How can data deliver a unique shopping concept?

The power behind every great concept is a brilliant insight; a creative answer to the question “What if ………..” and supported by decisiveness and the courage to simply stand up and give it a go. But you need to bear in mind that, next to that epiphany, data is still very much at the centre. Together they make an incredibly powerful team.

Data can tell you everything about the consumer, allowing you to be hyper-personal. Personal in content, in the products you offer and in communication. Take a look at Sephora, for instance. They’ve placed the personal approach at the core of their concept. The data strategy ensures that every customer is given a unique profile based on skin type, hair type and buying behaviour. Exclusive service, content, product range and special offers: they all revolve around that profile on all fronts, be it online, in communication or in the store. The result is that each customer views Sephora in a unique and personal way.

Clever use of data changes the store experience
The manner in which you collect data can also be so distinctive that it turns the shopping experience into something completely different,


thus creating a whole new shopping concept. Omoda and Men at Work, for example, offer consumers a 3D app to scan their feet at home. The app not only collects data, it also helps customers to find the perfect shoe size (fewer returns). In other words, valuable data is gathered and the shopping experience changes. Japanese department store Isetan takes one very important step further. In just 5 seconds you can make a foot scan, which is then shared on the staff member’s tablet. Customer and staff member can then choose the perfect-fitting shoe together using a full 360-degree animation. The data is stored in your profile so that on subsequent visits, or while shopping online, you can use the data straight away.

But data can play a greater role still in a shopping concept. If, as a retailer, you have the courage to think further than using data with the sole aim of being personal, if you are ready to fully embrace data and can give data added value in every process of the organisation, you can create a unique concept surrounding data that puts you a step ahead.

Lesara lets big data determine the fashion collection
In 2013, Roman Kirsch saw that the increasing datafication of factories in Asia led to greater transparency and efficiency in their processes. He then asked himself the following questions: What if we were able to utilise that insight in a different way? What if we could link it directly to behaviour, to real-time customer orders? What if we were able to create a collection that people want to buy before they even know they want it themselves?In response to those questions, Lesara was born in 2013. Lesara is a webstore that sells clothing, jewellery, decorations and household goods. Its USP? High quality at a more competitive price than elsewhere, while also being at the forefront of the latest trends. This German company now operates in six countries and has over 50,000 

products. And the secret of its success? Big Data plays the lead role throughout the entire process.

Lesara views trends from another perspective: instead of basing choice on the fashion shows, celebrities or cultural trends, it constantly scans fashion blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Trends and competitor reviews. All this information is collected and serves as input for a series of efficient algorithms that forecast the demand for a particular trend.

Spotting the latest trends quickly and putting them online in a flash
Hot trends are sent straight through to China, where prototypes are created and photoshoots are done using Western models. The fashion is placed online with such speed so as to allow consumers to start ordering almost immediately. Orders are placed directly with the Asian manufacturers, especially with Chinese SMEs and start-ups with young managers that work digitally and are extremely flexible. And because Lesara manages the complete manufacturing and distribution process, the price-quality ratio is solid and quick delivery is guaranteed.

By smartly integrating the various data and fully embracing it at all levels of the company, every trend can be transformed into a concrete product on the Lesara website within 10 to 15 days. If it’s a hit, the orders keep flowing in. If not, the product is removed from the website.

Lesara follows people who buy from the website on all communication channels and encourages them to share their purchase on social media. This offers new leads, which Lesara can then approach using personal content. Purchasing and communication behaviour is included in the data mix, so that the conversation with individual consumers can be tailored on an even more personal level.

Retailers, learn from Lesara
By putting trust in data, Lesara is able to predict the trends better and faster than before and become more and more relevant for its customers. Coupled with a lean production and delivery process, this shopping concept isn’t only extremely quick and agile, but also hyper-relevant.

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