First Insight & Optitex Partner with Marks & Spencer

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

By Fibre2Fashion

This article was originally published by Fibre2Fashion November 6, 2020 (pulling from a press release issued by the companies involved.

First Insight and Optitex, a provider of digital solutions for fashion and apparel, automotive, upholstery and industrial fabrics, have announced a collaboration with Marks & Spencer, one of the UK’s largest and most iconic retailers. First Insight is a technology company transforming how companies make product investment, pricing and marketing decisions.

Marks & Spencer is now able to leverage the combination of First Insight’s industry-leading digital product testing solution and Optometrists 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software to better understand their customer, increase speed to market, support digital workflows, create sustainable sampling processes and reduce waste, according to a press release by First Insight.

Marks & Spencer has already been leveraging First Insight’s consumer-driven predictive analytics software solution to make design, buying and pricing decisions across categories that include apparel, lingerie, footwear, accessories, food, home and beauty. The platform has enabled the British multinational retailer to test tens of thousands of products across more than 50 departments and use that information to shape collections and assortments that meet customers’ desires and to offer those items at the right prices.

The retailer achieved successful results from new product testing using the First Insight solution and Optitex 2D CAD technology. Based on that success, Marks & Spencer has begun using 3D CAD visualisations in its product testing for a number of departments. The transition to 3D imagery has resulted in increased test completion rates and boosted respondents’ comments by 50 per cent providing richer product feedback to the company’s product development and merchant teams. The use of 3D CAD technology has also reduced cost and lead time in Marks & Spencer’s product development process. Incorporating digital solutions can reduce lead time from 24 weeks to 3 weeks for retailers, allowing them to increase their speed-to-market and their margins.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated and expedited a shift from high-touch to low-touch across every aspect of retail, including the product development process. Our partnership with Optitex allows retailers like Marks & Spencer to digitise their product development cycle, which eliminates the need to create and traffic physical samples, host showroom visits and conduct in-store product testing, all of which are crucial capabilities not only during the Coronavirus outbreak, but also for long-term sustainability and efficiency,” Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight said.

“We’re pleased to be integrating our technology with the First Insight platform to help Marks & Spencer and other companies achieve digital transformation. In the product development process, 3D CAD images provide a more realistic visualisation of how a finished product will look, which means the feedback consumers provide through First Insight’s platform is more reliable and useful. It also reduces the need for physical samples and enables virtual line planning and virtual fit testing,” Amit Ben-Sheffer, VP of products at Optitex said.

“We are excited to continue our relationship with First Insight and Optitex as we transition our strategy to a more digital product development-focused model. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We’ve put customer-focused digital innovation at the heart of our business, and this partnership will allow us to bring winning products that our customers truly want to market more quickly and sustainably,” Elaine Wheeler, head of digital product development at Marks & Spencer said.

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