Complementary Technologies Enhance Digital Product Development Capabilities for Marks & Spencer
PITTSBURGH, PA – November 5, 2020 – First Insight, Inc., the world’s leading technology company transforming how companies make product investment, pricing and marketing decisions, and Optitex, a leading provider of digital solutions for fashion and apparel, automotive, upholstery and industrial fabrics, today announced a collaboration with Marks & Spencer, one of the UK’s largest and most iconic retailers. Marks & Spencer is now able to leverage the combination of First Insight’s industry-leading digital product testing solution and Optitex’s 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software to better understand their customer, increase speed to market, support digital workflows, create sustainable sampling processes and reduce waste.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated and expedited a shift from high-touch to low-touch across every aspect of retail, including the product development process,” said Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight. “Our partnership with Optitex allows retailers like Marks & Spencer to digitize their product development cycle, which eliminates the need to create and traffic physical samples, host showroom visits and conduct in-store product testing—all of which are crucial capabilities not only during the Coronavirus outbreak, but also for long-term sustainability and efficiency.”
Marks & Spencer has already been leveraging First Insight’s consumer-driven predictive analytics software solution to make design, buying and pricing decisions across categories that include apparel, lingerie, footwear, accessories, food, home and beauty. The platform has enabled the British multinational retailer to test tens of thousands of products across more than 50 departments and use that information to shape collections and assortments that meet customers’ desires and to offer those items at the right prices.
The retailer achieved successful results from new product testing using the First Insight solution and Optitex 2D CAD technology. Based on that success, Marks & Spencer has begun using 3D CAD visualizations in its product testing for a number of departments. The transition to 3D imagery has resulted in increased test completion rates and boosted respondents’ comments by 50%, providing richer product feedback to the company’s product development and merchant teams. The use of 3D CAD technology has also reduced cost and lead time in Marks & Spencer’s product development process. Incorporating digital solutions can reduce lead time from 24 weeks to 3 weeks for retailers, allowing them to increase their speed-to-market and their margins.
“We’re pleased to be integrating our technology with the First Insight platform to help Marks & Spencer and other companies achieve digital transformation,” said Amit Ben-Sheffer, VP of Products at Optitex. “In the product development process, 3D CAD images provide a more realistic visualization of how a finished product will look, which means the feedback consumers provide through First Insight’s platform is more reliable and useful. It also reduces the need for physical samples and enables virtual line planning and virtual fit testing.”
“We are excited to continue our relationship with First Insight and Optitex as we transition our strategy to a more digital product development-focused model,” said Elaine Wheeler, Head of Digital Product Development at Marks & Spencer. “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We’ve put customer-focused digital innovation at the heart of our business, and this partnership will allow us to bring winning products that our customers truly want to market more quickly and sustainably.”
Learn More about the First Insight – Optitex – M&S Collaboration
Download a full recording of our recent webinar in Optitex’s Fall/Winter Webinar Series: Predicting the Future with 3D & First Insight to learn more about how to quickly generate print and color variations with Optitex 3D Design Illustrator, and how M&S is using 3D assets for pre-market online testing with First Insight’s predictive analytics solution.
To learn more about how Marks & Spencer is leveraging their partnership with Optitex and First Insight, register for free to attend PI Apparel NY & Supply Chain on 9 November 2020 at 11:40am ET for the presentation “The Art of the Possible: Unleashing the Power of 3D Digital Design” with Teresa Ayling, Digital Product Development Manager at Marks & Spencer.
About First Insight, Inc.
First Insight is one of the world’s leading Experience Management (XM) platforms that empowers companies to incorporate the Voice of the Customer into the design, pricing, planning and marketing of products and service offerings. Through the use of online consumer engagement tools, the First Insight platform gathers real-time consumer data and applies predictive analytic models to create actionable insights, which drive measurable value. Customers include some of world’s leading vertically integrated brands, sporting goods companies, department stores, consumer products companies, mass merchant retailers and wholesalers. For further information, please visit www.firstinsight.com.
Optitex is a global software provider of integrated 2D-3D computer-aided design (CAD) solutions for fashion & apparel, automotive, upholstery and industrial fabrics. We digitally streamline design, development and production throughout the supply chain, enabling efficient workflows and quick response to market demands. Informed by over three decades of experience and a growing base of 30,000 users, our innovative solutions are highly accurate, sustainable and cost-effective. We offer brands, retailers and manufacturers a one-vendor solution for delivering high-quality products on demand and on budget. To learn more about Optitex, visit www.optitex.com.
About Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer (M&S) is a leading retailer in the United Kingdom and internationally, with over 1,500 stores spanning 62 countries across the world. M&S is renowned for its high quality ranges of own-label food, clothing and home products, which it sells both in its stores and online across its 44 websites globally.
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