The right product at the right price and the right time: that’s the retail recipe, and EDITED is providing real-time analytics to help apparel retailers worldwide cook up success.
“The global retail market is a trillion-dollar industry where one good decision can make you millions, and a bad one can cost you just as much,” said Julia Fowler, who co-founded the company with technologist Geoff Watts in 2009. “For retailers to succeed today, data is essential to guide their decision-making and compete on the global stage.”
The EDITED platform includes big data, artificial intelligence, and image and text recognition. Buying and merchandising teams, designers, and eCommerce teams use it to hone their retail strategies based on pricing, assortment, demand and competitive metrics.
EDITED reviews over 500 million products (a number that’s constantly growing) to generate insights into pricing, discounts, and bestsellers, even filtering this by geography or category. More than half a million products are added every month to give brands the competitive edge by identifying trends early.
Fowler said her experiences as a former fashion designer drove her to create the platform.
“The idea for EDITED was founded from my own frustrations with the lack of specific data and insights available on the industry,” said Fowler. “Traditionally designers, buyers and merchandisers have all relied on guesswork to make important retail decisions.”
EDITED has customers on six continents, including five of the world’s top 10 fashion brands and industry leaders such as Topshop, Ralph Lauren and Net-A-Porter. It employs over 60 people in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.
Fowler took the time to talk to PYMNTS for this week’s installment of Data Enablers. Here’s an excerpt of the conversation:
PYMNTS: How does your business overlap with the payment processing or e-merchant world?
JF: EDITED’s technology is primarily used by buying and merchandising teams, but is often also used by designers and eCommerce teams. We look at hundreds of millions of products and provide insights into pricing, discounts and bestsellers, filtering this right down to a specific geography or category. This helps our customers figure out their retail strategies and adjust them if needed.
EDITED’s team has one foot rooted solidly in the retail industry and the other in the technology sector. Our commitment is to build a world-class product on par with the biggest tech companies, and perfectly attuned to the needs of retailers.
PYMNTS: Can you share some data or proof points on how the company has helped retailers?
JF: In the last year, we’ve found that companies who used EDITED extensively have grown their revenue by an average of 15.2%, with one of the world’s biggest luxury retailers achieving 31% growth.
The Arcadia Group, a multinational retailing group (with brands including Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge) operates more than 2,500 stores and concessions in the UK, and hundreds more across the globe. Operating in a highly competitive market with very price-conscious customers, one of their challenges has always been in getting the right product at the right price into the right store.
Arcadia uses EDITED, along with its expertise, to spot key commercial opportunities and support decisions at every level, with hundreds of buyers and merchandisers using the product strategically to plan the season ahead. EDITED is also used on a daily or weekly basis to assess what’s working and evaluate it against sales.
PYMNTS: What was the biggest hurdle the company faced, and how did you overcome it?
JF: Because many of our customers have relied traditionally on manual processes to understand their competitors and define their own retail strategies, in the early years of EDITED we needed to focus on educating the market on our technology, how to use it, and what insights it could deliver to the business.
As retailers have realized the benefits of real-time data to grow their business, we’ve overcome the initial uncertainty as these technologies become more of the norm.
PYMNTS: What’s the company culture like?
JF: I emphasize a very flat organization that’s focused on the team, encouraging open communication and hiring people who are self-managed and strive for excellence.
PYMNTS: To what do you attribute your success over the years?
JF: EDITED has always focused on the team coming first because we believe that a happy and productive team will always create a great product, leading to growth. I’ve seen other businesses get caught up in putting shareholder value first, which is a big mistake. Growth is a trailing metric of getting the team and the vision right.
PYMNTS: What is next? What does the future look like?
JF: Our vision is to continue to transform the retail industry by empowering it with the tools to become better, faster and more efficient. The retail industry is moving steadily online, using sophisticated technologies like AI and experiencing ever-shrinking product cycles.
We see a world where retailers can offer their customers the right products at the right prices at the right time – thereby eliminating over-discounting, promoting customer loyalty, and spurring greater returns and growth.