How new tools and technologies are designed to work within today’s accelerated timelines
Old-school product testing has met new challenges as brands move faster to create and satisfy quickening trends. From layering in a brief color palette between seasons to launching eye-catching innovations at strategic times, the overall pace at which brands are moving to engage with their customers has definitely increased.
But the years aren’t getting any longer, and as more newness is squeezed into the calendar, the timelines have compressed. While this shorter window does indeed bring brands closer to market trends, it can often tighten the product development and merchandising timelines.
Here’s where product testing platforms shine – tools that are purpose-built to quickly engage specific target customers and generate multi-channel feedback in a single dashboard environment allow you to find and fix issues before you launch your product.
It’s been said that “hope” is a four-letter word in retail. Or, at least, not a great strategy. Even though your brand may be moving at lightning speed, that doesn’t mean you have to go to market with crossed fingers.
Here’s how to ensure product relevance and performance without slowing down:
Accelerate Testing with Technology
While product testing isn’t new, today’s tools to do so quickly and effectively are. Whether you’re currently relying on feedback and images emailed from testers, simple online surveys, or an even harder to wrangle combination of both, these tasks can be streamlined and accelerated by using the right technology for the job. Some of the efficiencies a product testing platform include are:
- Pre-Existing, Reliable Product Testers
Making sure you are talking to the right people can be a challenge. So much so that shortcuts like a quick internal feedback session might seem tempting. But when a product testing platform provides you with a reliable tester community that matches your target customers, the once daunting job of gathering quality testers is reduced to simply filtering, selecting and inviting. You can now be sure you’ll gather comprehensive feedback from the voice of the customer.
- Streamlined Processes, Like Shipping Integration
Sometimes simple tasks can be perceived as significant hurdles when the steps to get them done are fragmented. A powerful product testing platform is built with an understanding of these bottlenecks – like shipping – and solves for them within the platform. Now, instead of rounding up ship-to addresses from testers via email, then compiling and inputting individually into shipping software, you could simply select all of your testers and print labels right from one dashboard.
- Surveys, Images, Video, Heatmaps and More… in-One
If you’ve been engaging your target customers to gather field testing feedback, you know there’s often much more to the story than a simple survey can uncover. While a variety of individual tools and solutions exist to achieve separate, channel-specific feedback, a dedicated platform funnels all of these relevant feedback channels into one place. From here, you can analyze and understand what is happening and why, then share cross-functionally for decision making and execution.
- All in Real Time
You’ve selected your testers and they now have your products in hand. Don’t wait to hear what they have to say. The feedback consolidation technology is only half of the solution. The other half is making it easy for your testers to upload their feedback as it happens. This is where tools like a field testing mobile app contribute to speed. For example, a runner could mark an image of your new tech tee during your apparel product testing with likes and dislikes during or after a run, all immediately viewable on the feedback dashboard for review. In today’s fast-paced development cycles, you don’t have time to sit back and wait. Only a platform that moves in real time can deliver the validation or constructive feedback on the timeline you need.
- A Plug and Play Solution
Above are only a few of the efficiencies gained by a purpose-built product testing platform. But what about implementation? After all, what good are those efficiencies if they’re only achieved after a lengthy integration and training process, consuming your or your team’s valuable time? The right platform is built with an understanding of these hurdles. It’s intuitive and easily adoptable. Further, it’s a platform that’s not just “another new thing you have to learn,” but a valued tool in the product development toolbox.
Your Options are No Longer “Hope” or “Slow”
Relevant technology continues to evolve all around us, and product testing is not an exception. When proper product testing takes place, the return is well worth the reasonable effort. Brands have realized double-digit sales impacts on multi-million dollar styles just from a single product test.
With the opportunity for ROI that can include improved customer satisfaction and brand loyalty in addition to the potential for increased sales and decreased return rates, the next question is “how.” With a powerful and fast product testing platform, the answer could be right at your fingertips.
Learn more here.