Recent survey findings from MakerSights found 57 percent of retail brand professionals named loss of productivity as the biggest challenge facing companies due to COVID-19. Companies have notably had to make dramatic shifts to accommodate remote workflows for the first time and have adopted new technology at an unprecedented, accelerated rate. Further findings from MakerSights showed 90 percent of respondents consider new technology to be crucial for success.
MakerSights client list includes Levi’s, Ralph Lauren and Lululemon, among others.
According to MakerSights, the pandemic has compounded an already present struggle for retailers to efficiently manage the product development process. “The core ‘why’ that has defined our entire platform is [that] the production of new goods in retail has become basically an operation inefficiency,” said Matt Field, cofounder and president of MakerSights. “It’s expensive, it’s costly and the waste that is produced is at the environmental level is staggering.”
Notably, retail is the second-largest producer of water and raw materials waste in the world. The retail industry produces about 20 billion pounds of material that ends up in landfills each year, about 75 pounds per American. “From a mission standpoint, all that is that’s not sustainable in any way, shape or form,” Field said. “And if we can play a part, even just a small part in reducing that, [it’s] a hugely motivating thing for all businesses.”
After experiencing its clients’ technology adjustments, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, MakerSights has released digital line review as an extension to its product decision platform for retail. According to the company, the digital line review will enable brands to make better informed, more efficient decisions about what products to bring to market by shifting collaboration online. The new technology will also serve to democratize access to data across a retailer’s organization and promises to increase confidence in product decisions.
With the digital line review extension, the MakerSights platform provides brands with technology to collaborate, receive more real-time and centralized feedback from all stakeholders and accelerate time-to-market strategy. The technology includes 3-D product renderings, internal feedback from regional merchants and sales teams, detailed customer feedback on products and a centralized space to evaluate internal and market sentiment on new products.
Notably, the consumer feedback process taps directly into a brand’s established consumer community. The company has a response rate of more than 95 percent rate from customers. According to Field, this is due to consumer’s genuine desire to collaborate with brands they love.
“Beyond environmental waste, if you produce goods that don’t sell, you end up getting stuck in these like pretty significant discount spirals, your margins get eroded, and you’re seeing whether it’s big-box retail or smaller brands just get crunched in terms of their financial capability to compete because they just have so many dollars tied up in inventory that’s not selling,” Field said. “When you ask why those are the two biggest things we’re trying to solve for, the way that we want to do it is to make the retail industry less of an industry that produces on these static formula based processes that no longer sync with the much more on-demand and real-time expectations of a modern consumer.”
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