Mass customization has been a hot topic in recent retail trends. Not a new concept, the idea has been manifest through monogramming of leather goods, with brands like Louis Vuitton, Tumi, Coach offering this service in stores and online. From simple monogramming, to swapping around a full permutation of parts and pieces, customization has become much more sophisticated than ever before.
While mass customization may initially seem impractical for the brands, on-demand manufacturing has mitigated some of the assumed problems. But more than just logistical considerations, customization creates an experience for the customers beyond just the product. One such brand to newly adopt this concept is Armin Strom, an independent brand focusing on product engineering while creating unique experience for their customers.
The Armin Strom Configurator
Technology is key to the customer experience. For Armin Strom, the technology gives customers the excitement of designing a unique watch, in a combination that he likes best. The user interface displays a render of the watch, simultaneously as the user clicks through the flow. We found the flow to be intuitive, and fast loading. It’s easy to use and pleasant in design. But that said, the web app could have been further optimized to be responsive and build for other devices.
Armin Strom’s customization platform is named the ‘Configurator’ and sits as a tab in the main menu bar on the home page. When clicked on, the experience begins with an opening of different watch models of the brand. In UI semantics, the watch models are displayed as cards.
After the user selects his model of choice, in this case, the Armin Strom Mirrored Force Resonance, the next page opens to a mosaic display of customization choices. At first glance, the intention of the designer comes through, to put the visuals of the different parts of the watch right in the centre and have it as big as possible. Interpretively, it is also to simulate having different parts of the watch laid physically on a table that one pieces together.
A demo video of the Armin Strom Configurator
Some of the customization features of the watch with variations of colour and design include the dial, hands, strap and thread lining. The case is available in steel or gold, and with an option to be monogrammed on the plaque at the 6 o’clock position.
After configuring the front of the watch, the user clicks next and see the back of the watch and now has the option of choosing a buckle, with variations in materials, designs and colours.
The process is intuitive and easy to use, and can be completed in a short time if the user knows what he is looking for, or can take a while if he wants to explore all the options available. The system shows a picture of how the watch looks like with each selection.
Additional features are also embedded on the page, a social sharing button and a save configuration function. Social sharing as its name suggests links to social media sites and shares the render that the user is working on. The save configuration function allows the user to save his design to his account on Armin Strom.
Following the selections, the user then goes into a familiar cart and check-out flow, to input his shipping address and billing information. He completes his purchase and awaits delivery of the Armin Strom Mirrored Force Resonance, in the combination unique to him. Alternatively, he can use the sharing feature and send the configured watch to his Authorized Dealer, who can also order the design. In this route, the order is fulfilled as a brick and mortar way via the Dealer.
Stay tuned to see an unboxing of the watch and how the watch functions in daily work activities.
For more information, visit https://configurator.arminstrom.com/.
Photography by Peter Chong. Art Direction by Chelsey Chen. Model: Chester Lau.