Speed, and retail’s obsession with it, is more than an industry trend. Once an obscure concept, it has now become critical to survival and relevance amongst today's consumers. Retail’s former grasp on the product lifecycle is slipping, especially as the consumer demand for instant gratification rises.
Keeping up with the Joneses is no easy feat. So to that end, we’ve come up with a checklist to fill in the gaps of your speed-to-market strategy. Let’s get started!
Get the Right Product Mix
Selling the right items is just as important as getting the timing right. Sure, you can base your product mix on intuition and an endless amount of excel spreadsheets. But for the sane, there’s assortment planning with hard, factual data points.
Whether you’re refining existing offerings or developing new ones, quickly design a robust assortment by analyzing competitor activity to understand the retail landscape.
How might you do this, you're asking? Let's take this from idea to action. Our AI solution visualizes the granular item-level details of assortment structure, real-time category shifts, and historical view of competitor movements so that you can create a product mix that keeps shoppers returning.
Lock Down Your Promotional Calendar
Speed encompasses more than design. Your customer’s awareness of company offers are just as vital. Avoid parallel promotions and retail’s “me too” syndrome by polishing up your promotional calendar with strategic marketing activity monitoring.
Other than social media tracking and newsletter subscriptions, how are you tracking competitors’ past and present promotional tactics? This tedious process varies from category to season, and there’s just not enough time in one day to be spent archiving competitor campaigns.
Timing is everything, which is why our calendar interfaces allows customizable views of the competitor marketing landscape so you can identify optimal times to offer unique promotions.
Increase the Accuracy of Product Searches
Are customers finding your products? You’ve got thousands of items ready to go live, and each should have complete, searchable product attributes. Even weird and wacky descriptions like “ash distressed beach jean” should be tagged with search terms that will lead customers to it.
Increasing the accuracy of product searches results in more product facetime with customers. Our adaptable e-commerce tagging AI capabilities act as a bridge (and a much shorter one at that) between brand partners, retailers, and most importantly, the end customer.
Consumer Engagement is Key
It may not be realistic to totally emulate fast fashion schedules like those of Zara or Forever 21, but creating new product buzz similar to these companies can increase consumer engagement. Through smaller, continuous product releases, craft excitement and give reason for shoppers to check-in more often.
Build perceptions of excitement through regular editorial updates, content and social engagement. Make the correlation between trends and opportunity by combining search data, geographic mapping of consumer interest, as well as visual monitoring of how influencers are styling trends.
Excitement drives brand purchasing frequency and loyalty. Understanding and reacting to the fickle tastes of consumers can be done in real time with our trends dashboard. Tracking interest as it emerges gives a first mover advantage while understanding the language and visual activity of consumers drives relatable brand messaging.
Name that Price
It seems as if consumers are dictating the prices these days, but with data forecasting and competitor analysis, find a price that is right for you. Retailers are discounting daily, and keeping tabs on category movements can turn into an overwhelming but pertinent task when it comes to implementing a winning speed-to-market strategy.
Know when to make strategic pricing decisions with discounting and price architecture analysis. Fill in those category and item-level pricing gaps with our dashboard alerts, and updates on entry and exit pricing movements.
Adopt a “Real-Time” Supply Chain
The amount of time spent in the product development phase directly impacts how fast your products reach the market. Get a head start on your supply chain by optimizing data analytics to identify top performing items from previous seasons and emerging trends.
Knowing which products to push forward into development doesn’t always equate to having an early adopter mindset. Nailing “real-time” supply chain process is a science, with data on the consumer and the market at its heart.
Your speed-to-market strategy should embody tailored product mixes, pricing, and promotional calendars, product availability and accessibility, and consumer engagement that creates buzz and excitement.