20 of the Best: Fashion Tech Startups

We’re really excited to have been shortlisted for the Launch Pad Live Retail Week 2018 event that is highlighting and showcasing the most important disruptive tech startups in the UK retail scene. We’d love to see you at the Intercontinental O2, at our stand #14!

So what’s it all about?

With two days promised to be packed full of future foccused retail discussions, workshops and pitches the Retail Launch Pad Live event is an exciting  event to be asked to participate in. Retail is at a crucial point in the way it reacts to the challenges it faces. E-commerce has been gradually eating into the market share of traditional retail channels. Digital transformation and innovation is happening faster than ever and is the topic on everyone’s lips – but where is it happening the most and where does it still need to happen more to impact the fast-changing fortunes of the brands and ranges on our high streets and in our digital baskets of the future?

Looking round at the Launch Pad Live it’s very interesting looking around at the innovation that we’re up against – tech startups who are looking at new ways to get the product into the consumer’s hands: from shoppable videos & magazine pages, cross-product bundles to real-time location services and more flexible click and collect options.

All these are clearly exciting consumer-facing tech solutions. But with the digital consumer being catered to left, right and centre what are we doing in the world of fashion retail tech to ensure the support on the ‘back end’ of the retail process? In the design studios, on the research and inspiration trips, in the merchandising meetings, the relentless development trips or on the front-line talking to our customers and store- teams? How are we innovating to make sure that the product that’s being offered up in the first place is the best, most relevant product offer, that’s on time, on brand and on price?

Surely this deserves the same innovation and investment as the convenience and service elements of our customer’s experience?

 

Surely your brands’ and products’ success lies in the ability to concept and share your ideas; position and build your ranges with the right information and inspiration; engaging with your teams and your consumer and most importantly to align, communicate and collaborate as early in the process as possible? The culture and processes that need to be innovated for can be the real game-changers that need to reflect and enhance the nnovations that are happening once the products are shipped.

No amount of ‘sexy tech’ at the end of the retail process is going to improve processes or a culture that can impact the success of the product; it’s higher up the pipeline that innovation and alignment are essential.

As John Thorbeck from Chainge Capital explained about RangeRoom, “… speed and flexibility are merchandising issues, not an operational or supply chain issue. Visibility and collaboration are critical to that change and it is led by the creative leads who need tools to drive both process AND product innovation.

RangeRoom gives designers, buyers and product developers leadership of the process, while also providing a window to design further up the supply chain. The days of “we create, you fulfil” are over.”

This week we’ve seen Toy-R-Us and Maplin go into liquidation, growing evidence of the need for retailers to be able to respond heroically and in unprecedented ways to the challenge of e-commerce competitors. Innovation has to be in retailers (and their suppliers) processes and their ability to be both proactive and responsive to the needs of the consumer in the conception and development of their product ranges. Collaboration and communication with new digital tools can be the game-changing factors – it just means teams and leaders have to think differently – because what got you here, definitely won’t get you there.

We’re passionate about what we do because we know that the platform that RangeRoom provides could be a real game-changer for retailers and suppliers alike. So we hope you’ll join us at LaunchPad Live so you can find out more about why, what and how we do at RangeRoom on the 7th and 8th of March 2018.

Title image: Combination of images from  Alex Knight and Ahmed Carter Drone image by Aaron Burden and glass globe from Photo by Bekir Dönmez all on Unsplash

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