With everything that goes into designing the perfect piece of apparel – look, feel, style, fit, fabric, color, cost, etc. – it’s difficult for brands to manage the entire product lifecycle on their own.
PLM software directly addresses this challenge, but oftentimes, fashion and apparel brands must partner with additional retail technology vendors throughout the product design and development process. To truly extend the value of PLM software beyond its intended capabilities, apparel brands need a solution that leverages their entire tech stack. There are four areas where integrating data from technology partners can enhance the functionality of your Retail PLM solution.
Incorporating consumer-driven data into your PLM system as early as the design phase can help you identify the most favorable garment designs. By gathering real-time feedback from a virtual market sample, product developers can align designs with consumer demand and improve the accuracy of sales forecasts to maximize margins.
Additionally, Voice-of-the-Customer data can help solidify pricing and assortment strategies by measuring a product’s demand level at varying price points, ensuring the strongest positioning before going to market. While these insights are incredibly valuable, product developers need visibility into data from their PLM platforms to use them effectively.
Measuring the performance and fit of a garment prototype allows designers to get invaluable feedback at the time its needed most – before launch. Using a vast community of product testers, apparel brands can target specific demographics and personalities to test their products and grade them based on performance and fit.
This testing approach enables product developers to catch any potential issues that may exacerbate costs. It also improves customer satisfaction and brand loyalty by delivering what shoppers want. Feeding this data back to a PLM solution makes it easier to make the necessary adjustments for products that aren’t on par with consumer expectations.
Streamlined sourcing operations are a must-have for an end-to-end PLM program. Keeping pace with consumer demand in fast fashion and apparel requires brands to be on top of their suppliers at all times. Sourcing solutions help apparel brands and their network of suppliers improve supply chain efficiencies with streamlined supplier onboarding and market analysis. If this data is not currently accessible in your PLM solution, something needs to change.
From transforming the way product teams design and review apparel to enhancing in-store experiences, the fashion and retail industry is finding creative ways to apply augmented reality (AR). Apparel brands leveraging AR technology can augment virtual garments into a physical space, allowing customers to interact with them at full scale, enhancing a process that was once restricted to 2D sketches or 3D models displayed on a monitor. AR may not yet be a part of your product lifecycle or design review process, but it shouldn’t be due to a lack of compatibility with your PLM solution.
These are a few examples of why data from your tech stack should easily integrate with your Retail PLM solution. You may work with other technology partners throughout the product development cycle, but to get the most value from your PLM solution and utilize 100% of its capabilities, it needs to be able to connect data from your tech stack for true end-to-end functionality.
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