Affected by The High Costs and Aesthetical Difference, Personal Customization Will be Dominated by Manufacturers in The Short Term
Currently, the consumer goods e-commerce platforms, especially C2M, are exploring personal customization and are offering many personalization options for consumers on the terminal e-commerce platforms. However, affected by the high costs and the aesthetical differences between the consumers, now, scale customization is mainly dominated by manufacturers. The model of “fully customized” consumer goods for the general public still has a long way to go. In this process, the C2M platforms and manufacturers need to transform their production lines to reduce customization costs. At the same time, the e-commerce platforms and manufacturers need to help the consumers to improve one's aesthetic taste, preparing for the popularization of personal customization. Offering personalization options will be the eternal theme for customization in the short, medium and long terms.
In China, there are a large number of consumer-goods manufacturing factories at different levels. Affected by the higher requirements at the demand side, costs is no longer the only indicator for the selection of partners. Technology upgrade is a major trend in the manufacturing industry. The manufacturers will be reshuffled and those with capacity for flexible production and their own brands will be more competitive. In this process, e-commerce platforms, especially C2M platforms, will play an important role.
Though the brands are moving their factories to the Southeast Asian countries with lower labor costs, China boasts incomparable advantage in supply chain and infrastructure. iResearch expects that the orders will flow back because: 1) The labor and rental expenses keep increasing in Southeast Asia, especially in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, almost as high as in China. The advantages in costs are disappearing gradually. 2) With a vast territory and rich natural resources, China has high efficiency thanks to the complete industrial chains, well-established storage and delivery systems, a full range of raw materials, as well as timely delivery based on the supply chain infrastructure. 3) C2M platforms require that the factories have flexible production lines to meet the demand for “quick response to small orders”. This is an important capacity for many brands and has become the core competitiveness that distinguishes the Chinese manufacturers from the cost-driven markets in Southeast Asia.Therefore, iResearch believes that China will remain the world’s manufacturing center and that the C2M will be an important impetus for the transformation.
In China, debranding cost-effective economy has become an important part of the consumer market. As the e-commerce platforms keep developing and are accepted by more consumers, the e-commerce platforms will have to compete with traditional cost-effective brands like UNIQLO, ZARA, MUJI and IKEA.
On the one hand, thanks to online channels and fewer offline physical stores, the e-commerce platforms have great price advantage.
On the other hand, with no offline links, the e-commerce platforms are weak in improving user experience and attracting offline traffic. In the future, the e-commerce platforms will focus on improving the user experience by developing offline scenarios, or by using AR, VR and other emerging technology.