The global clothing and footwear industry is worth more than $1.9 trillion — but it’s expected to exceed $3 trillion by 2030.
But its sheer size and growth make this industry fiercely competitive: clothing brands must work incredibly hard to understand their customers, create products that appeal to their target buyers, and find ways to stay relevant.
One of the most essential steps in satisfying your audience and building a solid reputation for your brand is product prioritization.
What does this mean? And why is it so important?
In this post, we’ll explore how product feature prioritization works, techniques you can try, and how to improve your products.
What is Product Feature Prioritization?
The prioritization of your product features is a process for identifying the importance of specific ideas and features to minimize the time wasted on concepts that fail to achieve quality results. The aim is to determine which options have the most potential to deliver customer value and create a positive experience in the fastest, easiest, most convenient way.
Various frameworks for product prioritization exist, and clothing brands can utilize these to reach valuable conclusions via a streamlined process. We’ll look at four of these in our “How Do You Prioritize Product Features?” section below.
Why Do Clothing Brands Need to Prioritize Features?
Prioritizing features is vital for clothing brands for several reasons:
Define What Customers Want or Need for Clarity
A study by Wunderman’s found that 79% of consumers want brands to show that they understand them before they consider buying their products, and 62% believe great brands “succeed in making their lives easier.”
That makes it pretty explicit that you should research your target customers and understand what they want or need when creating products. Prioritizing features enables you to be clear about what attracts your intended audience to your goods the most.
Focus on Valuable Choices
Prioritization of product features equips clothing brands with the techniques and insights to concentrate on the most valuable aspects of any product. Your team will establish what matters most and work towards implementing it, rather than splitting their attention across multiple features with less certainty.
Less Risk of Costly Mistakes
Prioritizing product features can help your brand create products that align with consumer desires and pain points more effectively. It’s driven by data-based research that allows you to recognize the most valuable decisions in designing and refining your products before releasing them.
That reduces the risk of investing money in goods that go nowhere and increases the chances of generating profits.
Increased Customer Satisfaction and Brand Loyalty
Prioritization techniques encourage clothing brands to develop a deeper understanding of their audience and the different segments within that.
You can better realize what your buyers are looking for when they visit your online store, provide them with a more robust portfolio of products that cater to their shopping tastes/habits, and increase the likelihood of securing their loyalty over time.
How Do You Prioritize Product Features?
Here are 4 of the most popular product prioritization frameworks:
The Weighted Scoring prioritization framework builds on the Impact/Effort Matrix but works scoring into the mix to help guide your choices. Assign each feature a score for each area (e.g., customer value, increase in revenue) and rank them to determine which features deserve top priority.
The customer’s view is crucial — and this forms the basis for the Kano model of prioritization.
You can use the Kano model to consider features from the target buyer’s perspective and allocate them a position within one of four categories based on the level of customer satisfaction they offer:
- Must-have: These features are essential but won’t excite customers
- Attractive: These features excite customers but can be left out without upsetting them
- Performance essential: These boost customer satisfaction and can cause dissatisfaction when left out of a product
- Indifferent: These features have little to no effect on a customer’s experience with a product
Opportunity Scoring involves asking customers for their opinions on features’ importance and scoring their satisfaction within a specific range (e.g., 1 – 10).
This framework can help your clothing brand identify the most valuable opportunities to satisfy customers and recognize those that can be reconsidered or left out altogether.
The Value and Effort Matrix
All these techniques are great for strategy. However, if you want a quick method for daily prioritization, we recommend the Value and Effort Matrix.
This is a lean method, often called the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). It helps decision-makers to quickly understand what is essential, what is risky, and where they should focus their efforts.
How do you categorize product features properly? Think about the impact the feature is likely to make regarding current market demand, customer engagement, buyer retention, and revenue generation. Your team will need to discuss these carefully before assigning features their proper position.
You can quickly assign Value and Effort for each new product feature or idea as follows:
- Effort: Estimate the resources (time, money) needed to deliver this feature.
- Value: Estimate the amount of value this feature creates for your customer and how well it matches your product objectives.
