After piloting First Insight’s platform, U.K. retailer John Lewis & Partners inked a deal with the company to use its “voice-of-the-customer analytics” technology to help the retailer “make more informed decisions that will help differentiate its product assortment across numerous categories.”
Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
Greg Petro, chief executive officer and founder of First Insight, described the test — which included home and fashion categories — as a “successful initial test phase.” Petro noted that it is “crucial for retailers and brands to have a deep understanding of their customers and a data-driven, decision-making process in order to succeed in today’s challenging economic environment.”
First Insight said in a statement that the pilot with the retailer enabled it to “improve buy depths and optimize assortments in its women’s wear and home categories. In addition, First Insight’s testing revealed insights about raw materials: the company discovered strong customer preferences on bedding fabric content and leveraged those insights in finalizing their line.”
That capability follows a consumer trend that has been growing in recent years as shoppers are more cognizant of materials used in products. In fabrics, including bedding, consumer demands go beyond thread count and include preferences for different types of cotton, synthetics and blends as well as finishes. For John Lewis & Partners, the goal of bringing in First Insight was to make better-informed product development decisions.
Susan Young, partner and head of trading operations and development at the retailer, said the company wants “to become even more data-driven in our decisions” and said that in the trial, “we used the test results to optimize product and volume buying decisions for our home and fashion ranges.”
“We will now expand the use of First Insight to further leverage their customer-driven insights to help our buyers create and select differentiated products,” Young added.
Aside from its namesake brand, John Lewis & Partners also owns the food retailer Waitrose & Partners. One of the U.K.’s largest retailers, John Lewis & Partners operates an e-commerce site along with 50 retail shops in the U.K., which includes 37 department stores. Waitrose operates 338 stores in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, and includes 61 “convenience branches” as well as 27 shops at Welcome Break locations.