What Retail Digital Design Challenges Do You Face?

Written By: Darren Glinister
  • 4/20/2018
PTC Retail Digital Storyboarding

Have you ever found it difficult to communicate your exact design vision to someone in another department? Do you often wonder how a seemingly straightforward idea for a new style could get lost in translation between the floors of your building? Do you lose cycle time trying to turn initial concepts into tangible prototypes?

If so, you’re not alone. For retailers, fashion and footwear brands, team collaboration and supplier alignment are extremely tough challenges. Design and product development teams confront these issues every time they create concepts for the next season, starting with:

  • Pressure to shorten development cycle time
  • Demand for more frequent apparel collections to meet see-now/buy-now expectations
  • Sense of urgency to capitalize on breaking trends

That’s why many are turning to digital design processes. For example, either stand-alone, or integrated into a product lifecycle management (PLM) solution, digital storyboards are helping designers to capture and communicate their earliest inspiration. This can include:

  • Social media insights and images
  • Fabric swatches
  • Images, sketches and drawings
  • Trim samples
  • Color chips, swatch cards, fan deck favorites

Imagine the speed to market acceleration if all of these items, which typically might be attached to a trend board, could be saved to a digital storyboard accessible to your most important supply chain partners.

60% …Speed up product launches this much with more efficient collaboration.

With buyers wanting a 24/7 view into your latest lines, this type of speed-to-market improvement is becoming a necessity. Faster ideation-to-product turn time also is fueled by omnichannel retail trends and competition from non-traditional fashion players like Amazon.

“Amazon’s business practices also are triggering reforms in the fashion industry,” wrote Dr. Sheng Lu, assistant professor, Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, University of Delaware, in the just-style.com article, “How the Global Apparel Sourcing Landscape Is Changing.” “For example, some industry experts foresee that Amazon’s two-day free shipping for its Prime members will become the new industry standard, which means the lead time for product development needs to be reduced substantially from several months to several weeks.”

Are you ready to tackle cycle time challenges and bring concept management into the digital age? Check out the infographic Top 6 Retail Digital Design Challenges. Let’s get the conversation started within your design and product development team.

PTC Retail Digital Concept Management



  • Augmented Reality
  • Retail and Consumer Products
  • PLM

About the Author

Darren Glinister

Darren Glenister has over 20 years’ commercial experience, having worked as technology strategist and innovator in the fields of Fashion and Design. Darren is VP of Innovation for PTC’s Retail division and is responsible for PTC’s retail IoT strategy.