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New First Insight iCX Platform Supports 3-D Prototypes to Reduce Physical Samples

Getting to market quickly with the right product can be the difference between winning and losing in retail today.

For more than a decade, brands and retailers have turned to product decision platform provider First Insight to understand how customers feel about new products prior to major rollout. Even the littlest tweaks on patterns, pricing and promotions could drive a product’s successful debut or disappointing failure.

Now, the company’s new customer experience platform, dubbed iCX, focuses on consumer engagement, interactions and rewards, all key elements when attempting to keep people happy and sharing their feedback.

First Insight said iCX marries rich customer insights with analytics down to the product level to help retailers create assortments that cater to customers and accelerate speed to market.

Crocs, for one, plans to use iCX to unlock the motivations behind customer behavior—why someone does and or doesn’t care for a particular product and the reasons a shopper is willing to spend more on something, said Michael Pao, VP of product management for the comfort shoe brand beloved by healthcare workers and teens alike.

“This qualitative data is just as important as the quantitative data and will help Crocs to create truly customer-driven assortments,” Pao continued, adding that First Insight’s cannibalization analysis could offer insights on the “complementarity of items,” a key move in encouraging retailers to stock more of its products.

The iCX’s new complementarity and incrementality analysis looks at the “crossover effect” of items within an assortment as a means of optimizing that collection. First Insight said the platform gathers consumer insights “using a technique that simulates the actual shopping and purchase decision processes” and mimics that way that retailers decide which products to select, and how to price them.

And to reward consumers for using the platform, First Insight’s added a way for merchants to offer discounts. The coupon codes are valid for one use only and apply to the consumer’s next purchase after they provide product feedback on their current transaction. This approach, First Insight said, fosters deeper customer engagement, bolsters loyalty, and increases conversion rates while minimizing promotional costs.

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The company has also finetuned the customer survey experience to glean richer insights through an approach personalized to the user. The iCX platform leverages “new survey technology” that helps clients segment their user base and steer consumers to only relevant questions using that’s called “conditional branching.”

On the consumer engagement side of the platform, First Insight added capabilities designed to help brands and retailers cut costs. The iCX consumer-facing interface preserves the aesthetics of the brand or retailer’s website, the company said, and supports the use of 3-D virtual prototypes that users can move and rotate. Using 3-D means brands and retailers don’t have to order costly physical samples when conducting digital testing, and can reap significant savings in the process.

And the platform reaches more customers with support for new geographies and languages, important for brands expanding their footprint across the globe and in need of insights from new consumer segments. iCX users can operate in 35 places worldwide combinations with the addition of three new language and currency combinations, including one for the growing Russian market.

First Insight CEO Greg Petro heralded the new platform as a significant step forward for businesses seeking meaningful insights to inspire their product decision making.

“For the last 12 years, First Insight has helped hundreds of retailers and brands use voice-of-the-customer data and predictive analytics to improve their operations – from product design to buying to pricing,” said Petro. “With the new iCX platform, we are excited to deliver an enhanced customer experience that is more engaging and personalized, leading to increased loyalty and conversions. The new platform also incorporates some of the latest technologies such as image recognition and survey branching, allowing our retail partners to derive even more value from the First Insight solution.”