How Analytics Helps Apparel Retailers Win With Customers and Competitors

Read the latest article by Sourcing Journal, featuring Andrea Morgan-Vandome, CMO of Celect, to learn how retailers use Celect to leverage analytics to win over customers and competitors.

Sourcing Journal  June 18, 2019 — Data is good but insights are better. Precise new analytics  tools on the market are finding willing customers in apparel clients looking for ways to win in retail in this day and age.

Fashion companies today face myriad pressures compelling them to seek a competitive edge with analytics. Speed to market is perhaps the top factor influencing decisions to invest in analytics, said Elizabeth Shobert, CMO for StyleSage, an analytics platform designed for the needs of apparel brands and retailers.

“I think the biggest thing that leads apparel retailers to analytics is the recognition of the speed at which the market is moving—consumers’ changing preferences, new market entrants/increasing competition, and how and where trends emerge,” she explained. “Some are trying to get ahead of these changes, and others find themselves falling behind. Either way, they realize that in order to be more responsive, they need the data that can help them move more quickly and efficiently.”

Andrea Morgan-Vandome, CMO for inventory analytics firm Celect, echoed the pressure that new competitors with new business models like rentals and subscriptions put on entrenched apparel firms. “Most of the new entrants are incredibly driven by data insights so fashion retailers need to take on the same approach in order to stay relevant,” she added.

Besides speed and the digitally native challengers springing up everywhere, Morgan-Vandome cited demanding consumers—and their changing expectations—as another thorn in fashion’s side. “They expect to be able to shop 24/7 anywhere, receive the merchandise anywhere quickly and return anywhere,” she explained. “This makes it harder for retailers to manage the inventory so they need solutions to help them.”

Apparel sellers can leverage analytics in many places within their business but Celect, used by companies like Lucky Brand, finds that they often want to start with a focus on optimizing inventory. “Retailers are looking to optimize the use of inventory—they are going beyond what and how much, to also consider where to place the inventory and where to fulfill online orders from,” Morgan-Vandome noted.

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