First Insight, Inc. uniquely uses both predictive analytics and historical data to test new products and help retailers and brands make investment, pricing, planning and marketing decisions. The US-based company serves customers worldwide and continues to expand, recently with the opening of new offices in London and Chennai, India, and the addition of a number of international retailers to its client roster, including Superdry and Bata India. “Consumers are increasingly shopping beyond the boundaries of their home countries,” says Greg Petro, CEO and founder of First Insight. “Retailer and brands must be ready to meet their expectations.”

Petro founded First Insight in 2007, and created the space of Customer-Centric Merchandising, using the Voice of the Customer to drive digital pre-season product testing. The company uses online social engagement tools to gather real-time preference, pricing and sentiment data on potential product offerings. The information is filtered through First Insight’s AI-driven predictive analytic models to determine which products present the greatest opportunity by reflecting the voice of the customer in their decisions.

The company has continued to refine its technology over the years but the use of predictive analytics has remained a key differentiator. Its InsightPRICING application is the only solution to leverage Bayesian modelling applied to real-time pricing data from customers, along with historical benchmark data, giving retailers the ability to understand expected sell-through at full price, and plan for expected demand as a product is marked down. Also AI-driven is First Insight’s InsightPLANNING solution, which allows retailers and brands to make selection and pricing decisions, and place orders based on predictive modelling.

Retailers and brands benefi&ing from First Insight’s technology range from small startups to some of the largest retailers in the world. As the First Insight platform automatically tracks the value delivered, these clients can easily measure the impact on their business. They have been able to reduce markdowns by 25%, reduce time-to-market by half, raise the price on 11% of new products, and increase the number of successful products by 30-70%. Typical results are increases in gross margin of 3-9%.

The first and only such platform in full compliance with the new GDPR standards, First Insight is also SOC-2 compliant, further ensuring adherence to global standards for data security. The company currently tests products throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America. Recently it added 12 new currencies and 10 new languages to its Customer- Centric Merchandising platform. This move coincided with their decision to establish new offices in London and India.

“Consumers are embracing the explosion of available marketplaces and seem happy to use whatever channel is most convenient for them,” Petro comments. “While Amazon is taking share from retailers in low- engagement categories, it is more vital than ever for retailers to build and control relationships with their customers. I look forward to further examining the future of brands on an international scale.”

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