New Line Efficiency by MakerSights Enables Brands to Optimize Assortments and Increase SKU Productivity Based on Consumer Demand Data
Merchandisers Can Now Reach a Wider Breadth of Consumers with Fewer Products, Driving Revenue While Reducing Risk, Cannibalization Across Lines, and Overproduction
MakerSights, a retail technology company empowering consumer-obsessed brands to deliver more products people love while radically reducing waste, released Line Efficiency, a new analytics feature that illustrates the incremental appeal for each product within an assortment. Line Efficiency provides insight into a product’s unique audience that merchandisers need to make informed decisions about which items to adopt or drop and the optimal balance of newness and carryover, as well as identify the right products for each channel and region. With Line Efficiency, merchandisers can increase SKU productivity and craft a cohesive line that reaches the maximum number of customers with the minimum number of products, while reducing overproduction of unnecessary or unwanted products.
“The new Line Efficiency feature in MakerSights gives us the insights we need to deliver the right mix of products and get the most mileage out of every SKU,” said Rothy’s Director of Strategic Insights Charu Subramanian. “The new feature allows us unprecedented insight into which products will likely be a hit, and which styles our community may not be ready for yet. This has given me more confidence in the styles and colorways we bring to market.”
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“The new Line Efficiency feature in MakerSights gives us the insights we need to deliver the right mix of products and get the most mileage out of every SKU”
Derived from a methodology originally developed for media planning known as Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency or “TURF,” Line Efficiency provides an objective assessment of an assortment, line, or entire category based on product-specific feedback from a brand’s target consumers. Line Efficiency helps product, merchandising, and go-to-market teams:
- Effectively screen for cannibalization between products and identify the bold colorways or styles with significant demand from important subsets of consumers;
- Determine which products can be cut to reduce overhead and which ones should be added to maximize reach, profitability, and SKU productivity;
- Understand customer demand on a granular level so the right products are designated for the right channel and region;
- Deliver assortments that widen a brand’s exposure to the market, while reflecting the brand and protecting or improving profit margins;
- Reduce overproduction of products with limited customer demand, minimizing the volume of unsold merchandise that is either incinerated or sent directly to landfills at the end of each season.
“By marrying the power of data science and the voice of the consumer, we’re able to provide brands the assurance they are confidently investing their time and resources toward developing products that their audiences love,” said MakerSights Co-founder and CEO Dan Leahy. “Line Efficiency empowers merchandisers to craft nuanced product lines, balancing reliably classic styles with more daring pieces that excite fashion influencers and push the brand into new places. Striking this balance, de-risking newness, and eliminating products that don’t add sufficient value to the line are all critical to profit margins and reducing overproduction. Merchandisers can now make difficult assortment decisions with confidence, which is good for the bottom line and the planet.”
Today, brands heavily rely on past performance and gut instinct to find the right mix of products, which makes them susceptible to risk from evolving trends, biases, and blind spots in the market. Adopting more products into an assortment may increase appeal across the market, but it also increases costs, erodes margin, and leads to large quantities of unsold merchandise that is either incinerated or sent to landfills. Conversely, dropping products may help improve margins by eliminating overhead costs, but forgoing the wrong products will shrink the number of consumers a brand will reach and limit a brand’s creative expression.
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“Line Efficiency has transformed how we make critical decisions about assortments,” said Herschel Supply Co. VP of Merchandising Lisa Best. “Deciding what gets adopted or dropped is tough when relying on intuition and high versus low historical performance. Each product plays a specific role in an assortment, and with MakerSights’ Line Efficiency we are able to take a more nuanced and strategic approach to decisions than simply ‘cutting the long tail.’ We can now quickly identify potential cannibalization between products, spot experimental colorways or styles that will help us tap into our bolder consumers, and deliver an assortment that aligns with what our customers have indicated they want to see and buy.”
MakerSights also recently released Snap & Comment, allowing product, merchant, and go-to-market teams to easily take a snapshot of a visualization, add insights gleaned from the data directly to the image, and save it to the Shared Learnings tab within the workspace. Snap & Comment helps brands better manage and share key consumer insights in a central location, creating a single source of truth to be leveraged when making key decisions about the assortment. By documenting major findings, teammates, stakeholders and cross-functional team members can quickly digest the learnings and prioritize outstanding questions for discussion or determine appropriate next steps, which greatly accelerates the merchandising process.