A guide to Retail Market Intelligence to survive today and thrive tomorrow
Investing in the right types of technology can be the answer to success your company is looking for.
Compete in the new age of retail by using market intelligence to drive business growth and expand your global presence.
Monday trade meetings are definitively the most important event of the week for any retail professional. The business takes the time to analyze what happened the previous week and then discuss action plans going forward. However, almost anyone can tell you there’s an impending sense of dread that overwhelms them because it’s a meeting that requires lots of preparation, including calculating figures, printing reports and filling racks of your best and worst performing products. Then we have all the other everyday processes such as comp shopping, manual spreadsheets and the gut predictions that also go into your strategy planning. It’s a lot of steps for your entire team to try to make strong futuristic decisions from. While fashion and retail may be perceived as a forward-thinking and innovative industry, it still relies on these old-school processes.
Major events such as the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC) was a defining period that forced many industries to evolve. For instance, technology companies quickly shifted gears pushing innovation at full throttle as the focus moved from the dot-com boom to an influx of consumer products, which stimulated interest and forged a new path for growth. However, on the other end of the spectrum, retailers employed a different strategy and began relying on deep discounts to encourage spending instead of embracing the necessary technological tools and market data needed to run more efficient business models. As we can see today, constant markdowns and the lack of market intelligence is a detrimental long-term strategy that has made many retailers vulnerable to the impacts of consumer shifts such as the e-commerce boom and other major economic crises like COVID-19.
Although the global pandemic has severely affected the retail industry, there’s still hope. To not only survive but thrive in any given climate, smart retailers need retail market intelligence to create the opportunities needed to stay one step ahead of the game – no matter what curveballs are thrown your way.
Retail was struggling long before COVID-19 struck its blow
Even before COVID-19 hit, the 2010s were frequently described as the ‘retail apocalypse’ as businesses were still attempting to recover from the 2008 GFC. According to CB Insights, more than 81 retailers filed for bankruptcy between 2015 to 2019 due to struggles with upkeeping physical storefronts, massive debt and inefficient operations.
In the past, a select few brands dominated the retail landscape and existed comfortably in brick-and-mortars, forcing customers to visit stores to purchase even one item. Then with the growth of e-commerce and a shift in consumer shopping habits, many of those legacy brands did not adapt early enough to recover their losses. It eventually forced physical retailers to open up online channels late, on top of reimagining more innovative spaces to attract consumers back in store. While pop-ups and collaborations surged in popularity, it still wasn’t enough to drive the growth needed to compete with the influx of new digitally-native direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands and their cost-efficient supply chains.
We had anticipated stronger digital trends to come into play for the retail landscape in 2020, but the pandemic was one emerging theme no one saw coming. The global public health danger and economic impact of coronavirus accelerated the rate of closures and bankruptcies for many brands, especially those with a massive physical presence. Just last year alone, retailers closed more than 9,500 stores while another 15,000 stores could shutter in 2020 according to Coresight Research. Although the effects of COVID-19 have been detrimental, it has been the catalyst needed for retailers and brands to rethink their current business models.
Why is market intelligence important?
As mentioned, the retail climate is vastly changing in unprecedented ways. With no retail calendar to follow anymore, savvy retailers are throwing out their former processes and opting for a solution that’s backed by data.
Retail market intelligence has never been more critical to give brands and retailers the insights they need to track changes in the market. With competitive data and analytics, retailers are able to navigate the industry with more efficiency to increase margins, drive sales and react quicker to new trends.
By making market intelligence a business-critical function, retailers have the insights to take advantage of any given opportunity to get the most current information they need to survive and thrive in today’s market.
Why you should care
Every company looks at data. But if it’s only internal data, then it’s only half the story. Using market intelligence at scale is critical in this new retail climate. With orders to stay home still in place in certain areas and teams separated through new work-from-home policies, it’s more important than ever to stay connected, streamline insights and communication.
Buyers, for example, can no longer physically comp shop in stores or travel to different regions to see what’s selling or what consumers are wearing and buying. They have to rely on what’s happening online and data insights when deciding what their business or category should be selling and what’s working for the competition. Manual comp shops can’t gather or process that volume and detail of information either and is subjected to human error.
During an industry-wide disruption as we’re seeing during this global pandemic, countries around the world are responding differently. So it is at the utmost importance to spot gaps in the market, without the added guesswork and reliance on former processes.
