JD.com allows users to tailor-make clothes, pushing the boundaries of mass customization

Big e-commerce platforms have the tech and supplier connections to potentially make customization work at scale.

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China’s e-commerce platform JD.com has started to allow its users to order tailor-make clothes, moving beyond offering only ready-to-wear garments, according to a company statement.

As a JD.com user, you can provide your measures and preferences for garment details including which type of fabric, the types of cuffs and pockets and then wait for seven to ten days to get your customized clothes. If you want to take tailor-made clothes one step further, you can also order a human tailor to stop by to take your measurements. JD offers this service via its J.Zao flagship store. That’s the company’s own brand for various goods such as clothes and kitchenware.

It’s another attempt by JD.com to push the boundaries on what it can offer its users. In its tough competition with Alibaba’s TMall, JD has to find ways to stand out.

In the eyes of Zhou Ting, the dean of Yaok Research Institute, a firm that focuses on luxury industry insights, JD is leading a trend called ‘mass customization’ which has become possible in the internet era.

She had written about this trend in  a report in 2015, predicting that customization could be a “big” industry. Today she told KrASIA that she believes e-commerce platforms can “shoulder the responsibility” of scaling up customization.

JD.com is visionary in catching this trend, she said, but cautioned hat this model can be easily duplicated by other e-commerce sites.

To provide a stand-out product, JD could differentiate itself by offering a sophisticated and smooth customer experience across its customization process, which  will require store operators and suppliers to cooperate closely.