Digital Technology in Retail

For Consumer Good and Retail companies priorities are shifting to e-commerce, omni-channel, big data and security.  Some companies are further along the maturity curve of adopting these technologies and others may be postponing it due to competing priorities.  Brands and vertical retailers experiencing prolonged periods of growth and profitability may not pursue digital technologies as part of their strategy for continued expansion and innovation, but as a consequence they lose sight of opportunities in the market.

3D prototyping has many innovative applications such as testing new store concepts, understanding consumer behaviour and assisting with the launch of new products or promotions.  3D prototyping can be leveraged as a potential collaboration tool in order to produce an optimal balance of style and quality; as well as balancing what price consumers will pay and who in your market is the target.  3D prototyping has gained attention from the fact that it can cut product development and production costs and supports collaboration between pre-production teams through a visual process.   Designers and merchant teams no longer need to wait weeks or months to see what products have been produced and evaluate what the potential gains will be from their designs.  This can significantly improve the financial benefits to retail, apparel and fashion companies.

A development cycle can be organised chaos for designers, rangers, planners and product managers.  People work very long hours at a speed than can cause burn-out and contribute to mistakes during this period.  Anyone that has worked closely with these teams appreciates there is never a recovery moment during the rush to market.

Unlocking innovations is a consequence of freeing up the teams.  For design and product development, a 3D prototype frees them from the traditional budget and time constraints associated with physical sample development.  Faster time to market contributes to more product options and these options can be used to extend product assortments or create entirely new product lines.

We now operate in a global market and e-commence continues to push consumer demand for fresh, innovate products that match your market, and being able to be precise through consumer insight information can be a real benefit.

Consider the reduction in excess inventories, markdowns and clearance stock if companies had predictive feedback from consumers prior to products hitting the shelves.  Product Managers could leverage this feedback within a cycle to edit or scrap designs that didn’t resinate with their consumers through pre-launch digital campaigns.

The old adage that consumers vote with their wallets rings true.  Companies spend millions of dollars and invest up to 12 months to create ranges to secure that vote.  Technology can open the possibility for consumers to vote online with minimal company investment in time and cost.

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