Leading apparel retailers are embracing advanced analytics and blending intuition with science to price smarter. The competitive landscape in apparel is shifting rapidly as new price leaders capture market share. The battle for value has never been harder fought. The very definition of value is evolving quickly, pressured by Amazon's entry into apparel, fast-fashion retailers, flash sales, and the arrival of ultravalue players. Between 2012 and 2017, only the value sector of apparel retail, including off-price players, showed any growth as both the middle and premium tiers shrank.
Most retailers are stuck in the past, using obsolete forecasting systems to make decisions. But the models of ten years ago won't get the job done today. If you want success in today's highly competitive retail market, you'll need to utilize the benefits of big data and machine learning. The problem is that most retailers aren't technically savvy enough to build these systems on their own. That's where Evo comes in.
What is the top pain point for business executives? Gartner, the world's largest IT research firm, gives a clear answer: demand volatility. Too many factors from weather fluctuations to posts by social media influencers -- impact buyers, causing them to frequently change their minds. Worse still, things reshaping customer intentions happen quite unexpectedly. Think, for instance, of the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Technology is the future of retail. Digital data, machine learning, cloud-powered analytics and the Internet of Things will separate the wheat from the chaff in tomorrow's retail industry. A recent Sector Insights government report said that retailers will need to embrace the latest technology trends, such as big data, and have the skills to work with digital systems if they are to be successful in the future. The retail industry is on the whole a voracious adopter of modern data-centric technology, aping the manufacturing world by using big data analytics to streamline supply chains, and using smartphone apps and wireless beacons to harvest customer data to deliver better service. However, despite having the technology to collect and access large amounts of digital data, retailers fail to put it to effective use.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is noticeably making a difference in how we live and work. Search engines predict words and translate text, social media connects people, smart appliances respond to ambient conditions, and public transportation is becoming autonomous. Similarly, the retail industry is set to unleash fascinating possibilities by embracing AI.