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Mass customization and personalization news
2005-05-09 - New York, USA: The casual dinnerware and home accessory retailer Pfaltzgraff is now giving its customers the ability to dynamically create custom products online, using RichFX's Rich Design technology. RichFX say that Rich Design enables mass customization for both Pfaltzgraff's soft and hard goods with the quick speed, extreme usability and superior design that their customers expect.
After extended research of its customer base, Pfaltzgraff concluded that the ability to dynamically create custom products was not only a wish, but also a necessity. Pfaltzgraff's older consumers desire custom products such as quilts and placemats for gifting or commemorating an event, while the younger generation desires custom products such as dinnerware and serving pieces for their own homes. "These young couples don't want everything on their table to match -- they want to mix and match items to make a personal statement," says Howard Blumenthal, the Director of E-Commerce and Database Management for Pfaltzgraff. "Adding a monogram or picture and choosing the band colors on their dinnerware gives them the ability to show off their individual style," Blumenthal adds. Pfaltzgraff, under its pfaltzgraff.com and pfz.com websites, gives users thousands of possible combinations of colors, designs, pictures and monograms -- and the flexibility to choose its placement on the product.
E-commerce analysts and merchandising consultants agree that designing custom products online is one of the most innovative new technologies in the market. Lauren Freedman, President of the e-tailing group explains, "It is exciting to see that the Internet allows shoppers to customize products based on their own creativity - which opens up a whole new set of shopping possibilities for the consumer."
Pfaltzgraff asked several technology companies to bid for the implementation of this online functionality and selected RichFX as the victor. "RichFX was the only company that had the required overall level of experience developing online configurators - the BallardDesigns.com custom upholstery functionality is a perfect example. RichFX also has the technical expertise and the strong collaborative team to support the project," comments Blumenthal.
After four years of running Pfaltzgraff's e-commerce operations, Blumenthal recognized that loading time to dynamically generate custom products would have to be extremely fast. RichFX met those challenges with ease. Johann Butting, Chief Executive Officer of RichFX explains, "Because RichFX's foundation is rooted in compression technology, we have the capability to speed up file delivery and allow organizations to provide richer, more animated web content to users without compromising quality."
Blumenthal is impressed with the photo-realistic quality of the custom products, and recognizes the significant opportunity in this new online design functionality. Based on Pfaltzgraff's customers' overwhelming response to the technology, Blumenthal plans to continue adding more custom items to their product line in the near future.