The rapidly evolving digital world will change retail product development more in the next 5 years than it has in the last 15. As a result of this disruption, retail, footwear and apparel product leaders must find ways to transform their end-to-end product development lifecycles to deliver top and bottom-line results.
Some key findings: Voice of the Customer, Materials Innovation and Digital Product Creation ranked as the most important practices. In terms of invested, Digital Product Creation emerged as the practice area where most respondents have begun actively investing. Smart, Connected Products represented another new practice of significant importance, though most respondents indicated that they were uncertain of when and how to invest.
Barriers to Product Development Practices
To establish or maintain a competitive advantage in the industry, retail innovation leaders must critically assess their preparedness for the retail innovation transformation already underway. These practices will be significant and barriers that arise must be overcome.
The three most significant barriers leaders came across were:
Lack of funding and proper technology and tools
Lack of will and ability
Poor innovation fundamentals and organizational inertia
Retailers that can quickly pivot and embrace the rapidly emerging digital world to drive new rounds of end-to-end product lifecycle transformation will deliver powerful, effective results. To succeed, retailers need to have a point of view on the future, build a strong case for investments, run strategic experiments and bundle these new leading practices together into transformational programs.
Steve has dedicated his entire 30-year career to consumer companies and their suppliers, first as a retail executive and more recently as a partner and practice leader for several prominent consulting firms.
Sergio has dedicated his consulting career helping clients to redesign their product development and sourcing processes. He has lived and worked in 12 countries managing high-performing, multi-cultural teams.