Creativity and intuition are very important parts of the fashion industry. However, in recent years this industry has also been playing around with big data. This can be used for a number of purposes, such as market identification, analyzing trends, understanding the customer, measuring impact, and improving cross selling. In this article we will not look into opportunities related to the application of big data, but we will discuss how retailers can make use of big data in practice. Companies exploit big data in the area of trend forecasting, reducing waste with returns and excess inventory, analyzing customer experience, engagement and marketing campaigns, better quality control and shortening the supply chain.
Discovering and creating trends are a main activity in the fashion industry. In the past historical sale numbers were the sole determinant of the popularity of trends, but in the light of increasingly personalized shopping experiences this is not sufficient anymore. Using big data analytics, we can use data from past seasons to analyze what elements and qualities customers may favor in the future.
One of the biggest financial challenges of the fashion industry are returns and excess inventory. Analyzing big data can help to minimize returns and improve purchase rates, but it can also improve purchasing and manufacturing decisions through the data driven insights. Relating to this is the waste from over production. Big data can offer a solution here through more accurate demand forecasts, which help to find a good middle ground for production numbers and inventory.
In the time of social media and big data, people are increasingly relating fashion to both online and offline experiences. In these past years big data has become a real game changer, with innovative ways to analyze and enhance the customer experience and differentiate yourself from others. The use of both online and offline channels increases the emphasis on analyzing and enhancing consumer engagement. Big data helps us to understand how the customer engages with brands.
Fashion marketing has also evolved over the years with increasing complexity as a result of big data. The data helps to understand customer wants and needs, which allows to tailor promotions more effectively. Marketing automation software such as triton allow you to create more personalized email campaigns based on big data analysis.
There are also quite some challenges to realizing the full potential of big data. Firstly, the GDPR is a major concern for companies wanting to exploit big data. tritonX makes sure that all your big data analysis is GDPR proof across your entire IT architecture. Also, making sense of big data is not an easy task as it is too big for people to have an overview. tritonX provides you with easy-to-read insights from big data and the ability to work with the results in order to for instance categorize customers into certain groups.
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Silva, E. S., Hassani, H., & Madsen, D. Ø. (2019). Big Data in fashion: transforming the retail sector. Journal of Business Strategy.