(BPT) - It seems consumers want to customize just about everything these days. Why? Because they can. Advances in online capabilities and a growing desire to make life's experiences uniquely our own are changing the way we shop, cook and eat.
While customization has been around for some time, the accessibility of online tools has made it easier than ever to modify items to the exact specifications of a buyer's tastes and needs. And according to a report on Mashable, psychologists have determined that people feel a sense of accomplishment for their co-design efforts and gain additional value from the certainty that the features they select will be exactly what they want.
Manufacturers are adapting to this trend by offering an endless variety of customizable products online, from fashion to candy to kitchenware. For example, you can order customized sneakers that convey your unique sense of style and use from NIKEiD, or create customized jeans to match your body shape from Levi's Curve ID. If you love to cook, you can custom-build your own cookware set with pieces that mirror your personal cooking style and favorite dishes. Calphalon recently launched Your Set by Calphalon, a website where shoppers can, for the first time, build a cookware set to include basic and specialty pieces from its most premium cookware lines - Unison Nonstick and AccuCore Stainless Steel - for less than the cost of buying each piece individually.
Online customization also extends to food. Today, there's more to eating than choosing what ingredients you want on your pizza - there's an entire customized experience available as companies offer more and more choices for create-your-own offerings. For instance, you can custom-pick organic vegetable boxes from a farm near you at pickyourown.org, create customized candy in your alma mater's colors from MY M&M's, and design donuts with sprinkles to match your bridesmaids' dresses at frostology.com. You can even customize the ingredients in the pet food you buy for your dog at sites such as redmoonpetfood.com.
With ever-advancing technology and the pull to express individuality, the customization of shoes, jeans and cookware is only the beginning. Whether you're looking for a new pair of sneakers that represents your vibrant personality or your over-used omelette pans are in desperate need of replacing, there is endless opportunity today to make your life exactly what, when, where and how you want it.