Why do Fashion brands and Retailers have to adopt an out of the box PLM solution?

By Celia

Fast fashion, right fashion, on-time fashion, think global, act local, these are not just buzz words, they are real challenges big and not so big fashion brands must meet to satisfy consumers. The fashion landscape has changed because consumer buying habits have undergone a tremendous swing from the 1980s when clients used to shop at departments stores all stocked with the same product offering. These temples of fashion, which enjoyed a comfortable 10% share of the retail market at the time, have since lost their shine (attaining only a 2.6% share in 2011) in favor of smaller, more intimate specialty channels that cater to the specific tastes of the local consumer.

So what happened?

Fashion Collection for SMBPeople are tired of the global, impersonal model and want to be taken for who they are — individuals. The popularity of mobile technology and social networks confirm this individualization.  So, if brands want to reach these new consumers, they must speak their language so to speak, get closer to them, and cater to their local cultures, their likes, and their “individual-ness”. In an article published this month on whichPLM the author mentions another trend in which consumers long for a return to the friendly and available local shopkeeper of yesterday. The challenge is therefore twofold: on one hand brands can no longer exploit one channel with a uniform offering and hope to satisfy a global population that has become ever so ”individual” and on the other, they need to take into account a consumer’s desire for a more personal and intimate shopping experience. SH Lee, chairman of Tesco’s Korean Home, declared the “age of imperialism” over and urged retailers to tailor their offer to local cultures. And bingo! Focusing its efforts on the Korean consumer helped propel his company from 12th to 2nd largest retailer in Korea.

Keeping a profitable balance, however, between producing en masse but with a local twist is not easy. Not only do brands have to manage local differences in their product offerings, they have to turn out new collections fast to satisfy consumers’ desire for renewal. Success depends on whether brands and retailers can stay in touch with consumers’ changing needs and interests. PLM technologies can give brands better visibility when managing consumer feedback as well as assortments, designs, suppliers, manufacturing, and merchandising. As a matter of fact, industry experts predict fashion brands will invest billions in technology. IDC foresees that as product assortment refresh cycles quicken, 25% of mid-sized retailers will initiate new PLM or sourcing projects in 2014. And according to Just-style.com, the PLM market, “could grow up to 40% annually by 2014” boosted by medium-sized apparel firms that are planning to implement this technology.

Big vs. not so big

Fashion Collection for SMBAs speed to market and evolution in consumer tastes accelerate, apparel companies will need the power of PLM technology to  survive. But are all PLMs equal? Can large brands and not so large or niche players use the same PLM? When faced with the  question “to PLM or not to PLM”, how does one choose? When it comes to investing in PLM technology, big and not so big  brands pay attention to different things. 5 years ago a Tech-Clarity study had already pointed out that SMBs have their own wish  list for PLM that includes ease of use, rapid implementation, pre-defined templates, built-in best practices and a solution that  evolves as they grow. Yet today, PLM can still scare some SMBs away because they think it is too complex or too expensive to  implement. They do not have the same resources the big players have. But if the PLM in question is powerful yet packaged as an out-of-the-box pre-configured solution, it levels the playing field by reducing investment and cost of ownership for an SMB whose limited cash flow is not uselessly invested in functionalities that are too broad for its needs. Fashion Collection for SMB is for those not-so-big fashion companies that want to have the power of a PLM solution but scaled to their requirements. This out-of-the-box solution is also easy to learn and implement –a critical factor for user adoption.

The numbers speak for themselves

Brands that have adopted the 3DS solutions have produced some pretty impressive results: 200% increase in technical design productivity for a European outdoor brand that is able to review and approve 5 times more samples in the same amount of time or a medium size ready-to-wear apparel company that experienced threefold growth in product breadth and overall product lines. So if you are an SMB looking to grow your business and strengthen your brand, Fashion Collection for SMB is your door to PLM.

Learn more about Fashion Collection for SMB.

Celia NEWHOUSE is a member of the Consumer Goods Industry team.

 

The Digital Revolution and the Consumer

By Celia

The digital revolution and the consumer, an interview with Marie-Axelle Loustalot Forest, Partner at Kurt Salmon.

Social media, mobility, digital commerce… what is the impact on consumer behavior?

There are 4 steps to the buying process: product search, product selection, transaction and becoming the proud owner of the product.  These 4 steps used to take place almost exclusively in a physical store.  Today, the customer’s route to purchasing a product is more complex and more diverse. Today’s consumer wants to buy a product anytime, anywhere and using the channel he/she prefers: retailers who have developed several channels can take advantage of a higher “share of wallet” that those who have just one channel. With the extended use of smartphones and tablets, consumers have internet in their pocket sort of speak. This means that he / she can surf on competitive website while shopping in a physical store.  Retailers must take into consideration this new competitive environment and the ability for consumers to compare prices in real-time.

How to optimise your multi-channel experience ?

  1. Don’t force a channel over another.  Consumers like the freedom to choose their channels.  This means that all channels must be equal.
  2. Retailers must acquire a unique vision of their customers whatever the channel : setting up a unique customer database, capture all customer interactions, before, during and after a purchase, be able to identify a customer whatever the channel used.
  3. Merge online and offline environments, especially when it comes to promoting product offers: create the best experience possible of a product knowing that the consumer cannot try the product on internet, and leverage the use of digital device in physical stores to enrich product perception. For example the different usages of a product.

