Creating Exclusive, Winning Assortments, Even with Amazon - Part 4 of 4
In the last three weeks, I have written about Amazon’s planned entry into the fashion business. (click here to read past emails). Last week, I concluded that offering exclusive, unique and differentiated brands/products by retail channel will be essential to success with Amazon in the picture. This way, those who patronize a certain retailer would find the apparel lines they like, and their loyalty would remain with that retailer. If a brand has the right products for each channel, priced correctly and available only through that channel, retailers can maintain differentiation and brands can preserve margins. In this way, a winning scenario is created for the department stores and the brands.
Of course, development of exclusive assortments has been an established strategy for years, but often without good data on what products each retailer’s consumers really want. Retail merchants often guess, and give guidance to the brands, who apply more guesswork. “Vendors have their own agendas, and frankly they are not always right on what a store needs”, said Warren Shoulberg in a recent article in “The Robin Report”.
But there are ways in which retailers and brands can work together to determine the specific products that resonate with each set of consumers, before manufacturing and buy commitments are made.
Many of you know that our solution at First Insight involves retailers and brands sending out online games to their customers via email, web, and social media. As consumers play these games, companies gain insight into which products to invest in, which items to avoid, and how to price products to capture consumer value and maximize margins.
Through these online games, the consumer is presented with an opportunity to “be the buyer” for that retailer or brand. Response rates are extraordinarily high, even without incenting the consumer to play. Why? Because consumers want to engage with the brands and retailers they like.
How does this help in determining which exclusive brands will sell through each channel? Well, brand manufacturers can partner with retailers, launching “Insights” (online games which test multiple items) through each retail channel independently. The retailer and the brand get reads within 72 hours on the specific product designs and attributes that resonate with the customers of each retailer. This way, merchants and designers can work together to construct the optimal exclusive brand line-up for each retailer.
With this actionable data, the brand AND retailer can provide a better, more tailored assortment to their customer base that is unique to that retailer in a more profitable way. It is a win-win…isn’t that the goal?
Please download the white paper “Developing Exclusive Fashion Assortments Using Consumer Insight” This white paper discusses how brands and retailers can apply predictive analytics to consumer data to identify which products are most valued by their customers and develop exclusive assortments with confidence.