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Speed to Market is Critical for Today’s Retailers

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The retail landscape in 2022, despite the setbacks of the pandemic, is more competitive than ever. There’s small local shops, giant department stores, specialty retailers, amazon resellers, wholesale clubs and more – all competing for the consumer’s dollar. With low barriers to entry, launching a retail business these days can be as simple as a website and a product to sell. That is why speed to market is critical for today’s retailers. 

Speed to market refers to the time it takes a business to take a product idea, develop it, and make it accessible to consumers. Speed is a competitive advantage in retail today given the saturation of the industry. 

At Black Lab Design we pride ourselves on our ability to problem solve. As a result, clients engage us to help them understand the consumer/customer problem and collaboratively we can provide a solution in a short lead time.

Since manufacturing moved to Asia in the 1980’s, the retail supply chain has taken months to deliver a new product from initial concept to inventory in the stores.

In today’s society, the consumer has come to expect same day delivery, on-demand information, and instant communication – and retail is no exception.  

In retail, speed matters. A decreased speed to market gives the competition the advantage when it comes to innovation, allowing them to reach your consumer first.

Speed to market is critical
The retail game has changed in recent years, more competitive than ever with giant online sellers operating massive warehouses.

Here are 3 ways speed to market can impact your marketing efforts positively:

  1. Step into the spotlight and be the first to talk to your consumers about new ideas, trends, and products.
  2. Take advantage of windows of opportunity when they open before any of your competitors.
  3. Keep the momentum going for your company by implementing marketing materials quickly and efficiently.

The thing is; it doesn’t matter how innovative or high quality a new product you’re going to offer is if you can’t get it to market before your competition does.

If you want to be an industry leader, you have to lead the industry.

The pre-pandemic global supply chain network was optimised to have minimum lead times at the lowest possible price. The pandemic has disintegrated the reliability of these international supply chains. Recovery will take a long time, with the trust of many buyers now lost, it may never return to the efficiency we once saw.  

Diversifying your supply chain can help reduce the lead time on products from inception to market and mitigate risk. Retail companies should critically re-examine their supply chains, restructure flows and networks to build resilience, and seek to avoid over-dependency on a particular country or region.

Will Australian Manufacturers be left High and Dry for China?

Offshore lead times can impact your speed to market and place you behind a competitor. Delays occur from exporting, transit, inspection checks, customs and port logistics.

Despite global supply chain issues during the pandemic, consumers’ ‘see now, buy now’ mentality is here to stay. Retailers should prioritise speed to market over cost to ensure a competitive edge. Speed to market is critical for today’s retailers.

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