The merchandising industry is fast-paced and increasingly demanding; fulfilling customer expectations irrespective of shrinking products is a tough ask. Thus, analytical insights about product opportunities and market trends are essential to flourish in the industry.
In such a turbulent merchandising environment, EDITED is a real time analytics platform that gives retailers information about pricing, assortment, demand and competitive metrics. These sit at the very core of retailing, and is how all the value is created or lost in the industry. The software is used by buyers, planners and trading teams to generate a huge competitive advantage. The software has fuelled growth at a number of globally acclaimed brands like Topshop, Ralph Lauren and Mango.
Since its establishment in 2009, EDITED now has offices in New York, San Francisco and London, and has customers in countries as diverse as Germany, Spain, Russia, South Korea, the US and UK, to name a few.
Disrupting The Global Apparel Industry With Data
The apparel industry is constantly generating information about types of products, how well they sold and at what price point, which sizes or colours sold out quickest, and whether that product was discounted or replenished. This information is extremely valuable in helping retailers and brands inform their future decisions.
The EDITED platform packages that data alongside visual merchandising information and strategic insights to help retailers trade more competitively. In the competitive fashion industry, where one good decision can make you millions, and a bad one can cost you just as much, EDITED is the only solution that gives retailers the data they need to get it right every time.
In retail, buying and merchandising teams are the most important people, as their decisions dictate the entire productivity of the business. Doing it well requires having targeted, market-proven insights available in seconds.
Retailers like Zappos and Saks Fifth Avenue are bringing around 1,800-2,500 new products to market each week – impossible figures for a human to keep track of. Rather than fruitlessly browsing competitors’ websites and manually tracking the market, EDITED’s real-time data helps buyers and merchandisers turn insights into action smartly.
Retailers are using EDITED in different ways. Buying teams use the platform to comp shop and plan their ranges. Merchandising teams use the Market Analytics technology to plan their open-to-buy budgets and prepare trade reports. Marketing teams use the Visual Merchandising feature to strengthen their messaging and stories and fine tune their promotional calendars.
It is an extremely effective tool for fast-fashion retailers who use it to monitor trends and customer demand. Meanwhile luxury brands use it to track prices at their competitors, as well as their own pricing at retailers to make sure their wholesale contracts are being honored.
The Initial Challenge
Initially, one of the biggest challenges the company faced was helping the apparel retail industry understand how to trade better using analytics. Consumers these days are better informed, and efficiency in supply chains and logistics have improved dramatically, helping apparel retailers go to market faster on new products, and with a quicker cycle. As a result, customers expect new products with greater frequency. And more and more they’re bringing technology into stores, using their phones to compare prices as they browse. To avoid being overlooked in an already overcrowded market, retailers need to make sure they’re using the digital space to always be ready with the right product assortment, priced correctly.
AI Driven Platform That Makes It Easier To Sell Online
The traditional merchandising model involves manually analyzing the market and identifying opportunities (comp shopping). This process is fraught with inaccuracy simply because humans are incapable of crunching the numbers at the rate of the machine learning analytics tools available today. As a result, EDITED has been able to successfully position as having an unparalleled level of real-time data and insights for the apparel retail industry.
EDITED analyzes more than 690 million products online adding more than half a million every week. The company applies machine learning, neural networks and other statistical models to help brands understand competitor’s pricing, discounts and promotional strategies.
“What keeps us innovative is our own ambition to exceed and contribute to what has been done with data and analytics up to this point in other sectors, like finance, manufacturing and healthcare”, said EDITED co-founder, Julia Fowler. “We’re huge believers in software development, data science and computer engineering, so it’s second nature for us to constantly be innovating and building on what we’ve already done. No one with as much experience as the people in our tech teams wants to stay static.”
The company’s desire to constantly better serve their clients has already paid off. Retailers using their platform have grown their revenue by an average of 15.2% and one of the biggest luxury brands in the world reported gains of over 30% on the year.
The people behind the innovative solution are Geoff Watts, Chief Executive Officer, and Julia Fowler, Chief Operating Officer. Geoff was a specialist software engineer having vast experience in big data computing and management, previously for globally reputed brands like Fiat and Fonterra. Julia’s background was as a fashion designer, and the product was borne out of her frustrations with a lack of data in the fashion industry in which to base decisions off. They built the first version of the software together, and the company is now made up of over 100 people.
The leaders have been acknowledged by many popular institutions for their innovative product. Julia has been listed in Forbes ‘Women Entrepreneurs to Watch’ and is named on the National Retail Federation’s ‘The List of 25 People Shaping Retail’s Future’.
Source :- The 10 Most Innovative Merchandising Solution Providers 2017
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