BE THE FIRST TO KNOW
Malcolm Gladwell’s debut book “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” sold millions of copies and made Gladwell a household name and respected public figure.
His opening example deals with how Hush Puppies shoes went from being an almost-dead brand selling 30,000 pairs of shoes a year, to a massive success retailing over 400,000 pairs annually. All of this was thanks to a small group of New York based trendsetters, and the change happened almost overnight.
What if one of your competitors’ products was booming, and you didn’t even know about it? How about if some product is the hottest thing this season, and you don’t even stock it? What if you could gauge demand for any product and any category at any online store – and in real-time?
This would definitely be one of the most strategic tools available, and by using intelligent demand gauging, you could be able to identify missing products in your inventory, validate that you are not underperforming in a particular category, and also forecast demand before it explodes.
Clearly, it’s critical to get real-time intelligence for hot trends and new products. Not only “top ten” products, but also the “long-tail” – across all products – which is often where huge potential gains lie unrealized. This real-time intelligence would also of course have to include accurate information about existing demand levels.
THE NEED TO KNOW – NOW
With the pace of changes in the online commerce environment, understanding what people are buying now – where, at what price, in what quantities and how often – is mandatory knowledge. The value of this information is reduced dramatically as time passes; this is data that can be used in real-time, and it’s where fortunes are made. In this fast-paced world, there are no second chances. If you are carrying the right product at the right price, the sky is the limit. If, however, you are not on top of one of your metrics, all this success will pass you by. Whether it’s a cool new bag that was just launched and demand is through the roof, or a new deodorant that is a “must-have” for millennials; you need to ensure that you have the market intelligence early enough to leverage the opportunity. Here, getting the full picture is crucial. Some people are happy to have this information for only the Top 10 products or best sellers, however real success lies in having this information across all products – being able to provide for niche demand and enabling you to commandeer the lead on products and categories before your competitors are even looking at them.
By identifying trends early, you can tap into existing demand waves and uncover products that are exploding in growth. For example, you could monitor changes in product demand in different segment sand time periods, identifying demand shifts that could influence pricing and promotion strategies.
So what areas are the most important to focus on?
STAY ON TOP OF THE DEMAND CURVE
Ideally, you should know the existing demand level for any product and any category, at any site. This would include the interactions between price and demand levels, being able to optimize price points without compromising margins. While initial pricing needs to be perfect, this also means that a tool is needed that can also track competitors’ pricing, so as to make sure that you are not losing out, even on a product-by-product basis.
Additionally, you have to understand the relationship between price and demand, specifically the elasticity thereof, in order to accurately predict sales and corresponding inventory levels, as well as ensure optimal pricing across all products and categories.
To refer back to the original Hush Puppies example; how could you ensure that you are not underperforming the trend wave? The key here is to benchmark demand against the competition, and structure your deals so that you don’t get left behind.
A word of caution: don’t rely solely on retailers’ data. They do not expose product-level data, and relying on their data can expose you to huge holes in terms of the overall picture. The space is highly fragmented, and certainly looking at a single channel will not reveal the full picture. Make sure you use technology that provides you with the power to accurately track the market and gives you the right information. You’ll need an independent, accurate source which can be trusted, and which is based on what users are actually buying – in real-time.
GETTING AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE
In order to steal a march on your competitors, you could use a tool that will assist you in identifying trends and new products as they enter the market – in real-time. You’ll then be able to spot the hottest trends.
At the same time, you will need to know what is not working. Those new hot pink sneakers may not be performing as well as you expected they would. This will let you adjust accordingly, and move resources away from products that are not working, towards your winners.
A tool such as Market Beyond lets you capture trend waves as they are forming, and identify demand signals. This enables you to better understand what the next hot product in the market will be, and leave you with time to act, make last-minute changes, and have the right supply at the perfect price point.
It’s designed to reveal the hottest trending products and explore growing niches, helping to uncover trend waves and demand signals
It’s clear that the right tool can give you game-changing, actionable insights in real-time, which will give you a massive advantage over your competitors, and expose you many opportunities you would otherwise have missed out on. Market Beyond helps you achieve these business goals, giving you all the intelligence you need, down to product-level.
Make sure you don’t miss out on whatever the next Hush Puppies-type trend may be.