Customized Products: A Competitive Analysis
This paper investigates the competitive market for mass-customized products. Competition leads to surprising conclusions: Manufacturers customize only one of a product's two attributes, and each manufacturer chooses the same attribute. Customization of both attributes cannot persist in an equilibrium where firms first choose customization and then choose price, because effort to capture market with customization makes a rival desperate, putting downward pressure on prices. Equilibrium involves partial or no customization. In partial customization, rival firms do not differentiate their mass-customization programs: If firms customize different attributes, many more consumers are indifferent between the two firms. The elasticity of demand is increased and the resulting price war makes differentiated customization unprofitable. If firms customize the same attribute of a two-attribute product, they should concentrate on the attribute with the smaller heterogeneity in consumers' preferences. We incorporate consumers’ effort in portraying their preferences as a cost of interaction and provide public policy findings on the well-being of these consumers: When this cost is low, consumers are better off with customization than with standard goods, but firms choose too little customization. The loss in consumer surplus is sometimes captured by the firms, but for low interaction costs, firms' profit-driven behavior is economically inefficient.
Volume (Year): 24 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (February)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:24:y:2005:i:4:p:569-584. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.