For this week’s Fashion Tech Insiders, we’re interviewing Fay Cowan, Trends and Retail Analyst at EDITD.
EDITD connect fashion, luxury and apparel people with the data they need to make better decisions. Read on for some insightful thoughts into big data, social media, and how fashion brands can adapt to the changing face of retail.
What do you think are the biggest challenges in mixing fashion and technology?
The fashion landscape has dramatically changed in the last 10 years and a lot of these developments are down to technology. One of the key challenges we’re seeing is the amount of data being generated from online retail. Many businesses understand there is value there, but the sheer amount is overwhelming and they don’t know how to harness it and make it actionable. At EDITD, we package that data, particularly around product assortment, pricing trends and garment performance, to help our clients trade more competitively.
What changes have EDITD seen in the fashion industry’s use of technology since you set up shop?
Brands and retailers are now open to the use of new technologies within their businesses, in line with consumers expectations.
Aurora Fashions have heavily integrated the use of technology into how they shape their business. Last year saw them implement a mobile POS solution on in-store iPads. Before this they rolled out their ‘Anywhere Everywhere’ strategy. This decentralised their stock management systems, meaning online orders can be fulfilled from any of its stores.
How do you think ‘big data’ is going to change the way fashion retailers operate?
Fashion retailers have to be competitive in such a high speed market, and big data is how they achieve this. It’s particularly interesting for apparel, as it’s an industry that’s been difficult to normalise into a Big Data approach. We’re the only genuine big data vendors in the industry, and as in every other industry, our customers are able to realise huge benefits on the back of big data.
Which social media platforms do you think are the most useful for fashion brands? Which ones have you found most useful at EDITD?
Social now adds a new layer to the experience of a show, the shopping experience and understanding the consumer. Recent seasons have seen an emergence of the typically slower, more traditionalist brands on the digital scene; Matthew Williamson innovated with the use of Vine at his AW13 show, whilst Anya Hindmarch’s tweet campaign ‘Anyagrams’ was a fun way of directly engaging with their consumer.
At EDITD, we use Twitter and our blog a lot, we’re keeping our message focussed on where our customers are.
What kind of future do you see for the high street, given the rise of multichannel retail?
The rise of multichannel means that customers have now come to expect an integrated experience, as retailers bridge the gap between web, mobile and in store. The challenge now lies in making sure that they know their customer well enough to ensure their product sells across all these channels and in different global markets.