It’s always easier said than done! This fits true in case of fashion retail industry as well because introducing new apparel products carries massive risk, and chances of their failure increase if a retailer does not study the market properly or read the minds of customers. However, the major question that a retailer asks is – How to read consumer’s mind? And the answer is – Switch to ‘customer-centric merchandising’. Now the issue remains in the fact that there are a number of companies that claim to provide such technologies to retailers, but only a few of them are proven and tested by leading apparel retailers. This article talks about how First Insight, Inc., a US-based technology company, is challenging the traditional retail.
First Insight, Inc., which transforms how leading retailers make product investment and pricing decisions, is increasing predictive capabilities, forecasting precise price, targeting customer segmentation data and recommending accurate buy quantity on new products through its ‘customer-centric merchandising’ platform. Peter Jeavons, Managing Director (Europe), First Insight, Inc. told Apparel Resources that fashion retail industry doesn’t need new technology, instead mature technologies, which are already available in the market but need to be adopted. “Digital product creation, advanced analytics and insights, smart connected supply chain and foundational product technology are some areas where retailers should focus to pace up with the changing trend. Our customer-centric merchandising platform is one-stop solution to improve these areas,” said Peter.
First Insight strongly believes a ‘winning decision’ can only be driven by analytics rather than instinct or experience alone. There are certain challenges that the fashion retailers are facing such as excessive markdowns, setting entry price points, store testing, fluctuating product success rate, low forecast accuracy and deteriorating design decisions which, collectively, can erode profit margins and hamper brand’s image to a great extent. Customer-centric merchandising platform provided by First Insight applies machine learning and predictive analytics to provide retailers with the relevant information and some strongest recommendations on the products they are bringing to market. “This is an era of ‘Design-Sell-Make’ concept, so apparel brands and manufacturers need to give up ‘Design-Make-Sell’ strategy if they want to cater to hyper-connected consumers,” suggested Peter.