Retailers around the world have already implemented this type of technology, AI and data into their business strategies. Those who haven’t are already late to the trend. When used right, this type of retail intelligence can help your business optimize current processes and grow revenue.
Our 3-part package & solution
Expansive data always leads to better decision making. EDITED tracks data on over 2.5 billion+ SKUs and adds more than half a million per week to give you competitive intelligence and advantage on the global market in real-time. With AI and advanced machine learning, our powerful intelligence platform maps the entire retail market in an instant.
Move with speed and agility with full pricing and assortment data on every product in your market to know exactly what your competition is doing. Create real-time dashboards for in-depth market analysis to be the first to spot big gaps and convert them into even bigger gains. Thereby driving sales and increasing margins to stay on top, while saving valuable resources such as time, energy and money.
Our in-house team of retail analysts provide the most current analysis of all major trends and industry news, putting that same industry expertise at your fingertips to ensure you’re always ahead of the market.
Why EDITED is right for you
Stage one of assortment planning is to identify the missed opportunities from the previous year. Right now retailers do that by looking at what they had and comparing it with what they’ve learned from sales and buyers. The hassle here comes from the lag time needed to gather and centralize all that information. A more cost-effective way to do so is by viewing the entire market, so retailers have context as to why certain pieces were a hit or miss. The EDITED AI data engine gives retailers real-time access to over 8 years of historical market data on 140k+ brands and retailers, allowing them to trade faster and make the right decisions every day to stay ahead of the market. Instantly retailers can flag up what they didn’t have, which is something a data-free approach can’t answer (e.g. What did your competitors have? What sold out fast, or at full price? And what were they left with?). With this information, retailers have a better understanding of what resonated with consumers based on how quickly their competitor’s assortment came to market versus when it was sold out or marked down.
Another challenge facing many brands today is how to spot trends as they’re developing and reacting to capitalize commercially. Optimized supply chains mean retailers can get top-performing products in front of customers faster than ever before. But as trends become trans-seasonal and product drops are more frequent, knowing which products to push across multiple categories only becomes harder especially with hundreds of competitors.
Access to real-time data allows retailers and brands to trade faster as it lets them look at the entire global market – right down to colors, shapes and patterns. With our price and discount-over-time tools you can understand pricing trajectory across time compared to your competitors, spot when trends are ramping up or cooling off and analyze discount periods over time to detect the health of your category versus competitors. By combining different functions of EDITED, retailers can have the latest data at their fingertips by analyzing the performance of a trend and how it’s evolved in its lifecycle. All while moving with the speed and agility needed to ensure the best outcome for your business.
While sourcing stock and generating newness is becoming increasingly difficult amid the pandemic, consumer demand is not going to decrease nearly as dramatically, especially as regions are easing restrictions. One of the biggest questions retailers are now asking is whether to deepen reductions to clear stock or hold back to preserve margins. EDITED market intelligence has already determined that deeper discounts do not always result in sellouts in today’s retail climate. This will also give retailers time to stretch out their inventory, especially if supply chains are still experiencing delays.
Pricing ranges correctly also sets the whole tone for a brand’s e-commerce site. If the pricing doesn’t reflect the customer demographic that they’re going after, the brand won’t be able to hold their position in the market. As retail reopens globally, you can identify exactly the right time to drop new products and when to discount with EDITED.
The EDITED Market Intelligence Suite equips and unifies an entire retail organization with the right tools to streamline processes and minimize mistakes. With no integration required, teams are able to gain access to real-time competitive intelligence, in-depth analytics, daily trend analysis, automated data collection and categorization as well as in-depth training and ongoing support.
“Data is the only thing retailers can count on now. With EDITED, retailers can take advantage of the opportunities that do exist, survive in today’s market and thrive in tomorrow’s.“
Geoff Watts, CEO of EDITED
Despite the uncertainty of the future looming over the industry, it’s important to be equipped with the right tools to rise above the chaos and come out stronger than before. While the return to normalcy is still unpredictable, retail businesses can use our Retail Market Intelligence Platform to their advantage in order to strategize next best steps. EDITED is here to help retailers win. Let Retail Market Intelligence guide your retail business into making the best decisions to get the right product at the right price at the right time.
Reach out for a demo today and a Retail Specialist will ensure it’s catered to your specific business needs.