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Blog / Marketing tips / Why a Faster Time to Market Matters in the Fashion Industry

Marketing tips

Why a Faster Time to Market Matters in the Fashion Industry

Why a Faster Time to Market Matters in the Fashion Industry
Lilija Karpjaka

By Lilija Karpjaka

7 min read

In today’s fashion world, the phrase “speed wins” couldn’t be more true. Time to market (TTM) is the buzzword for fashion brands that want to stay ahead. It’s all about how quickly a new fashion item moves from the drawing board into the customer’s wardrobe. 

In an industry where style trends change faster than the seasons, a quick TTM is essential for catching the wave of customer expectations and meeting ever-shifting market demands. For fashion brands looking to make their mark, mastering the art of faster TTM is not just an advantage; it’s a necessity.

In this article, we’ll look at how TTM matters in the fashion industry and how selling products with print-on-demand dropshipping can increase your revenue.

What exactly is time to market?

Time to market is the speed at which a product goes from concept to market availability. In the fashion industry, it’s the key to staying on-trend and meeting customer demands swiftly. 

In simple terms, TTM means how quickly a product goes from being an idea to being available for customers to buy. If you reduce time to market, you can make your customers much happier. But let’s expand on this a little. 

Think of TTM as the magical wand that turns fashion dreams into reality. It’s the bridge that connects creativity with consumer satisfaction and the engine that drives a brand’s competitiveness. In the fashion world, being the first to launch a new style isn’t just a feat; it’s a strategic advantage.

Imagine being the brand that introduces the trend everyone’s talking about, the one that customers can’t resist. That’s what a shorter TTM can do for a fashion brand. It’s about responding quickly to market changes, meeting customer expectations with lightning speed, and ensuring your brand remains synonymous with innovation and style.

So, speedy TTM is important for two main reasons.

Meeting the expectations of your target market

Fashion isn’t just about clothing—it’s about making a statement. Your target audience craves both novelty and authenticity. TTM empowers you to keep up with evolving tastes and preferences. When you can meet and exceed customers’ expectations, your product’s success in the market improves greatly.

Responding quickly to trends

In the fashion industry, being fashionably late is a no-go. TTM is your tool to respond quickly to the ever-changing market demands. It’s about agility, adaptability, and staying one step ahead. When you can catch the wave of trends and ride it to success, your brand becomes synonymous with innovation and style. 

In essence, time to market is the heartbeat of the fashion industry. It’s the rhythm that keeps your brand in tune with the desires of your target audience and the beat that ensures you’re always a step ahead. Mastering TTM isn’t just about speed; it’s about understanding your customers, meeting their demands, and becoming the trendsetter they can’t resist.

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The crucial role of a product development process

In the fashion industry, the product’s journey from concept to customer is both an art and a science. 

Understanding the product development process is essential for anyone in the fashion industry, as it directly impacts a brand’s ability to stay competitive. Here’s a deep dive into this critical process and its impact on TTM, market relevance, and revenue.

a circular chart with different graphs and charts

Source: DALL·E 2

1. Market analysis

The first step should always be understanding not just what’s trending but also the nuanced needs of your market. This analysis helps refine the product and ensure it meets your customer demands.

Learn what’s trending: 21 Trending Products to Sell Online in 2024

company's product development process illustration

Source: DALL·E 2

2. Idea generation and conceptualization

Then, the designers and product teams (or you) brainstorm product ideas, which should be inspired by market research and trends. Here, understanding potential customers and their preferences is key.

3. Designing and prototyping

Once a concept is chosen, it moves into the design phase. That’s where ideas take a tangible form. Prototyping, especially in a print-on-demand (POD) context, allows quick product and design testing and iteration. 

5. Marketing

Once a product is ready for selling, it’s important to make the most of the marketing resources. That entails a good product description, sending out new product emails, creating product content on social media, etc. 

Read more: Print-on-Demand Product Launch Checklist

4. Sales and production

In a print-on-demand model, this step is streamlined to respond swiftly to orders. Each order moves to fulfillment as soon as a customer buys the product.

7. Feedback and iteration

Valuable feedback post-launch is essential for continuous improvement and for staying ahead of market changes.

