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McKinsey and Company

Massive Shift to Mass Customization

Is mass customization of products finally on track to become the norm?

Academics and consultants have prognosticated this post-Industrial Revolution, end-of-mass-production era for two decades. They foresaw consumers routinely customizing goods online to meet personal tastes before the products are made.

No overnight sea change happened, however. Instead, companies—from the mammoth to the upstart—have slowly embraced or at least experimented with the approach, especially in recent years. Often this is how revolutions happen. Quietly, momentum builds until the revolutionary becomes the mainstream.