MakerSights Unveils Next-Gen Product Decision Platform Aligned to the Retail Calendar to Empower Brands to Reduce Gap Between Products Made and What Consumers Buy
AI Retail Tech Partners with Product Teams, Provides Smart, In-Context Decision Support to De-risk Product Investments for Top Brands Including Levi’s, Shinola, Roots, Madewell, Deckers and Allbirds
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – February 5, 2019 – MakerSights, pioneer of the product decision platform for retail, today introduced the next generation of its popular cloud software solution, unveiling an AI-based decision engine that is tightly aligned to the retail calendar. The new platform release brings to life the company’s vision for the New Retail paradigm, where retail brands put artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies to work in supportive partnership with their teams, marrying art and science. By combining human intuition and machine learning, MakerSights helps product teams accurately determine which styles will be winners and losers, eliminating risk at all product development stages, making it possible to narrow the multi-trillion dollar annual gap between what brands think consumers want and what consumers actually value. Levi’s, Madewell, Shinola, Allbirds, Roots, HOKA ONE ONE, Lucky Brand and many other top brands worldwide use MakerSights to de-risk investments in time, capital and creativity throughout their product development and go-to-market cycles by making better decisions from a greater set of data points about how their products are made, merchandised and brought to consumers.
“To most effectively support product-related decision-making, we designed the new iteration of our platform to be tied directly to the retail calendar as opposed to sitting outside of it. This helps brands seamlessly aggregate consumer feedback, historical sales data and internal hypotheses when assessing the viability of new products. These inputs can then be translated into actionable, easy to understand recommendations. Anyone within a product organization can access these data-driven suggestions at any point across the product lifecycle to develop better products that will sell to their full potential,” said Matt Field, co-founder and president of MakerSights.
Built to inform decision-making across the product creation and go-to-market process, the MakerSights platform supports all key stages—from early product concepting and line planning to regional allocation and channel sell-in. In this new release, MakerSights’ capabilities have also been extended to provide focused and contextually relevant insights to a wider array of retail teams and personas—from designers and product developers to merchandisers, planners and salespeople, as well as executives who are looking for a structured, scalable and trusted technology partner to build the skill set of data driven decision-making into their organizations. Expanding beyond collecting and analyzing just consumer data, the new underlying AI engine now also incorporates a brand team’s internal perspective as well as historic selling performance to provide more robust and relevant recommendations.
MakerSights settings and controls are either pre-configured automatically (e.g., how to ask questions to consumers in the right way, how to target appropriate audiences, etc.) or are editable centrally by a MakerSights support team to ensure methodological rigour and to promote ease of use. Products are then tested with either a brand’s CRM, an externally recruited audience or an internal employee network from the brand. Once feedback has been collected, stage-specific results are generated in real-time to help brands make the best possible product decision at each major product creation or go-to-market phase.
New capabilities in the next generation MakerSights product decision platform ensure product creation and go-to-market decisions are made in a rigorous, informed and timely manner, allowing products teams to:
- Integrate MakerSights into their existing calendar and process: Instead of trying to figure out how to incorporate and act on consumer data at each stage in the product development process, MakerSights reduces the effort and discretion by building tight alignment and automation between a brand’s key decision points and their technology platform. By creating pre-configured calendars and consumer test plans, merchants and designers can focus on creating great products rather than getting distracted by process or methodology.
- Gather actionable recommendations at many more stages: Beyond demand forecasting and investment review, MakerSights now supports decision-making at all critical product creation and go-to-market stages. From getting quick feedback from key customer groups during early stage concepting, to enhancing assortment productivity and SKU rationalization at line review, to informing optimal allocations in key regions and channels, MakerSights helps teams quickly identify opportunities and risks – before time and money are committed.
- Democratize product input and results reporting across an entire organization: The MakerSights learnings and impact tool provides teams with a way to log results from their testing. Teams can access and share insights generated from testing through in-app, visually appealing and secure presentations and PDFs across their organization with the click of a button.
“While the rise of AI in retail and fashion has been predicted by pundits for several years, there have been concerns among the people working inside brands about how this technology might be applied inside their companies. With MakerSights, we enable brands of all kinds to operationalize AI in their organizations in a way that isn’t intrusive, and, in fact, is partnering with humans to support their ability to make creatively inspired and informed decisions,” remarked Field.
Supporting Customer Quotes
Chip Bergh, CEO, Levi’s
“I believe that big data and AI will play an increasingly important role in how successful brands connect with consumers and formulate their assortments, and MakerSights helps us seize upon this shift. But perhaps even more importantly, MakerSights is helping us evolve into an organization that embraces data and technology as opportunities to become more responsive to our consumers, and not as threats to the old way of doing things.”
Michael Birke, Senior Director of Category Management, Roots
“With the implementation of Makersights’ consumer feedback program, we are even more closely connected to our consumers.The insight we gain from the data analytics tool is incredibly valuable, and with real-time feedback, our product creation and buying process are even more informed. Integrating the software into our processes has been seamless, and the top-notch training and support Makersights provides continues to ensure we are getting the most out of the platform.”
Tom Lewand, CEO, Shinola
“Over the past few years we have taken several strategic steps to be more consumer centric in our go-to-market process. The MakerSights platform is a great tool to help us quickly and efficiently engage with our fantastic customers so we can use their insight and feedback to help us make better decisions across the board.”
Wendy Yang, President, Performance Lifestyle Group, HOKA ONE ONE, Teva, Sanuk, Deckers Brands
“In this new era of retail, building and executing a profitable product strategy has grown more and more complex. MakerSights enables our Teva and Hoka product teams to tackle today’s complexities with a tailored, data-driven product strategy. With MakerSights, our Teva and Hoka teams have an actionable decision framework to leverage at each stage in the product creation process. We’re able to remain bullish on strategic opportunities and identify risks before resources are committed. MakerSights helps to ensure all teams are moving in the right direction to deliver a compelling and profitable assortment.”
MakerSights, pioneer of the product decision platform for retail, provides a trusted digital feedback loop between the market and the makers, bridging the gap between what brands think consumers want and what consumers value. Tightly aligned to the retail calendar, MakerSights’ AI-driven technology partners with product teams to support informed decision-making at every stage of the creation and go-to-market process, from ideation to line planning and sell-in. By capturing the combined wisdom of human instinct and machine learning, MakerSights accurately predicts which styles will be winners and losers, eliminating risk at all product development stages. The platform correlates feedback from existing and potential consumers with historical sales data and product professionals’ creative intuitions to serve up “smart,” stage-specific recommendations on how to take action. Teams can use MakerSights to rapidly validate entire assortments, product attributes, or what will appeal to target demographics – before time and money are committed. Up to 10X less costly and 20X more efficient than traditional focus groups, with MakerSights it’s fast and easy to collect input from consumers at scale to test product hypotheses, while its mobile-first user experience inspires authentic responses from consumers. On average, brands using MakerSights experience a 3-5% margin lift. Top apparel, footwear and accessories brands worldwide—including Levi’s, J.Crew, Madewell, Shinola, Taylor Stitch, HOKA ONE ONE and Allbirds—have de-risked billions of inventory investments by using MakerSights to measure consumer appeal for new concepts, to make sustainable choices and increase profitability of assortments across regions, channels and key accounts.
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