PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Lids Co-Founder Launches ‘Make My Cap’ as Young Shoppers Demand Customization

Lids Co-Founder Launches ‘Make My Cap’

As the rise of direct-to-consumer (D2C) enables more personalized experiences than ever, both in terms of the shopping journey and the products themselves, Lids’ co-founder is getting into custom headwear.

Glenn Campbell (not that one), who co-founded Hat World in 1995 and acquired Lids several years later, driving its global growth, launched Make My Cap, a new company announced Tuesday (April 9). The platform enables consumers to choose a hat style and size, uploading custom artwork.

“After dedicating over 25 years to the headwear industry, launching Make My Cap feels like a natural progression,” Campbell said in a statement. “Our goal is to lead with reliability, exceptional service and quick turnaround times, setting a new benchmark in the market.”

To cater to the needs of younger generations, D2C brands are increasingly providing online customization tools and platforms that enable consumers to personalize their products according to their preferences. These tools may include options for selecting colors, sizes, materials and adding personalized details such as monograms or custom engravings.

Consumers are proving to be willing to pay a premium for customized items. Take BaubleBar, which has made an entire business around customization, initially with jewelry and later expanding to phone cases. Last year, it began selling $42 customized hairbrushes that take seven weeks to ship.

In the fall, Pair Eyewear, a D2C eyewear brand selling customizable glasses, announced that it raised roughly $75 million in its Series C funding round, bringing its total funding to $145 million, having grown its revenues 24-fold since 2020.

Personalized product options contribute to a more engaging and personalized shopping experience for consumers. By offering customized products that align with individual preferences and tastes, D2C brands can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Young consumers especially demand personalization not only from the products themselves but also from their shopping experiences, according to “Personalized Offers Are Powerful — but Too Often Off-Base,” a PYMNTS Intelligence research study. The report, which drew from a survey of more than 2,500 U.S. consumers, found that 45% of millennials and 31% of Generation Zers consider personalized merchant offers to be very or extremely important.

Moreover, one study found that 75% of Gen Z consumers are more likely to buy a given item if they have the option to customize it.

These young consumers are D2C brands’ best customers. The PYMNTS Intelligence report “The Online Features Driving Consumers to Shop With Brands, Retailers or Marketplaces” found that Gen Z consumers are the most likely to want to buy directly from a brand. Specifically, 43% of Gen Z said they definitely or probably prefer a brand’s own online store — above the 28% of the population as a whole that said the same.

D2C shops are also uniquely suited to meeting this demand for practical reasons. Unlike traditional retailers that rely on bulk production and inventory management, D2C brands often employ agile manufacturing processes that allow for greater flexibility and customization. By using on-demand production, brands can efficiently produce customized products without the need for large-scale inventory.

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