Mass Customization in E-commerce: A Revised Typology for the Apparel Industry

(12/31/1999 20:00)

In today-s marketplace, those firms not competing on cost alone must generate added value to achieve customer satisfaction. Pine (1993) proposes mass customisation as a strategy for achieving low cost added-value by catering for individual needs at a cost comparable to that of a standardised product. The paper suggests that the customer recognition of added value will depend on utilising the right mass customisation method for a given product/service/market opportunity. In order to understand the value creation process, it has become necessary to update and revise the existing mass customisation typologies. A critical review of existing theories on mass customisation and comparative analysis of their alignment with current practice in the apparel industry was undertaken. This revealed several gaps and inconsistencies. It was found that, whilst existing frameworks concentrated primarily on customisation of tangible products and emphasised the value chain reconfiguration process, they did not provide a comprehensive definition of customisation methods applicable to product/service/experience categories in the increasingly important medium of e-commerce. In addition there was no clear distinction between personalisation and customisation and the interrelationship between the two concepts was not explicitly stated. The proposed revised classification attempts to update the existing typologies to represent current e-commerce practice more accurately. It provides added utility to apparel retailers and manufacturers considering the adoption of mass customisation

By: Julia Wolny Doctoral Student at the University of Salford under supervision of Professor Laurie Woo

Submit Date: 12/31/1999 20:00

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