The Game-Changing Role of BI in Apparel E-commerce

By Srikanth
6 Min Read
The Game-Changing Role of BI in Apparel E-commerce 1

Online shopping has undergone mass adoption in recent years and e-commerce stores have become a primary method of making purchases for many. Statistics show that by 2026, nearly 24% of global retail purchases will be conducted through online stores and in 2023 alone, the market is expected to grow to $6.3 trillion. However, the apparel industry has been plagued by a myriad of challenges, ranging from intense competition and elevated costs to ever evolving customer demands. These persistent challenges infuse immense dynamism in the market, leading to chaotic fluctuation.  

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With an increased requirement to adapt to these winds of change, even well-established brands find it tough to sail through these tides smoothly. Trends and demand are in a constant state of fluctuation, creating a versatile business environment and leaving the doors open for new players and ideas. 

In such turbulent conditions, the emergence of business intelligence (BI) has come to the rescue of the sector. The ability to transform raw data into insights that can aid brands to streamline supply chain management, optimize production processes and anticipate market trends has cemented BI as an integral part of agile business operations. Brands that utilize BI are better equipped to make more informed decisions, ultimately increasing the likelihood of sustained success.  

Let’s explore some of the benefits for brands when data is transformed into insights using BI: 

Streamlined Inventory Management: By analyzing historical data about sales, seasonal trends and other market conditions, BI can provide insights into future demand patterns. With these insights at their disposal, brands can better plan their stocks and product placements for increased sales and revenue. Additionally, products with diminished demand forecasts can be slowly phased out, making more room for customer favorites, enhancing profitability even further.  

Uncover Trends & Market Conditions: BI tools can assist brands to understand their audiences and emerging market conditions with greater accuracy. Continuous analysis of factors such as customer buying patterns, behavior and online interactions can provide brands with insights that can help them stay ahead of the curve. These granular details can help brands predict trends, like high-demand seasonal fabrics and colors, to craft product lines that entice customers to make purchases. 

Optimized Warehouse Management: E-commerce titans are required to classify goods into various stock keeping units (SKUs) to keep track of storage and availability. These SKUs can have additional variations such as size, style, color and attributes like popularity and sales velocity. BI tools can prove to be a great ally in carrying out this classification process accurately, ultimately resulting in optimal utilization of resources and avoiding unnecessary understocking or overstocking conditions. BI can also help with strategic storage of goods based on their sales performance. Placement of faster-moving goods in locations with easy access can facilitate minimal packaging and pick-up times. 

Enhanced Supply Chain: The emergence of the online shopping era has also brought about increased challenges for brands, such as logistics and delivery, making optimized supply chains the need of the hour s. With insights about customer locations and delivery preferences, brands can optimize their delivery processes, leading to reduced operational costs. By finding the best possible route for delivery, they can further reduce their fuel consumption, leading to a reduced carbon footprint, ultimately fostering better brand affinity by aligning with the best environmental practices. 

Managing Returns: Retailers not only need to provide swift and accurate deliveries, but also ensure that the return process is equally convenient for customers while ensuring optimal efficiency for themselves. BI tools can provide brands with insights into the cause of product returns, ultimately helping them formulate better strategies for product descriptions, provide accurate size guides and optimize audience specific marketing initiatives. 

Value-Added Services: Retailers engage in the provision of a plethora of services to their customers to stand out. These services span from the implementation of merchandise barcoding systems and custom hang tags to efficient returns and exchange management, quick shipping, environment friendly packaging and personalized branding initiatives. BI tools can provide insights into customer behavior and acceptance, informing brands of the services their customers love the most. By focusing more on the customer’s favorites, brands can achieve enhanced loyalty, facilitate return visits and ultimately increase profitability. 

The emergence of BI in the retail business world has brought a sense of stability and comfort to players operating in a market that is full of volatility. By leveraging BI, retailers can build customer loyalty, anticipate future trends and stay resilient with changing market conditions. 

Article Contributed by – Mr. Kavindra Singh, Director of Engineering, Intellicus Technologies

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