Taylor Stitch is an online men’s clothing company headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Founded in 2008, Taylor Stitch is dedicated to changing how the retail industry operates by improving the way they source, sew, and sell. Since day one, the brand has leveraged a consumer-obsessed strategy to create products that stand the test of time and have a minimal environmental impact.
Despite being a direct-to-consumer brand that’s in touch with its customers, Taylor Stitch needed a better way to evaluate buyer preferences and purchase intent to guide key assortment decisions. Taylor Stitch Co-founder and CEO Michael Maher and his team were in search of a solution to help collect objective, product-specific consumer feedback and make it accessible to everyone in the organization.
It was important that this feedback was highly actionable and could help inform decisions through the full value chain, from driving category strategies to increasing SKU productivity and optimizing investment depths. The brand also wanted to more effectively keep pace with evolving trends, minimize supply chain risks, and reduce waste by incrementally releasing consumer-led styles, rather than betting on a few major seasonal drops.
Taylor Stitch chose MakerSights’ platform to help them take an iterative, consumer-obsessed, and sustainably responsible approach to developing products and assortments.
To build an engaged community of repeat customers, Taylor Stitch launched “The Workshop,” a weekly kickstarter where consumers crowdfund potential new products by purchasing them in advance for a discount. Prior to creating samples to showcase in the Workshop and pre-ordering fabrics to meet production timelines, the brand uses MakerSights’ Voice of the Consumer testing to predict purchase intent for specific styles and materials.
Taylor Stitch also leverages MakerSights’ Voice of Consumer data to quickly gauge consumer preferences and identify top performers for in-line products. This helps eliminate unsold inventory that must either be discounted or disposed of. It also allows Taylor Stitch to quickly iterate on and finalize assortments for higher frequency, lower risk releases.
In addition to using MakerSights to minimize sample waste and eliminate underperforming styles prior to production, Taylor Stitch also uses the platform to right-size investments with confidence. A clear, data-driven understanding of consumer sentiment enables the brand to order the perfect quantity of each SKU to meet demand.
Today, Taylor Stitch’s Workshop community has more than 46,000 members and has launched nearly 900 SKUs. Using MakerSights to rapidly test products prior to sampling, crowdfunding, and development has led to the success of the Workshop, which now accounts for 11% of annual revenue.
Evaluating newness and crafting assortments based on real-time consumer feedback and purchase intent has enabled Taylor Stitch to take a consumer obsessed and “seasonless” approach to product creation. New SKUs are released every week, with a stark reduction on sale items listed on the “Last Call” section of the brand’s website.
Each season, the brand proactively cuts 5-10% of products that would have underperformed based on MakerSights consumer testing data. This sustainable approach has dramatically improved SKU productivity and decreased markdowns by 10%.
What’s more, customers who engage with the brand through MakerSights are 2x as likely to make a repeat purchase and spend 1.3x more compared to those who don’t. Creating more products consumers love combined with the ability to confidently cut the long tail and reduce markdowns has driven a 2% profit margin increase.
“MakerSights has made data accessible at Taylor Stitch in a way that it wasn’t before,” says Maher. “This not only helps us protect the environment, but it also elevates our brand and price integrity, which ultimately leads to better customer retention, higher gross margins, and fewer returns.”
When I get to leak the MakerSights fabric voting it’s like I leaked a new hit single or movie that hasn’t hit theatres yet. Customers reach out to me and get so excited about what those products are and what’s coming out. MakerSights is a fun and invaluable way for them to be a part of the Taylor Stitch brand.