The innovative 18th century minds behind the first industrial revolution – which changed the way textiles were manufactured and led to the creation of the first factories – could never have imagined where industry would be in another 300 years.
We are now at the start of a new industrial shift, from mass production into mass customisation – a central driver behind what some have dubbed the “third industrial revolution”.
At Techdept we think that this third industrial revolution will be greater facilitated by the trends we see online; of connected devices, frictionless sharing, and collaborative co-creation between brands, entrepreneurs and their consumers.
As the world braces itself for another wave of revolutionary technological change – how can you prepare your business?
The benefits of personalisation
Mass customisation greatly enhances the customer experience and it provides a number of practical benefits. Most notably, it includes using fewer materials – and therefore less waste, a focus for every business now, for economic as well as ecological reasons.
An in-depth study on mass customisation released by the European Union in September 2013 illustrated how online clothing shops could “increase their conversion rate by two times and reduce their item returns by 10 per cent”.
Rather than a company mass producing a single item and hoping it will sell, what if your customers could input their exact measurements along with desired design and colour into a web or social app, resulting in a product explicitly tailored for them?
Introducing the internet
Devices that are connected to the internet create streams of data based on the usage of that product. The advantage for businesses is that they can learn about their consumers from a variety of these touchpoints and feed those directly into the personalisation process.
The ability to extract both “Big” and “Social” data from the web has advanced massively over the past five years. We can now track consumers’ positive and negative social emotions to create an idea of what a potential customer wants before they’ve even shown an intent to buy. Therefore the way businesses can engage with consumers will become more personal, and personalised.
Indeed in the future consumers may advertise their data – for brands to choose them – rather than brands advertising their products for the consumers to choose.
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