Boohoo uses data-driven insights for B&M

Boohoo is using data to improve its buying and merchandising (B&M).

Working with Edited, the e-tailer is able to stay abreast of trends, products and prices in the wider fashion market and improve its business decisions accordingly.

"Data is hugely important in this day and age," said Paul Horsfield, merchandising director at Boohoo. "If you don't have up to date real-time data you won't survive in this aggressive trading, competitive retail market - full stop."

He said Edited helps the e-tailer to keep pace with the ever-changing product and pricing trends in the retail industry. "Having access to that information has contributed to the 40% growth we've had last year," he explains.

"Before we had Edited, a number of things were quite different. One of the key differences was the fact that a lot of our interpretation of the market was quite inconsistent and opinion based, rather than data and fact based."

Boohoo's recent yearly results for the period ending February 2016, detailed revenue increase of 40% to £195.4 million, while its active customers increased 34% to over four million.

The e-tailer deployed Edited's technology two years ago and made it available to multiple teams so they can make fact-based decisions in daily trading meetings as well as supporting product and pricing decisions. The real-time technology now sits alongside other IT processes in the business.

Boohoo's merchandise manager, Laura Dooley, said the tool has made it much easier for her to monitor the market. "We're not all free to do an in-depth market analysis every day on what's being discounted or promoted. Edited really helps us pull that information together as quickly as possible."

Meanwhile, Boohoo's assistant buyer, Sophie Dixon, explained how she used to have to visit each competitor fashion site to get a sense of the industry landscape.

"Now, I can just look at a full market analysis, filter it all down and it'll give me my option count and my product count," she said. "Then I can click over to see what the physical products are. For me that's really helpful and it saves a lot of time. Plus, the data is a lot more accurate than the limited information we had before."

This allows Boohoo's B&M teams more time to analyse data and explore new ideas, while testing different solutions.

Dooley added: "At the moment I'm preparing for a strategy meeting so we're monitoring trends and key colours closely. The data we get lets us ask ourselves if we have everything we need or if we were missing something. And it also helps with pricing structure, to make sure that we are always at our most competitive."

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