Brands that adapt to market changes are more likely to capture new market opportunities, leading to increased revenue. An agile product development process allows for quick reactions to customer feedback and emerging trends, ensuring that the brand remains relevant and has a sharp competitive edge.

customer satisfaction illustration

Source: DALL·E 2

8. Post-sale follow up

Post-sale follow-up plays a crucial role in enhancing customer experience. By actively gathering customer feedback, brands can refine their product quality and customer service. This proactive engagement fortifies customer relationships and increases the chances of repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth referrals, which are vital for business growth.

How POD and dropshipping are changing the game

In the whirlwind of fashion retail, print-on-demand and dropshipping are two innovative approaches that have rewritten the rulebook on fashion production and distribution.

Print-on-demand is a marvel for fashion creatives and entrepreneurs alike. Imagine this: no more overstocked inventories or wasted resources. Instead, clothing items are created only when a customer orders them. This model perfectly fits the fast-paced fashion scene, allowing brands to introduce fresh designs swiftly and in sync with the latest trends.

Dropshipping acts as a logistical game-changer for online business owners. It’s the dream of every up-and-coming fashion label–selling stylish apparel without worrying about storing stacks of products. With dropshipping, brands can easily offer a wide array of trending products, making them more responsive to the ever-evolving tastes of fashion-forward customers.

Both of these models aren’t just about efficiency; they’re about aligning with the modern shopper’s desire for freshness and variety. They empower brands to keep up with the rapid tempo of fashion changes and let them do it more sustainably. 

In essence, POD and dropshipping have set the stage for brands to excel in the competitive market. By leveraging these models, fashion brands can transform their time to market from a logistical challenge into a strategic advantage, ensuring they remain at the forefront of style and innovation.

How print-on-demand can reduce your clothing line’s TTM

Embracing POD is like hitting the fast-forward button for your clothing line’s time to market. Here are 5 reasons why.

Streamlined production process. Say goodbye to long lead times. POD simplifies the production process, enabling products to move swiftly from concept to customer.

No unsold inventory. With models like print-on-demand, brands can reduce the risks of having large inventories of unsold products. This approach aligns production with demand, minimizing excess stock and waste.

Reduced risk, increased experimentation. POD empowers you to be a fearless innovator. Testing new ideas no longer requires a significant upfront investment. This flexibility fosters creativity and experimentation, which are essential for staying at the forefront of the fashion industry. 

With POD dropshipping companies like Printful, you can effortlessly add new designs to your online stores and observe their performance. If a design doesn’t sell, simply remove it and introduce fresh concepts. It’s innovation at the speed of thought.

Automatic fulfillment. Time is a precious resource, and POD is all about saving it. Once you synchronize your online store with Printful and integrate products, the fulfillment process becomes a well-oiled machine. 

When your customers place their orders, we swing into action, handling the fulfillment and shipping process seamlessly. That gives you more time to focus on what truly matters—growing your brand and staying ahead in the market.

Reaching customers globally. With a global dropshipping partner like Printful, you can reach your customers wherever they are. We have fulfillment centers around the globe, which means your customers will get their products faster.

Infusing POD into your business model isn’t just a change; it’s a dynamic shift that propels your product development and market entry into the fast lane of the fashion world. It’s your ticket to not just staying relevant but leading the way. The result? An open highway to amplified revenue and limitless growth opportunities.

Learn more: What is Print-on-Demand?

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Adapt to market changes quickly with POD

In the ever-evolving fashion world, mastering a faster time to market is more than a strategy—it’s necessary for success. From leveraging print-on-demand and dropshipping to staying in tune with customer desires and market trends, each step in the product development journey plays a crucial role. 

Brands that navigate the waters of POD and dropshipping, balancing speed with quality and innovation with customer expectations, are the ones that thrive. Embrace these approaches, and watch your fashion brand not only respond to the market quickly but also lead it.

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By Lilija Karpjaka on Jan 19, 2024

Lilija Karpjaka

SEO Content Writer

Lilija is an SEO content writer at Printful. She's passionate about ecommerce, and in her spare time, she's an avid reader of various book genres.

Lilija is an SEO content writer at Printful. She's passionate about ecommerce, and in her spare time, she's an avid reader of various book genres.