Digital for all now

Retail and Big Data: a race against the clock

Econocom 29 Sep 2014

With digital technologies proliferating every industry sector, not least of all retail, it was naturally one of the highlights of the e-commerce fair which is currently taking place in Paris. One example of the many innovative new initiatives in the field is Editd, a data monitoring system that gives retailers accurate stock movement information via Big Data, as reported in the Guardian on 21 September :

“If you look at retailers now,” says, Julia Fowler, co-founder of Editd, “online or in-store they’re having new products delivered every week, almost every day, so the need for having better information about what you’re going to order is huge.”

Fowler, who originally trained as a fashion designer, was frustrated at the lack of factual data and the fact that decision-making was often based on “the way the wind was blowing, rather than any real hard solid metrics”.

Big Data: a strategic advantage for retailers

Fowler is a firm believer in the way digital technology has transformed the industry. And some of Editd’s clients are reaping the benefits, including online retailer Asos, whose third-quarter revenues increased by a staggering 37%.

“Some of our customers can now move from concept to in-store in three weeks,” Fowler says.


As Fowler points out, trends emerge quickly via social networks such as Instagram, meaning retailers have to keep up – but how can they be sure they are making the right decisions for their organisation?
Technologies such as RFID tags connected to devices that analyse stock movements in real time offer retailers unprecedented flexibility and responsiveness.
Thanks to Big Data, in fashion, as in every other industry sector, it’s no longer a question of trusting to luck….
Photo : Sealy Warehouse, photo par Mark Hunter, licence CC BY 2.0

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