and community input.
...
Desired features – Speed
  …and shoppers want websites to be fast
When respondents were asked an open question (unaided) a...
Conclusions: Top customization tastes and preferences
                                                     Fast website
 ...
About Treehouse Logic

Treehouse Logic has developed a flexible, fast, guided, visual
   customization platform that allow...
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Treehouse logic whitepaper 09 2010

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A new generation of shopping tools are driving innovation on the web. Shopping online is becoming increasingly more interactive, social, and fun. Treehouse Logic launched a research study to learn more about consumer’s evolving tastes and preferences in the context of shopping for soft goods, specifically in the context of the design-your-own, customization experience.

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Treehouse logic whitepaper 09 2010

  1. 1. Whitepaper What do consumers want from an online product customizer? September, 2010 info@treehouselogic.com 1
  2. 2. Contents •  Background •  Research methodology •  Key findings •  Conclusions •  About Treehouse Logic 2
  3. 3. Background A new generation of shopping tools are driving innovation on the web. Shopping online is becoming increasingly more interactive, social, and fun. Treehouse Logic launched a research study to learn more about consumer’s evolving tastes and preferences in the context of shopping for soft goods, specifically in the context of the design-your-own experience. We set out to shed light on topics like: •  What do shoppers want and expect from a customization experience? •  Which top customization features are most important? •  Visualization •  Speed •  Intuitive design •  Social interaction •  Will shoppers still pay a premium price for customized products? •  When customizing, do users want infinite possibilities or simplicity? 3
  4. 4. Survey Methodology •  Research problem: What are shoppers tastes and preferences in the context of online product customization? •  N = 197. 77% incidence rate •  Survey was open to a broad audience, mostly adults in the US. -  1:1 ratio of men and women •  7 question web survey - quantitative study •  Acquisition method: Facebook Ad •  Incentive: 20 respondents won a $20 Amazon card 4
  5. 5. Key finding: The pillars of Ecommerce apply When asked to build a product online, shoppers described the following as somewhat, very, or extremely important. Price 98% 88% Convenience Selection 90% Takeaway: The pillars of Ecommerce, price, selection, and convenience, continue to apply in the context of design-your-own. 5
  6. 6. Key finding: Focus on quality, fit, and price “If you were to 'build-your-own' product online, how important would the following factors be to you?” Top priorities are product quality, size / fit (specs), and sum price Takeaway: Customization starts with a high quality product, communicating size / fit, and price. 6
  7. 7. Key finding: User experience is critical “If you were to 'build-your-own' product online, how important would the following factors be to you?” User experience and selection is even more important than brand Takeaway: User experience is critical. Customization should be fast, fun, and intuitive. 7
  8. 8. Key finding: Users are price sensitive Surprisingly, most respondents are very concerned with price when customizing products. Custom products have historically proven to command a premium price. This could mean that users now expect product quality and customizable features but aren't interested in paying a premium anymore. 21%, however, are willing to pay a premium price for customized products. Takeaway: 79% of respondents feel that the price of customized products is very or extremely important. 8
  9. 9. Key finding: Most respondents prefer simplicity “If you were to ‘build-your-own’ product online, what extent of customization would you prefer?” 66% prefer “Simple. Fewer steps. Fewer configurable options.” 34% prefer “Highly Customizable. Many steps. Infinite configurable options.” Many Steps – 34% Fewer Steps – 66% Takeaway: Simple customization flows appeal to a broader audience 9
  10. 10. Key finding: Shoppers want guidance “Generally speaking, what would be the best way to build a bag online?” Takeaway: Most shoppers prefer templates and creative inspiration. Only 6% want to design a product without any guidance. 10
  11. 11. Desired method of customization - Example 78% of respondents either prefer to select a base bag and build their custom refinements or browse pre-designed bags and then refine. Respondents suggested including some creative templates in the products category, along with a blank product that allows shoppers to design from scratch. Timberland example Takeaway: Shoppers expect integrated shopping (browse) and customizing (refine) 11
  12. 12. Key finding: Visualization and co-creation “If you were to 'build-your-own' product online, what web features would help in your decision making process?” Visuals Co- creation Takeaway: The most important customization features are visualization and co-creation. 12
  13. 13. Desired features – Visualization Visuals When users are customizing a product on a website, they expect to see exactly what it is going to look like. Not only do they expect a “what you see is what you get” view of their specific creation, they expect to see alternate images and zoom images. During the customization process, users expect both a view of the sub- components that they are choosing and a composite image of the complete product, reflecting the look and feel of the final product masterpiece. Takeaway: Visualization, aka “WYSIWYG”, is critical. 13
  14. 14. Visualization - verbatims Visuals What did you like most about the customization experience? • “The visuals when designing” • “It was nice that you could always see a picture representing your choices.” • “Visualization of the fabrics and how they looked on the product.” • “Graphic presentation is pleasant.” • “Easy to use - nice visualization of completed product.” 14
  15. 15. Desired features – Co-creation When users are customizing a product on a website, they expect to interact with the community. Community could mean the Facebook “like” button, customer ratings, customer reviews, recent customer creations or staff suggestions and top sellers. Shopping is inherently social. Users want to see what other users have created, as well get advice and creative guidance from the vendor. Takeaway: Users want suggestions from both other customers and the vendor in the context of customization. 15
  16. 16. Co-creation - verbatims How could we improve the customizer? • “More suggestions or creations by others.” • “Better to provide a big pool of ‘good designs’ as showcase and customers could use those or work from there.” • “I think it can be improved by providing pre-customized products with option to modify the product.” • “I would think that there would be some standard bag suggestions in the products category, along with a blank bag that allows you to design from scratch. And, all standard bag suggestions should be customizable.” 16
  17. 17. Co-creation involves the community Co-creation is the convergence of customer design, vendor tools, and community input. • Fast, intuitive design tools • Selection of options Vendor • High quality visuals • Guidance / suggestions • Facebook “like” button • Creativity • Ratings • Tastes Customer Community • Customer creations • Preferences • Customer rec’s Takeaway: Users demand rich content, community input, and empowering tools.. 17
  18. 18. Desired features – Speed …and shoppers want websites to be fast When respondents were asked an open question (unaided) about what they liked most about a Treehouse Logic optimized customization site they visited, 76% of respondents mentioned speed and 94% mentioned visuals. 26% mentioned both speed and high quality visuals. Speed Visuals Speedy 94% 76% Visuals 18 Takeaway: Users expect rich visuals and blazing speed
  19. 19. Conclusions: Top customization tastes and preferences  Fast website  Fewer steps  Intuitive layout and design Speed  What-you-see-is-what-you-get  Zoom, alternate images  High res photos Visualization Customizer Co- requirements Creation  Inspired suggestions Price/  Customer reviews / ratings  Product quality  Best sellers  Self-education, Quality/  Customer creations (specs, descriptions) Fit  Sizing information  Selection, variety 19
  20. 20. About Treehouse Logic Treehouse Logic has developed a flexible, fast, guided, visual customization platform that allows for quick and easy creation of powerful shopping applications. Our clients get the benefit of a robust, mature configuration system without the cost or delays of custom software development. Our solutions include • product finders • product customizers (configurators) • recommenders • bundlers • co-creation experiences • mass customization tools http://www.treehouselogic.com info@treehouselogic.com 20

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