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This research focuses on configurators, a package that allows consumers to customize their product(s). The aim of this study was to assess the learning process of customers throughout their online configuration tool kit experience (Stevens & Jouny-Rivier, 2020). One specific area of interest was the information provided in the configurator, which can be used to educate customers during their use. The researchers recruited 35 participants with comparable internet experience, but none of the subjects had prior experience with configurators. The participants were able to explore six different configurators from 3 goods categories (accessories, cars, and shoes).

Since this study was exploratory in nature, the authors found some really interesting nuggets! However, I encourage you to check out the full article if you feel like nerding out. For now, I will stick with some practical implications from the study. First, it was found that experiential learning plays a huge role in configurators. The findings suggest that customers “may feel disappointed” or frustrated when they do not understand the process, vocabulary, or the options provided. Thus, information should be provided throughout the process in a configuration tool kit, as consumers appear to crave that clarity. Remember, not all information presentation is created equal though. The results also suggest that consumers may get bored with the process after some time, so the process should be quick and/or include gamification aspects. Adding gamification elements can help boost positivity and customer satisfaction. Lastly, the results showed that self-accomplishment was associated with customer-brand relationship. Customers felt “happy” and “proud” when they were able to customize a product that was different and/or personal. With this knowledge, the authors suggest adding a section where consumers can see the latest configurations for inspiration!

Key Takeaway

Implementing configurators can be an excellent form of customer education, leading to customer-brand loyalty and feelings of “self-accomplishment” for the consumer.

Read More ($)

Stevens, E., & Jouny-Rivier, E. (2020). Customers’ learning process during product customization: The case of online configuration tool kits. Information & Management, 57(6).

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