April '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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60 || P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 1 8 Retail Cues A lthea Peng of management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and Chris Callileri of fashion powerhouse Tory Burch recently spoke about the state of supply chain digitization as a matter of not only transforming traditionally manual processes but of transforming the customer experience as well. Through the magic of "virtual sampling," customers can engage with an on- line business to gain a precise visualization of the garments and accessories they seek, while businesses needn't have inventory amounting to potential waste, only blank substrates represent- ing limitless possibilities. This concept of presenting customers with a "virtual prod- uct" is a natural evolution of the e-commerce explosion. Ac- cording to market research group Forrester, online retail spend- ing in the United States nearly doubled from $177 billion in 2010 to $327 billion between 2010 and 2016. Convenience aside, customers want to know what they are getting, and pre- cise visualizations address that need for them. However, in addition to presenting customers with what they are getting, this type of digitization empowers them to take control of what they could be getting. By using charac- teristics of today's retail buyers, we can gain great insight into how apparel decorators can use this technology to keep up and better serve their customers. ACCESS AND CUSTOMIZATION Access is one of the defining aspects of the internet age. Cus- tomers can find almost any product within minutes and place an order. Customization means customers are no longer bound by any one supplier's inventory. With the ubiquity of options the internet offers, it has become easier than ever to find precisely the item desired, whether it's a garment with a new color com- bination, an accessory with one's name in a certain style, an ensemble featuring a unique design, or anything else one's mind might concoct. Consider the evolution of retail, and specifically apparel, over recent decades. About 50 years ago, Robert Zoch is content manager for Kornit Digi- tal North America (KDNA). Prior to joining KDNA, he served in a variety of marketing, communica- tions, and editorial capacities for NICE Customer Engagement Analytics, Lexmark Enterprise Soft- ware, and Brainware. Zoch holds a B.A. in Politi- cal Science from Binghamton University. Digital decorations and the rise of customization B Y R O B E R T Z O C H

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