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Software Lets Users Customize Online Product Purchases

Sara Angeles, Contributing Writer

Selling custom products is expensive. Developing a platform to sell them online is even more costly. Nike, whose NIKEiD allows customers to customize shoes and accessories, spent nearly $20 million doing so. For small businesses selling their products online, however, there's an easier and cheaper way to give customers exactly what they're looking for.

Citizen Made, a L'Oreal-backed startup, offers businesses and designers a cost-effective way to sell customized products online. Through its e-commerce platform, Citizen Made aims to save designers time and money by eliminating the need to create expensive proprietary systems that enable product customizations at online stores.

Instead of spending millions of dollars creating their own software, businesses can purchase a subscription and integrate Citizen Made's software into their own websites and shopping carts. Customers can then select customization options, visualize the product in real-time, and directly make the purchase online. Gone are the days of customers calling to request pricing for customized products and nervously making purchases for something they've never seen before.

For example, in a video posted on its website, customers browsing a bicycle shop's website can use the software to "build" their own bicycle by selecting different parts, such as its frame, seat or handlebars. They can then test and see what the bicycle will look like using different colors and other customizations before proceeding to buy it online.

"Whether you sell custom bicycles, glasses, watches, you name it, Citizen Made software helps customers from anywhere in the world visually place their orders directly from your site," its creators said in the video. "We believe in local businesses, small batch production and the power of makers who share their unique product offering with the world."

With its turnkey solution, Citizen Made's full-service e-commerce software also enhances customers' online shopping experiences by allowing them to co-create a product in real-time, instantly see how much it costs, and make a purchase, all in one place.

Subscription to the service starts at $19 a month. Enterprise pricing is available for unlimited customizations and transactions, art services, support, analytics, and other advanced options.

Citizen Made recently soft-launched in Chicago and is expanding its operations with a second office in New York City.

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