Imagine running a global retail operation and getting to see what 200 major competitors were buying and selling, and how 140,000 brands were performing — and getting real-time data on 2.5 billion SKUs to help you spot early trends, good or bad. Then, to make sense of all that information, you run it through 2,500 custom-made retail decision-making algorithms.
It may seem like an unfair advantage or the retail control center of the future, but it’s precisely what the newly combined platform of New York-based market intelligence firm EDITED and retail analytics specialist Dynamic Action will bring to the industry, whether it’s for brick-and-mortar stores, online sellers or omnichannel players.
“Data is the key to determining what categories and trends to move into and shift away from, as well as how to properly price your products regardless of what region you’re selling into,” EDITED Co-founder and CEO Geoff Watts told PYMNTS. “The success of a retailer will hinge on how they embrace retail data to make smarter and more strategic decisions.”
Watts said the combined mission of the two companies is to transform the future of eCommerce by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) across all parts of a retailer’s business to unlock never-before-seen automation. “This [acquisition] brings us one step closer to the industry’s objective of high-speed retailing,” he said.
Fast Fashion, Fast Retail
With eight years of data to leverage, Watts said EDITED’s Market Intelligence suite is used by a variety of retail employees at various levels of a company, ranging from the trading and planning team, to C-suite and finance for go-to-market strategy, to design and eCommerce.
“The challenge facing many brands today is how to spot trends as they’re developing and how to capitalize commercially,” Watts said — especially at a time when quick-moving retail trends like fast fashion, product drops and limited editions are becoming more common.
In fact, at a time when companies large and small spend over $300 billion a year on customer loyalty plans, new research shows that retailers that have embraced product drops, flash sales and private events are reaping some of the best customer retention results in the business.
According to Product Drops: Retail’s New Conversion Play Report, a collaborative survey of 2,300 U.S. consumers done by PYMNTS and Scalefast, not only are these typically young consumers loyal and eager to spend, but they’re excited enough to wait in line to get access to a brand they love.
Given those outcomes, it is safe to say there will likely be more retail events like this in the foreseeable future, meaning that retailers will need to make more data-backed fast decisions.
“Our product directly addresses this by giving retailers a reliable information source when they need to make bold commercial decisions,” he said. “But as trends become trans-seasonal and product drops are more frequent, knowing which products to push only becomes harder when looking across multiple categories at hundreds of competitors and over several channels. That’s where the power of data lies, [because] manual comp shops can’t gather or process that volume and detail of information.”
Are You In or Out?
EDITED live-tracks every commercial trend worldwide at over 6,000 eCommerce sites in 130 countries to give brands and retailers the performance insights they need “to buy-in with confidence at the right time or get out before deep discounting sets in,” Watts said, adding that the current methods used by many retail brands are simply outdated.
“Some still rely on guesswork and manual comp shopping to make product, design, supply chain and pricing decisions,” he explained. “EDITED eliminates this guesswork by giving retailers real, factual numbers to support every decision to minimize overstocking, streamline supply chains and accurately identify assortment.”
With reams of internal and external data available, making sense of all the digital information is the true art form — and ultimately the driver of sales and profit growth. “Data between what’s happening within a retailer’s business and market data have always been disjointed, so we needed to find a way to finally close the loop,” he said. “That is why EDITED acquired Dynamic Action.”