Online shopping has not only allowed for retail convenience, but also retail personalization. More and more retailers are allowing for item customization with online purchases, from candy and computers to Nike sneakers.

According to a story on npr.org, allowing shopper customization brings greater customer involvement and word-of-mouth advertising. The only drawback is the cost, with custom design shoes, for example, costing 20 to 25 percent more than off-the-shelf alternatives.

"It really helps build a relationship with their customers," said Ann Marie Fiore, a professor of apparel at Iowa State University, in the article. "You're always looking at building that brand loyalty."

Fiore says companies face extra upfront costs in setting up the customization process, but on the other hand, they save on product development costs because consumers are doing that for them and they don't have to store big inventories.

Read more about online retailing and marketing.

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