Consider the following questions:
- Will the feature help you get more customers?
- Will the customer understand the importance of the feature?
- How many customers will the feature affect?
- Does the feature help make money? How much?
- Will the feature help to retain customers?
Once you’ve allocated parameters to Value and Effort in EpiProdux, you can assign these values to a feature inside an experiment.
For the best results, make sure you revisit the matrix periodically, as you will learn more about your product and features with analysis, customer feedback, experiments, and other customer interactions.
What are the Most Important Clothing Features?
Understanding crucial features in clothing can be a little more complex than doing the same with, say, software. So much of fashion is down to personal taste.
Your clothing brand may have a particular mission or cater to a small audience with unconventional fashion choices. That means you’ll have your grasp of who you’re aiming for and what type of clothes they’re likely to wear.
However, it would help if you met specific criteria related to modern consumer trends and goals. These three clothing features are increasingly important:
Consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever: 88% of shoppers want brands to help them be more eco-friendly and ethical, but 43% feel brands make it more challenging to achieve those goals.
Help position your clothing brand as a green, ethical company committed to minimizing its impact on the environment. One way is to use sustainable materials in your products, such as:
- Recycled cotton
- Organic cotton
- Organic linen
- Organic hemp
- Cupro (created from recycled garments)
Avoid less-sustainable materials like:
Let’s take a look at a real-world example, Lucy and Yak. The business has weighted the value of sustainability over the effort of sustainability.
Not only are they do they pay North Indians workers four times the average local salary, but they also ensure all postage material and stationary is 100% recycled and biodegradable.
Invest in creating clothes designed to provide lasting value for money.
McKinsey’s research found that 65% of people intend to buy more durable clothing, and 71% plan to keep pieces they already have for longer. It’s no surprise that the secondhand market is predicted to be worth $64 billion by 2024.
Providing customers with more durable clothes means they can wear them for longer or sell them for profit down the line to ensure they remain well-loved in another person’s wardrobe (rather than in a landfill).
Dr. Martens has built a brand around durability and practicality. Initially a work boot, they are now an iconic brand in the U.K. and a firm favorite for many fashionistas. The brand clear places emphasis on durability in its value/effort matrix.
The age of “fast fashion” appears to be at an end as consumers look for clothes that last longer and offer higher quality. More than 40% of consumers are willing to pay higher prices for better quality garments, and 77% agree that this typically means clothes are made from natural fibers (such as cotton).
That means it’s critical to concentrate on the quality of your products rather than the quantity.
What are the Most Important Website Features for Your Fashion Website?
Your fashion website should be the hub of your online presence — and it has to deliver the best customer experience possible to prevent them from clicking away to a competitor.
Here are some of the most important features to prioritize:
Well-Designed Product Catalog with Simple UI
Customers should be able to find the exact products they’re looking for on your website quickly and easily.
A well-designed product catalog features:
- High-resolution images of every item from multiple angles
- Details (e.g., dimensions, materials)
- Filtering options (e.g., category, brand, price)
Recommendation Engines to Save Customers Time and Effort
Recommendation engines use data to recognize those products a customer is most likely to be interested in and helps to provide a more personalized experience. Your customers will save time and find the most relevant goods more efficiently.
Product Reviews to Provide Consumer Insights
Eighty-four percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, so give your visitors the chance to find out what fellow buyers think about your products.
Provide users with a feature to provide a star rating for their purchases and write a brief review. This will help guide others’ choices and can increase trust in your band.
User-Friendly Transaction System
Almost 90% of shoppers will abandon their carts if they find your checkout process too hard, and 55% will never return.
Keep your transaction system as user-friendly and straightforward as possible. Provide clear instructions, a range of payment options, and information on shipping and tax charges for total transparency.
Conclusion: How Product Managers Can Use a Prioritization Framework
Prioritizing your features empowers your clothing brand with the aid and insights to implement the most valuable features into your goods and your website. Mitigate the threat of wasting time and money on irrelevant items through research-based decisions.
EpiProdux makes it easy to analyze your products and brand’s feature values. Prioritize the best features of your eCommerce site to increase engagement and revenue.