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Tool predicting what will be profitable for fashion retailers could save the industry in tough times ahead

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With the online fashion retail industry facing challenging post-Christmas trading conditions, the UK’s largest multi-retailer shopping app, Mallzee has launched Mallzee Product Intelligence an insights and prediction suite to help ease the pain.

Designed to optimise the profitability of existing products and forecast which potential future items will be profit generating and which look set to be loss making – prior to placing costly stock orders. Harnessing the millions of product interactions daily, across the hundreds of retailers in the Mallzee app, the newly developed Product Intelligence tools deliver retailers real time, real consumer actionable insights which directly impact their bottom line through a slight shift in focus.

For example, a recent McKinsey report highlighted the impact minimal pricing tweaks can make; “simply changing your pricing strategy by 1% can increase profitability by 8.75%”.

2017 looks likely to be a tumultuous year for the UK retail industry with profits under attack from all angles; minimum wage increases, the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, higher product costs and both the drop in the value of the pound and rising inflation impacting consumer confidence. Fashion retailers face a further threat to profit margins as consumers increasingly expect discounts – since 2009 there has been a 40% increase in the level of discounted clothing and footwear.

Following successful year long retail partner trials, retailers have the choice of two versions of the Product Intelligence dashboard:

  • Product Intelligence – highlights how every item within a retailer’s product range is being rated compared to industry standards overlaid with demographic details such as age, location and gender.

  • Product Intelligence Future – the Product Intelligence dashboard with an added prediction capability enabling retailers to test potential products with Mallzee users in an authentic way prior to placing costly stock orders.

Cally Russell, founder and CEO of Mallzee explains: “With 2017 turning into the perfect storm for UK retailers we believe our Product Intelligence suite will help them weather the storm by providing customer centric feedback in real time, taking product optimisation and prediction to a whole new level. This real time, real shopper intelligence overlaid with age, location and gender information will help reduce the $1 trillion that is wasted every year in the fashion industry through poor buying and discounting decisions. When you consider the issues facing such iconic brands such as Next, American Apparel and J Crew it’s clear that these are issues that need tackled across the industry, and quickly! We are confident that testing potential products on Mallzee is the equivalent to having a crystal ball to predict the future!”

All retailers using the Mallzee Intelligence products also benefit from promoting their brand to one of the most engaged shopping communities in the UK, with their logo shown on every product.

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, adds: “Our economy lives or dies by what happens to consumer spending, and there are undoubtedly formidable challenges for retail in the year ahead. Rising inflation is likely to put a strain on disposable incomes, whilst retailers themselves will grapple with a range of cost pressures. Ultimately though the success of retailers in this fast changing world will be down to their own ability to evolve and adapt, as in all industries knowledge is key, which is why technology will drive success in 2017 for retailers.”

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