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OECD, Working Party of the Trade Committee. Trade Policy Aspects of Electronic Commerce: Online Product Customisation (Mar. 17, 1999) (TD/TC/WP(98)65/FINAL) (full-text).


This paper provides an analysis of the "online customization" process in which the customer and producer, through an online, interactive process, tailor a product to the customer’s individual requirements. Although the use of data networks to customize products is not new, e-commerce greatly expands the application and reach of online customization processes; such that the recent OECD Secretariat study on "The Economic and Social Impact of Electronic Commerce: Preliminary Findings and Research Agenda and a U.S. Department of Commerce study on The Emerging Digital Economy describe online customization as one of the significant innovations afforded by e-commerce.

The paper provides an overview of the role played by customization in various e-commerce activities, together with a set of case studies of products that are customized and delivered online (so-called "digitized" products).