What Motivates People to Customize Apparel Online?

What Motivates People to Customize Apparel Online?

Hira Cho (California State University – Northridge, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6547-7.ch009


The adoption of customizing features is expected to provide a strategic advantage to e-retailers that want to move forward in a competitive environment. The goal of this chapter is to identify a variety of aspects of consumer perceptions on e-customization for apparel shopping and to understand what can motivate the willingness of consumers to participate in the value creation process. A survey was conducted using developed customization websites for the ordering of a pair of jeans. Data were collected from 213 female college students in the U.S. Their statements after experiencing the customization process were analyzed and categorized into three dimensions of benefits (usefulness, convenience, and fun/enjoyment) and five dimensions of costs (risk, limitation, self-assurance, time consumption, and unappealing) of e-customization. Based on the findings, two discussion topics were drawn: why people are willing or unwilling to customize apparel online. Insights are generated and future research directions are discussed.
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Customization Approaches In E-Retailing

E-retailers provide customization experiences to their customers through internal and external approaches (Ansari & Mela, 2003). Internal customization, which is on-site customization, can be initiated by users (customers) who want to tailor products, services, and information to meet their desired outcomes. This customer-initiated customization gives users a feeling of control but will be successful only when users have the confidence and knowledge for the process. Internal customization can also be initiated by companies. One example of company-initiated customization is product recommendations based on references or the past purchase history of individuals. Company-initiated customization can be offered through external customization approaches as well, such as emailing potential customers personalized content and designs linked to a website. This process increases the chances of enticing the customers to visit the website by clicking the links in the email.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Online Customization: E-retailers’ offerings to meet the needs and wants of individuals.

Co-Production: Simultaneous customer and company involvement in production.

Perceived Costs: Perceived psychological/physical efforts to be invested to gain the benefits in a relationship.

Consumer Involvement: Participation by the consumer in the value production process.

Apparel Customization: Creation of apparel based on consumer involvement in the apparel production process.

Perceived Benefits: Perceived rewards expected by engaging in a relationship.

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