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How Smart Retailers Use Data And Analytics To Optimize Margins 

Discover how data and analytics help smart retailers optimize margins, improve sales revenue, and market share. Learn more about leveraging competitive data, internal data, and a customer-centric approach to make data-driven decisions. Read on!
retail analytics tools to track competitor retail promotions

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Summary

  • Retailers often make decisions with incomplete data, resulting in missed market opportunities, overstocks, and poor investments.
  • Data and AI can help retailers make data-driven decisions to optimize margins, sales revenue, and market share.
  • Leveraging competitive data and internal data are both crucial to gaining insights.
  • Taking a customer-centric approach helps identify early trends and validate them using real-time data.
  • Boston Proper is an example of a retailer that used data to accelerate its digital transformation and create a customer-focused experience.
  • EDITED's Merchandising Experience Platform provides market data, trend insights, and AI-driven solutions for retailers to make better decisions.

Introduction

Retailers regularly leave profit on the table and are making decisions with incomplete data. They’re also moving from one system to another to try to piece together a story and uncover the insights that matter the most. Limited competitive coverage, profit data and customer data is restricting growth. This results in missed market opportunities, expensive overstocks and not investing in the right products.

Retailers are now looking to data and AI more than ever before to aid in decision making to ultimately improve sales revenue, margin and market share. Smart retailers leverage a platform that does it all. Just relying on internal data is only half the story. Uncovering new ways to leverage your own data combined with external market data is the true key to retail optimization.

Getting the Whole Story with Retail Intelligence

The world’s most innovative brands and retailers drive better results with fast, AI-driven analytics across pricing, assortment, product sorting, customer preferences and more. According to Business of Fashion, despite acknowledging the need to integrate data into their decision making, many brands and retailers still struggle to make use of data or are dissatisfied with the data capabilities.

Leveraging a platform centered on competitive data ensures analysis is accurate and relevant, and provides insights quickly. It enables market analysis at the optimal time and in the most profitable direction without the need for time consuming, continuous manual collation of data or limited comp shopping.

Looking at your internal data in a new light also brings focus to where action is required and where opportunities lie. Identify your underpotentialized products and turn them into volume/demand drivers. Analyze your customer baskets to drive AOV. Monitor the direct impact of your pricing and promotions at a more granular level and in a scalable way. 

Consumers have been minimizing spending this year so far. For example, fewer units per order were placed vs. 2022, while sell outs dropped 19% vs. January in the US and 40% YoY in the UK. This resulted in the percentage of unsold goods increasing from 12.7% to 15.5% in February.

The market is saturated and, with the cost of living crisis also impacting how much the consumer is spending on non-essentials, retailers need to ensure that the products in their assortments are the right ones to maintain and increase market share. Early trend identification is crucial, allowing retailers to capitalize on top-selling products. By understanding what the most relevant trends are for your customer, you can better determine which products you should have in your assortment and ensure you're developing into them quickly and being first to market. 

It’s also important to validate the strength of a trend using real-time data and to know when to move away from one. Data-backed analysis of trends emerging in the market supports your in-season product development and buying activity. It also allows you to strengthen and align marketing content to customer sentiment to increase traffic, conversion and customer engagement. Pairing this data along with your own customer centric metrics also allows you to analyze the impact of each segment and identify drivers of customer retention and acquisition.

Data-Backed Decision Making: Real-Life Example from Boston Proper

Apparel and accessories brand Boston Proper turned to data to build and accelerate a compelling direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand through its print, digital and social channels. The brand uses EDITED’s Merchandising Experience Platform as a comprehensive solution to maintain focus on its customer, Lucy, as it transforms into a digital centric company. 

The Boston Proper team recognized that they needed to enhance their customer’s experience and help her buy all the coordinating pieces, including accessories and shoes.  Additionally, the team wanted to be sure that they were refining their assortment to anticipate their customers’ needs, optimize pricing and promotions and meet demand.

“We use EDITED for industry trends, to help us really understand what’s going on in the marketplace, and to understand what is behind our own internal data so we can take immediate action on our business. Data, customer insights, and industry trends feed the product and creative teams, and guide us as we evolve and create each new collection for our customers,” says Sheryl Clark, President and CEO, Boston Proper.

The teams use this intelligence to support Boston Proper in creating new products and collections that position the brand as a go-to outfit and wardrobe resource. 

Read more about Boston Proper and EDITED here.

What Exactly is a Merchandising Experience Platform?

EDITED helps the world’s best brands and retailers identify opportunities and make better decisions that reduce risk and drive higher margins. Through our Merchandising Experience Platform we provide market data, trend insights and AI-driven solutions so you can see what is happening both inside and outside of your business faster, and take action immediately, all while focusing on your customer and truly understanding their needs.

See what insights you can discover here today.