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Personalised goods grow in appeal

News, 29 July 2015

LONDON: As flexible manufacturing and 3D printing offer more opportunities for the personalisation of goods and services, new research has shown that at least a third of consumers welcome the development.

According to a survey of UK consumers conducted by professional services firm Deloitte, 36% are already interested in personalised products or services, but this rises significantly among younger generations.

Close to half (46%) of those aged 25 to 30 would welcome more bespoke offerings from brands, which is a view shared by 40% of 16-24 year-olds.

Of particular note for brands thinking of moving into this area, a full 71% of those who express an interest in personalised products say they would be prepared to pay a premium for them.

Holidays (25%) is the most popular category among consumers who have already made a personalised purchase, followed by clothing (19%) and furniture (18%).

"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," said Ben Perkins, Deloitte's head of consumer business research.

"Flexible manufacturing and 3D printing enable mass personalisation at lower costs, allowing manufacturers to rethink their supply chains radically."

He continued: "We believe the low take up so far is down to availability and suggests an advantage for the first mover. Beyond the mass customisation of products, personalisation is already playing an important role across the market from online recommendations to bespoke suite and custom-built bicycles."

Research last year from McKinsey suggested that new technologies, from 3D printing to advanced robotics, could unlock more than $30 trillion in annual value for major brands to exploit, but only if they adopt appropriate innovation models.

The report went on to warn that a very large proportion of brands currently listed on the S&P500 index could find themselves out of business over the next decade unless they adapt and innovate.

Data sourced from Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff