The trend of Mass Personalization refers to the creation of highly personalized commercial experiences for individual customers that are designed to be applied on a mass scale. This trend utilizes advanced analytics of customer data, from geographic region to past customized purchases, to detect patterns at both the individual level and collective level and offer bespoke products and services.
Personalization differs from customization, which is when customers can choose from a set of attributes or amenities, like the color of their next sneakers or their seat position on a flight. Rather, personalization is when organizations proactively tailor the customer experience based on individual user data and aggregated data such as demographic categories and past customization choices, in attempts to make the user feel more special and valued. This personalization is already apparent in some e-commerce realms, like movie streaming services recommending certain films after analyzing one’s selection history and fashion marketplaces suggesting styles based on one’s age and gender.
As 71% of online shoppers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, there is a growing need for businesses to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics to help seek patterns and fine tune these personalized journeys on a mass scale, especially as a company’s consumer base grows to thousands and millions of interactions. The logistics industry is by no means immune to this B2C consumer expectation, and supply chain leaders are already looking into how their organizations can better utilize data to improve the customer experience. Also, logistics players are the enablers of their B2B customers’ personalization strategies and must anticipate the shifting agendas of these customers to ensure high quality service and cost-efficient offerings.
The trend of Mass Personalization has a relatively low impact on the logistics industry. While particularly relevant for B2C logistics engagement, the trend has so far only seen limited application in B2B logistics relationships. Supply chains should be capable of adapting to handle more customized products, and overall operational changes for the logistics provider are not anticipated to be disruptive. However, offering the right logistics services to companies with more complex product portfolios will be crucial to stay relevant for certain customers. The trend of Mass Personalization has a realization of about 5 years – significant progress is being made in improving personalization algorithms and further tailoring customer experiences, but it will take time for the logistics industry to adopt this trend and train these algorithms.