How brands use Big data to know ever more about us “customers”

The Big data for more than 5 years highlights consumer data management and rationalization for fashion brands.  Of course, luxury sector, mass market (like Zara or H & M) or young creators do not have the same objectives and requirements on data use. For sure, these brands will seek to use it for many things and especially to learn more about us “consumers”. We will discuss several uses and what they can do!

Fashion or rather haute couture in this case is all about creativity and emotion. It is understandable that fashion designer are not more excited about  “data driven”. Fashion designers often define themselves being there to fashion, to dream and not necessarily to listen to customer needs. but over the past decade, we can see that luxury sector has evolved. In all maisons, the marketing thinking is better accepted, it will not replace the creative and disruptive genius but it is a way that can help in the creation process.

In luxury ready-to-wear, for example, the consumer and the need or rather its desires are put on not only a priority but are also scrutinized. The latest discussions about fashion shows and “SEE NOW, BUY NOW” (New collection immediately sold after the fashion show) demonstrate that their priority are to sell and adapt to consumer wishes, even in the world fashion designers!

New collection immediately sold after the fashion show

Regarding the customer need of  “immediacy”, these fashion brands will soon be able to determine their future “IT products”! and stop creating “flop” pieces that are sometimes only sold in one copy in the world.

Exemple de pièces immédiatement disponibles après le défilé chez Courrège

In recent years, faced with the arrival of pure players (such as Private sale or Sarenza example), the ready-to-wear brands, had to speed up digitization, including developed their sale canal with an eshop. By the way, thanks that, it is the customer journey data that come from the web channel, which are most probably mastered.

With these quantitative information, they can easily determine what we like, what we are doing on the site or determine our attachment to them (through information via social networks).

These brands thus now have a better understanding of their customers, their needs and therefore more and more information between the product and the customer. Amazon, the most advanced Big Data actor, does not hide its desire to attack the market ready-to-wear. I look very forward to seeing what they will do with the amount of data they have on their customers and the relevance of clothes they will want to sell us!

Retailers like Primark, H & M or Zara (called Fast Fashion in the fashion industry) remain one of the best challengers when it comes to use big data in outlets.

Indeed, when you see their warehouses and the supply chain (photo above), you can understand very quickly why they are unbeatable in terms of reactivity on restocking.

Like the others, they collect a lot of data through the web channel on their customer needs. But they are able to go much further and it is true they have revolutionized data gathering about sales. it gives them a perfect optimization in terms of business! They are for example able to offer a choice of assortments and reassortment for each point sale. As they determine for example the climate or the most sold sizes in a catchment area.

Everything are fully automated and when a store places an order on “it dresses” for the season, they are ready in 2 hours and 8 hours later delivered in total: So we are able to buy ever more and ever faster!

The Big data enables these brands to get more data about us, it will perhaps one day calculate the CO2 footprint of these fashion brands or provide traceability for our clothes (just to make sure that our health is well preserved). Such data will certainly not come from brands but probably through high consumer demand. To be continued …

crédits images : Reuters/Charles Platiau, Pinterest

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