The ability to offer personalized product configurations allows businesses to provide customers with a limitless range of product options. However, this can also lead to an explosion in the number of SKUs needed to support the extended assortment, creating a challenge for businesses that need to scale their operations. Further exacerbating the issue are concerns around the management of product components and their final products- suppliers, inventory, cost, price, promotions, etc.

There are a variety of techniques to help retailers navigate this all-too-common problem. Some include:

  • SaaS-based Product Configurators can allow businesses to offer dynamic product personalization, allowing customers to customize their products with the features and options they desire. These tools accelerate product configuration explosions, reduce maintenance, minimize demand on legacy systems, help businesses stand out in a competitive market, and maximize customer experience.

  • Delayed SKU creation can help businesses manage personalized products’ scaling demands and potentially overcome the limitations of existing enterprise solutions. By delaying SKU creation until the product is ordered, businesses can ensure that they are not overproducing and can better manage their inventory and legacy system scaling demands.

  • Businesses must align on an approach to personalized products’ inventory, cost, and pricing implications. How will the cost of component products and final products be tracked and attributed?  What product is the final sale realized against?  Where will the margin be realized? How will order fulfillment be determined?

  • Align internal teams with the goals and objectives to understand the total scope required to deliver. This often requires involvement from IT, Digital, Merchandising, Buying, Stores, Finance, and Inventory teams to ensure the end-to-end solution is holistic. Secondarily, alignment must be had on what scope is necessary to deliver a minimum viable product (MVP) that validates assumptions made in designing the platforms and customer experiences.


Personalization is here to stay, and customers are becoming accustomed to the flexibility. Tackling these solutions will position retailers to make the most of their resources and empower these experiences.  Opportunity does not end there; further refinement can be achieved via the use of AI-driven personalization.  This could take the form of assortment determination (what combination of what components to make what final products) or to drive customer targeting based on preferences and history – just to name a few.

Retailers can also capitalize on the extended (nearly limitless) assortment by expanding their sales channels to include third-party marketplaces. This decision must be aligned with the broad strategic objectives of each retailer’s leadership but could allow deep saturation and penetration of brand, identity, and product across critical customer digital channels.