With rapid development of online technologies, increased consumer awareness of the market, and heightened competition, it is becoming more important for companies in the fashion industry to digitize their customer insights and streamline their online processes.
Those who adapt to technology will find more success with a larger share of the market. In a fast paced retail environment, what are the three areas of focus that can help businesses to gain new insights while providing a better experience?
The process is relatively simple. Discover, design, and develop. Businesses that understand each step are those that will enjoy the benefits of their investment in research, marketing, and consumer engagement.
Discovery – The Importance of Information
Consolidation of data is more important than ever. Capturing data from multiple channels requires that the data be stored on a centralized server for easy accessibility when performing analytics. Signals can be obtained from channels that range from social media, to external consumer review sites, and of course online retail and even brick and mortar storefronts.
Purpose built tools can be used to collect and consolidate data. Teradata is one company that develops analytics software with the sole purpose of consolidating data from different sources. Depending on the complexity of a business, customized software solutions may be required.
One challenge of discovery is that the collection of data can be resource intensive. This is one reason why moving to cloud based and networked solutions between sites is essential for larger retail operations.
Design – Help Consumers to Help You
One sure way to increase consumer engagement for the purpose of data capture, is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to interact. Online presence is the simplest, least costly, and most effective way to drive engagement and collect data. 24/7 digital storefronts mean that businesses can trial product ideas, advertise existing lines, and drive feedback. Businesses should aim to provide a cohesive experience that incorporates advertising, discovery, and retail.
Although surprising, there are businesses that operate separate sites and gateways for promotion and sales. Consolidating online presence means that insight becomes easier to collect. Businesses also need to be aware of newly established technologies such as smartphones. The online experience should be responsive so that the experience is unified across devices. Interactive apps for platforms like iOS and Android can help to drive engagement, while providing further opportunity to collect insight for marketing and new product development.
Deliver – Can Your Organization Support your Goals?
The effectiveness of marketing and insight gathering can only be as effective as the organization involved. People are just as important as technology and tools, so it is important to not only hire the right talent, but to have talent in all of the necessary departments.
Building a marketing team to support all aspects of data collection can take time, however once that team is in place, the benefits will begin to flow. A robust insight gathering system will enable regular campaign building for systematic insight interpretation, brainstorming, and feasibility evaluation.
Most importantly, the team needs to understand the technology in use, and the technology needs to be capable of delivering consolidated analytics from multiple channels. Training from industry professionals is important when adopting new digital strategies, or when implementing new analytic data platforms.
Big data can help to reduce costs by streamlining the process of insight gathering, while also improving new product development. The best decisions are based on great data, and digitizing customer insights is the best way for modern fashion companies to gather and interpret the data that will help them to succeed.
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