As First Insight Inc. marks a milestone of adding 60 new clients to its roster in 2018, the technology firm is rolling out five new “InsightSuite solutions” that are geared specifically for retail sectors such as footwear and fast fashion.

Among the new clients to the customer-centric merchandising platform are Under Armour and Crocs.

Greg Petro, chief executive officer of First Insight, said the number of retailers and brands who are leveraging predictive analytics and digital product testing is “a testament to the strength of our expanded platform, which applies machine learning and predictive analytics to nearly a decade of Voice of Consumer data.”

Petro added that by providing companies with the “most information and strongest recommendations on the products they are bringing to market, we are ensuring they are able to meet their customers with the right products and prices out of the gate.”

Greg Petro

Greg Petro  Patrick MacLeod/WWD

Maggie Winkel, vice president of global merchandising at Under Armour, said by using the platform the company is now “incorporating the wants and needs expressed by our consumers into our product development process every step of the way.” Winkel said the platform allows the company to “stay close to our consumer” and bring “differentiated product more quickly to market, and deliver performance solutions to athletes globally.”

In regard to the launch of the solutions “tailored to specific retail sectors,” InsightSuite/FF serves the fast-fashion segment, and provides “actionable data on a weekly cycle, enabling retailers to read industry trends and test new styles with consumers quickly so they can react in real time,” First Insight said in a statement adding that the result is a “data-driven approach to identifying new designs, pricing items correctly, and weighting buys — all compressed into a weekly calendar.”

The company said fast-fashion retailers tend to buy new styles from vendors instead of sourcing directly themselves. “InsightSuite/FF lets them test products from these vendors with speed and at scale,” the technology firm said.

Karen Pinney, chief merchant at rue21, said the platform is enabling the fast-fashion retailer to test “a wide range of possible new products within 24 to 48 hours. This capability enables us to drive speed to market with the right items, which is critical for a fast-fashion retailer.”

For the luxury sector, InsightSuite/LX allows for customer feedback on new designs “while maintaining confidentiality, and has proven to deliver more full-price sales while reducing inventory levels for many luxury brands.” Confidentiality is key for brands so designs are not copied by competitive brands.

“Luxury brands that traditionally based their strategies on scarcity and on selling products at full price are also turning their attention to managing inventory levels,” First Insight added. For many luxury brands, exclusivity is critical.

Robert Hanson, ceo of sustainable luxury jewelry company John Hardy, said the brand’s customers are “individualistically and artistically expressive; it’s an attitude and way of wearing jewelry that is growing in importance among our clients.” The ceo said First Insight allows the brand to get “real-time client feedback to create and price those one-of-a-kind authentic pieces that are the essence of the John Hardy brand.”

The other InsightSuite retail segments being rolled out include versions for footwear, consumer products and digital native brands.


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