Marie-Axelle Loustalot Forest, Partner at Kurt Salmon, will be speking at the 3DEXPERIENCE Customer Forum on Oct 15th, 2013 in Paris

 


 

Révolution digitale et consommateurs, Marie-Axelle Loustalot Forest de Kurt Salmon nous répond.

Media sociaux, mobilité, digital… en quoi cela change le comportement consommateur ?

Un processus d’achat se décompose en 4 étapes : recherche de produits – sélection d’un ou plusieurs produits – transaction – prise de possession du produit. Autrefois, ces 4 étapes se produisaient essentiellement en magasin (exception faite de la vente par correspondance). Aujourd’hui, les parcours clients sont plus complexes et beaucoup plus divers.

Le consommateur veut désormais acheter ce qu’il veut, où il veut et comme il veut : les distributeurs qui proposent plusieurs canaux d’achat capturent une « share of wallet » plus importante que ceux qui ne propose qu’un seul canal d’achat (ou de vente…)

Avec les smartphones et les tablettes, le consommateur emmène tout l’Internet avec lui, partout avec lui. Il amène donc en magasin non seulement le site de l’enseigne, mais également tous les sites concurrents de celui de l’enseigne. Les distributeurs doivent tenir compte de cet environnement concurrentiel élargi, et, notamment, de la capacité du consommateur à comparer rapidement les prix de toutes les enseignes.

Comment optimiser son expérience multi-canal ?

  1. Ne jamais pousser au choix d’un canal plutôt qu’un autre : le client veut pouvoir choisir lui-même dans quel canal il achète. Ceci implique d’avoir des systèmes de rémunération qui ne favorisent pas un canal plutôt qu’un autre.
  2. Se donner les moyens d’avoir une vision unique de son client, quel que soit le canal dans lequel il achète : mettre en place une base clients unique, et capturer toutes les interactions de l’enseigne avec ce client, avant, pendant et après l’achat; reconnaître son client dans tous les canaux
  3. Faire converger les mondes offline et online, notamment pour ce qui concerne la mise en avant de son offre produit : créer la meilleure représentation possible du produit sur son site Internet, pour parer au fait que le client ne peut toucher ou essayer le produit, et utiliser le digital en magasin pour enrichir la perception du produit, notamment en en montrant les usages possibles

Marie Axelle Loustalot-Forest, Associée chez Kurt Salmon  participera au 3DEXPERIENCE Customer Forum à Paris le 15 octobre 2013, en tant que conférencière pour l’industrie Biens de consommation et distribution.

 

Driving for Green : poll conclusions

By Jonathan

First of all I’d like to thank you all again for participating in the eco-car poll and also in the comments section of the four posts that analysed each each answer. I particularly liked it when :

Carol said that low range vehicles do not take into account the unpredictability of our lives, e.g. drive to work, park, start charging car, school calls child sick, take to doctor, go to pharmacy, stuck in traffic on very hot day, put air con on just lost 10km of range – this is scary!! Either the technology is not ready or we have to change our car dependent infrastructure…Jean-Pierre said changing our car habits will be a small part of the overall change that we’ll have to undertake. Wojtek gave some innovative ideas for recharging electric cars, his idea on non contact induction charging has also been suggested by IAV. Carol says fuel consumption is now becoming trendy! Can you imagine talking about that with your friends in bar 10 years ago! Munir & Josh gave interesting insight on taxing – I don’t think the debate has finished yet though!

Now let’s just think how all this change is going to happen. Here’s an example of some eco design fundamentals:

Product improvement: the automotive industry is working like crazy on this. They’re modifying existing engines or building new ones to be emissions regulation compliant. EURO 6 is a very tough emissions regulation which will come into to force in 2015. Fleet average CO2 has to be reduced from 160g/km to 130g/km by 2015. Then there’s ELV, again by 2015, for all end-of life vehicles, the re-use and recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 95 % by an average weight per vehicle and year. Within the same time limit, the re-use and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 85 % by an average weight per vehicle and year. Today we’re at 85% and 80% respectively.

Product redesign: this means new types of cars. The electric car for example, surprising how it’s only no. 2 on this list. Well, if you design, make and use the electric car just like the internal combustion engined car then it’ll be better but it’s not enough…

Function innovation: improve the car’s function, i.e. use it better. Car sharing is a good example, here we use the car to its maximum, instead of today’s 1.2 person average.

System innovation: this is my favourite…re-design the whole system! New needs, new business models, new products…our lifestyle will have to change! Once a lot more of us work from home then the car will be used mainly for business use and leisure. It’s very similar to the aviation industry today, you reserve a seat in a big jet for business visits or go to on holiday, and if you’ve got your own private pilot’s licence then you reserve time to fly one of your club’s light aircraft. Cars would then have the same requirements as aircraft, i.e. very little personal ownership & long term affordability: low maintenance costs, high durability, long life. No more changing the car every 2 years as you won’t own one anymore. That’s what I call eco!

And lastly, something that popped up in my mind: imagine arriving at work or returning home and plugging in your electric car to charge up the batteries, sounds great doesn’t it. Now imagine the whole of your company or your street/block/town doing the same thing, well that’s certainly going to dim the lights in my house! I guess we’ve got some more thinking to do… And wouldn’t it be cool to use the car’s batteries for other things too. What about driving to the beach and using the car’s batteries to power a beach party sound system?

Sustainably yours,
Jonathan



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