Cus­tomiza­tion trend sweeps lo­cal brands

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Business - By LIU YUKUN li­uyukun@chi­

Xia Hao, 22, a se­nior univer­sity stu­dent from Linzi county, Shan­dong prov­ince, thought noth­ing of splurg­ing 1,000 yuan ($157) on a set of cus­tom­ized skin­care prod­ucts to gift them to his girl­friend on May 20.

The date, when pro­nounced in Chi­nese, sounds like ‘I love you’, and hence has come to be re­garded as the Chi­nese Valen­tine’s Day.

For Xia, the skin­care prod­ucts make for per­fect valentines. “I think my girl­friend will like them as their unique for­mula suits her skin per­fectly. Even I’d like to re­ceive such per­son­al­ized valentines rather than one-size-fits-all gifts.”

Small won­der, fash­ion, cos­met­ics, ac­ces­sories, even fur­ni­ture brands in China are em­brac­ing cus­tomiza­tion as a way to win new cus­tomers. And us­ing lat­est dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies like ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and big data an­a­lyt­ics, mar­ket re­search firms are help­ing brands cus­tomize their prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port on, a news web­site and app pub­lished by Sta­te­owned China Ra­dio In­ter­na­tional, about 70 per­cent of fur­ni­ture com­pa­nies are adopt­ing cus­tom­ized man­u­fac­tur­ing.

A sim­i­lar re­port on,at­e­ch­nol­o­gyin­dus­try news web­site, shows that over 50 per­cent of or­ders from Ctrip, a Shang­hai-based on­line travel web­site and app, sought par­tial or fully cus­tom­ized trips.

“Cus­tomiza­tion is on the rise,” said Liu Zi­jun, a se­nior con­sul­tant at Xi­man Color, an arts in­sti­tute in Bei­jing. “Now, con­sumers want bet­ter and more per­son­al­ized ser­vices as they have more money to spend on things over and above their ba­sic needs.”

In line with the trend, Shan­dong Lin­sen Biotech Co Ltd, a skin­care com­pany based in Linzi county, has pro­duced hand-held de­vices that al­low its cus­tomers to make their own skin­care prod­ucts at home.

“We think cus­tomiza­tion is a very promis­ing trend to gen­er­ate higher sales,” said Zheng Tao, gen­eral man­ager of Lin­sen. “In the past, we mainly fo­cused on re­search and devel­op­ment of our lines of beauty prod­ucts like creams and syrups. And be­fore that, we were rose planters.”

Zhang said that com­pared with the past when most of their rev­enues were from rose plan­ta­tions, the cur­rent sales of cus­tom­ized skin­care prod­ucts and de­vices gen­er­ate more rev­enues, and even cre­ated thou­sands of job op­por­tu­ni­ties for neigh­bor­ing vil­lagers.

Zheng claimed Lin­sen’s new prod­ucts are among the mar­ket best­sellers. “Our cus­tomers pre­fer to choose ingredients for spe­cific fea­tures like feel­ings and aro­mas. Be­yond that, our cus­tomers want re­li­able mea­sure­ments based on data in choos­ing skin­care prod­ucts. Af­ter all, every­one has dif­fer­ent skin types. They all want their skin to look the best, and nu­ances mat­ter a lot.”

Agreed Liu. “Con­sumers in pur­suit of beauty now pre­fer to spend money even on ex­pe­ri­ences. The con­stant shut­tling be­tween dig­i­tal and phys­i­cal realms helps achieve their goals.”

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent in­dus­try re­port on ad­, a web­site about startup busi­ness own­ers, dig­i­tal­iza­tion is a trend in fur­ni­ture man­u­fac­tur­ing. Doors that can be re­mote-con­trolled is a top choice for many work­ing par­ents with young chil­dren.

“I def­i­nitely pre­fer doors with that (re­mote-con­trol) func­tion,” said Bei­jing-based Marhaba Abat, an edi­tor at CRI. She hails from western Uygur re­gion of China.

“Both my hus­band and I need to work from 9 am to 5 pm to raise our fam­ily, but it’s not al­ways easy to find some­one trust­wor­thy to take care of our 10-month-old son.”

Marhaba said she would

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