The holiday season is here and with it come the hot new products that seem to fly off the shelves just as fast as they are stocked. No matter your age group, there always seems to be a “must- have” product of the season.
This year most children are crazed for a Hatchimal, a baby chick stuffed animal that hatches out of an egg over time, while adults seem to still be interested in the latest in tech, like e-readers and the Amazon Echo. But how do these products become “must-have” of the year? How do they get to market and where do the ideas come from? And how can a retailer improve the chances of landing “must-have holiday gift status? Here are three things retailers should do in the quest to develop the hottest gift of the year:
- Plan early. What many consumers don’t realize is that for retailers, holiday season planning starts as early as January, sometimes even earlier. Take the recent Hatchimals example, which may seem to those whose been through enough holiday seasons to be a next-gen Tamagotchi combined with the Furby of years past. Turns out that this was an idea brainstormed more than two years ago by the toy’s creators. Thinking about holiday products early is key to improving your chances of creating a popular item.
- Seek inspiration everywhere. Ideas for new products, like most creative thinking, can’t be forced. Inspiration can come from anywhere: a magazine article, consumer research, a conversation with a colleague, even an industry tradeshow. In the case of Hatchimals, it was an idea that came out of discussing the popularity of YouTube’s unboxing videos, where products are opened from their boxes on video.
- Stay connected to your supply chain. As the Hatchimals story clearly shows, if you happen on a hit product, you better be ready to meet the demand. By collaborating early and often with your suppliers, you can work with them to find solutions to meet the changing demands of customers, which is particularly important during the holiday season. Being able to meet consumer needs can go a long way in hitting sales targets and driving revenue during this critical time period for retailers.
No matter the product or audience demographic, there will always be a holiday “must-have” gift on someone’s list. While the inspiration for these products may come from a variety of places, the product journey is very much the same and always begins with the consumer. Consumers constantly expect new and interesting products, especially during the holiday season and it is up to the retailers and product developers to deliver. For retailers to succeed, they need to match not only the speed of the consumer but also what inspires them.
Learn the four things retailers need to do to mimic the consumer experience on the backend in order to succeed in the New Retail Economy by reading our whitepaper: The retail revolution: Rethinking how brands create and shop for products.