Fashinating is an internet service that enables retailers and producers to predict the appeal of their new designs, before they go to stores, based on the feedback of thousands of users. The case study that follows demonstrates the difficulty of predicting high sellers and the success of its prediction on low selling items. This case study reveals the new competitive challenges for retailers and producers, namely listening to what customers want even before they make a purchase.
Being an adopter of this technology has various effects for businesses depending on their model. Fast Fashion producers should be able to stock based on demand right from the start of the season and so always be one production cycle ahead of their competitors. Traditional cycle producers and retailers will be able to minimize their forecasting risk and stock based on demand. Finally, wholesalers will be able to test their collection prior to clients’ orders and thus protecting them from bad decisions.
The case study was conducted with a regional retailer, Raxevsky (revenues of 28M Euros). The company tested the popularity of designs, from its S/S 2010 collection, among women, on specific demographics (age, location) and compared the results of the internet-survey with its actual sales figures.
The results varied in accuracy depending on the salability of the products. On high sellers the success was moderate, but still about 80%. The results were not 100% accurate as there are instances where women like a dress, but they will not buy it for various reasons (it does not fit them, they do not like its texture, it is very expensive etc.). In such cases the help of an experienced buyer is necessary to make correct estimations.
On the other hand, the research successfully predicted all low sellers – even products that had been internally evaluated as good sellers and actually flopped on the market. The absolute success of the prediction on low sellers is understandable as women who do not like a design do not try it on or buy it.
Overall, the case study’s results revealed what customers liked and what they did not like. This piece of information though needs to be looked at critically and complementary for the popular items. On the contrary, designs that did not perform on the research could be safely discontinued from production.
Fashinating urges businesses to test its service and compare its results with the actual sales. The service is available globally, for more information visit: http://www.fashinating.com/b2b/buyer