Seeing a new product come to fruition is a beautiful moment. The challenge is that once the idea is born, the path to making the idea into reality can be complicated.
Considering that each year, more than 30 000 new consumer products are launched, and 95% of them fail, planning out your products’ development from conception to market is vital.
Getting products out to the market smart and fast extends even beyond brands and manufacturers. Retailers also experience many obstacles in getting their new products to market, which heightens stress levels given that other retailers who can get their products out faster may be selling the same product or another similar alternative. If a company doesn’t have customer loyalty, then potential customers will quickly embrace other brands that can get products out faster.
As multichannel commerce continues to skyrocket, this puts even more pressure on businesses to ensure a quick, accurate product launch. To avoid losing to your competitors, it’s important to evaluate your time to market (TTM).
What is time to market?
“Time to market” can be defined differently depending on a company’s values and goals. A common definition of this process is the amount of time it takes for a product to go from an idea, through the development process, to the moment it is launched and available for purchase. Other companies may define time to market as the process in which a product idea has reached production, while others define it as the time a new product goes from production to its launch.
While TTM measurements vary from company to company, it is a key performance indicator (KPI) you’ll want to keep track of. How quickly you get your products out from your brainstorming sessions to customers’ shopping carts can also indicate your business’ level of innovation. Creating a new product better and faster than your competitors will set your company apart as an industry leader. Unfortunately, this isn’t a task that can be half-baked in the hopes that you get your product out before competitors. A poorly made product is worse than a late one.
Nonetheless, it should be a priority for your business to get the best product out there in good timing. This requires a mixture of planning and resources, which most companies struggle with. To factually support this struggle, 79% of new products miss the launch date, which leads to an array of problems. From missed opportunities to less revenue earned—you name it. Who wants that?
Why does time to market matter in ecommerce?
Developing a powerful product strategy pushes companies to reach higher levels of success and can be seen through a well-executed TTM. In highly competitive landscapes, like ecommerce, businesses are pushed to perform their best, and there is no room for error. And, if a company doesn’t perform, the revenues will reflect that. Ecommerce presents a great opportunity for your business to expand your reach and profit margin (especially when using a multichannel approach), but if you don’t manage your TTM, you might start seeing your profits go in the red.
As you compete with other retailers in the multichannel commerce space, you’ll want to find ways to create reduced time to market and analyze those results.
Here are some key processes to help get your products out to the market faster:
1.) Customer research
This part of the product development roadmap can’t be skipped.
Seriously, your product won’t sell if you don’t understand who your customers are, what they want, and where your product will be positioned in its market. Take the time to interview customers and get feedback so that you can make the best product, tailored to your customers. It doesn’t make sense to make a product that customers won’t buy (unless you like to waste time and resources).
2.) Effective workflows
Disconnected workflows and siloed teams are a quick way to waste time and money. Make sure that all departments involved share information throughout the design and development process while cutting back on downtimes. You need to establish roles, responsibilities, and a clear roadmap for how different team members will collaborate together to reach the planned deadlines. Strategic workflows with proper traceability will guarantee an increased, profitable TTM.
3.) Aligned development processes
Depending on your industry, the development process may look different.
To facilitate a smooth development process, you need to create a general framework, so that everyone knows what takes the biggest priority. An example of this in the SaaS industry is Agile software development. This type of development model, as opposed to a traditional Waterfall approach, helps to create clear processes for development and testing that help reduce TTM.
4.) Product launch strategy
Success starts in the planning stages.
Taking the time to create a well-thought out launch strategy that details the proper KPIs and product roadmap will help teams to reach the optimal time to market for your new product. According to this article, you must address the following:
- Product development and testing
- Launch planning
- Launch and ecommerce marketing
- Product launch KPIs
- Product launch execution
- Sustaining product launch
Creating a well-thought-out product launch strategy that details your KPIs and product roadmap will help to reach the improved TTM for your new product.
5.) Product management
You can create the perfect product launch strategy, but there is one unexpected obstacle that could keep you from achieving your desired outcome: product information. What seems like a simple task can become an inescapable nightmare, especially when selling on multiple sales channels in ecommerce. To avoid a spreadsheet disaster (with thousands of opportunities for bad product data) and inconsistent channel syndication, we suggest you invest in a PIM for ecommerce.
Start with PIM for improved TTM in ecommerce
Investing in a Product Information Management system is the fastest way to cut down on time wasted. Reduced time to market starts with accurate, properly managed information. And while this seemingly “small” factor is often overlooked in the “bigger picture," it is crucial. The quality and performance of your content can make all the difference between a successful or failed product.
We’ve seen that businesses reduce time to market by up to 400% just by implementing a PIM in their business practice. Adding a PIM as a central source of truth for their product information has also led to increased sales and lower customer returns (isn’t that the goal of all businesses?). Not only are enterprises adopting PIM into their multichannel strategy, but so are small-to-medium sized businesses. That’s why they rely on the best PIM for SMBs, knowing that they have a central source of information that helps them beat out their competition.
Reduce your Time to Market today by giving Plytix PIM a spin.