A successful range offering ties very closely with product designs. Design research process often occurs in the pre-season planning stage before moving final design proposals into production. There are several research angles to identify design opportunities, which could be reflected in terms of category, pattern and colours

Competitor Benchmarking and Trend Performance are used to illustrate the research angles in identifying design opportunities.

Step 1: Establish target customer and create user personas

It is important for retailers/brands to identify their target audience to ensure the right assortment of products is being offered. User personas are helpful in helping retailers/brands to understand their target market’s buying behavior and preference better to spot further product and design opportunities. 

With these user personas in mind, retailers/brands would have a clear direction to benchmark their research upon. 

Step 2: Identify category opportunities 

Category assortment is the core of the retail business. It is key to have a clear category assortment mix for your own brand before venturing into designs creation and production. Category opportunities could be identified by understanding your own brand and competitor category positioning and performance by looking into the Competitor Benchmarking module, Product Analysis: Category Contribution tab. 

Select the ‘New Instock status to gauge further potentiality on newly launched products.

Refer to the Category Contribution card to understand the core category offerings and performance. The categories are ranked according to the SKUs offerings of the filtered criterias.

Select the sell out rate % to reflect customer reaction on the categories across different brands. The total brand average sell-out rate % in grey could act as a benchmark for all categories to gauge on performance. For instance, Zara has claimed to be the top-performing brand across all competitors on their newly launched products, registering a 37% sell-out rate.

Next, is to identify the potential category by comparing the sell-out rate % for each category towards the benchmark. In this case, it is observed that Dresses registered a higher than brand average sell-out rate % for both River Island(25% sell-out in dresses vs 17% average brand sell-out) and Zara (39% sell-out in dresses vs 37% average brand sell-out). This depicts a potential category to venture into as customers are highly reactive towards the said offerings.

After identifying the potential area to venture into, it is always key to compare against your own offerings to gauge the intensity for further investment. 

Step 3: Identify pattern opportunity for potential categories

We will look into the Trend Performance module to further identify pattern opportunities for potential categories spotted in Step 2.

Here, we will be selecting both New In and Out of Stock stock filters to observe trend performance for new products which sold out within the time frame selected. 

Select Group by: Pattern to understand pattern performance for the specific category. In this case, wit has observed that Stripes, Checks and Tropical prints are the uptrending pattern in Dresses during high summer 2020. 

You could click into individual pattern cards to understand further. Here, we have selected the Checks pattern. Toggle to the product imagery section, sort by ‘Most Replenished’ for highly demanded products. 

In this case, it is observed that gingham is widely adopted among retailers, backed with promising reactions. This depicts a potential pattern opportunity to venture into.

Step 4: Identify colour opportunity for potential categories

Similarly as Step 3 analysis angle, we could identify the potential colour to venture into for the respective categories/subcategories. 

With the same top filter selection, select ‘Group by: Colour’ to focus the research findings on colours trend only. 

It was observed that vivid colour ie. Blue, Green and Red were uptrending in May till Jul’20. 

To understand further on secondary colour performance, you could include the specific colour filter on the main filter bar. Here, we selected Blue. By sorting by Colour, it is observed that Blackish Blue, Pale Blue and Greyish Purplish Blue are the main uptrending colours customers are currently reacting positive to. This indicate an opportunity for business to venture into.

Key Takeaways

In this article, we have observed that design opportunities could be captured from categories such as pattern and colour. We have also seen the importance of understanding own category offerings before venturing into exploration of design opportunities. Reason being category is closely tied with designs, being the core of business offerings. 

Establishing the right category mix would set the right tone for spotting design opportunities relevant to your target market. In summary, the rule of thumb in identifying design opportunities is establishing your own target customer user personas and category mix to smoothen the process for a successful design research and production.

Hope you found this article helpful! If you have any questions or would like to explore the Omnilytics dashboard further, feel free to reach out to your respective Client Success Manager.

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