The CEO of a RetailTech firm working with the world’s leading apparel and footwear brands says placing consumers at the centre of merchandising strategies pays dividends.
London-based EDITED, which provides retail intelligence and AI-driven data insights, serves 48,000 retail industry professionals and works with retailers in 29 countries.
The firm founded by Geoff Watts and Julia Fowler in 2009 welcomed Doug Kofoid as CEO in April 2022 having grown ARR over 100% through client acquisition and platform expansion.
“The shift from product-centric to customer-centric is indeed a huge shift that is reshaping the retail industry,” he tells TechBlast. “In the past, retailers primarily focused on their products, their features, and their competitive advantages.
“However, in today’s competitive and customer-centric landscape, more retailers are starting to understand the importance of placing consumers at the centre of their merchandising strategies.”
Customer-centric merchandising involves deeply understanding the needs, preferences, behaviours of customers and tailoring the shopping experience to meet their expectations, says Kofoid. “It goes beyond generic product offerings and instead, aims to create a personalised and memorable interaction that resonates with each customer.
“Technology plays a pivotal role in facilitating this shift. By leveraging data analytics and AI, retailers can collect and analyse great amounts of customer data to reveal valuable insights. These insights enable retailers to segment their customer base, identify patterns and trends, and deliver targeted and relevant product recommendations, discounts, and experiences.”
Kofoid says that when it comes to embracing customer-centricity, there are several practical steps that retailers can take to steer their strategies in the right direction.
“One key action is harnessing the power of data to gain valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences,” he says. “By analysing this data, retailers can discover patterns and trends, enabling them to make informed merchandising decisions tailored to their target audience.”
Executing personalised marketing campaigns can also have a significant impact. “Tailoring promotions, recommendations, and offers to customers based on their previous purchases or browsing history shows that retailers are looking to meet their customers’ specific needs,” explains the CEO. “This then creates a sense of connection.
“Actively engaging with customer feedback is another essential aspect. Listening to customer opinions and suggestions allows retailers to continuously improve their offering, ensuring that they are always aligned with their customers’ expectations.”
Before joining EDITED, Kofoid served as CEO and board member at DialogTech, an AI-powered conversion intelligence and analytics solution for marketers. However his career in digital began more than two decades ago.
“Throughout my journey I’ve witnessed first-hand the transformative power of data in driving business advancements,” he says.
“I have always been fascinated by how technology disrupts mature industries, and my interest in data-based decision-making grew during the dot-com era while I was still in business school. The objectivity that technology brought to the table captivated me.
“My passion for exploring the potential of data in different industries sparked during my involvement in a company spinoff from Baxter Healthcare. The way it created the prescription benefit management market amazed me. Since then, I have continued to delve into the impact of data on businesses.”
Then, as a consultant for Performics, he developed an algorithm. ”They brought me onboard full time to commercialise and build a team around it. We were bought by DoubleClick and the product was launched as DART Search.
“DoubleClick was eventually acquired by Google and the product is now known as Google Ads360.”
PUMA is king
EDITED has expanded into homegoods, beauty and home improvement retail. However Kofoid points to client PUMA as a brand that is embracing customer-centricity by providing the right products, design and pricing to its customers.
“By using EDITED’s tools, PUMA can optimise their merchandising strategies based on data-driven insights to identify high-conversion products and improve placement on their website, leading to more revenue. They analyse conversion rates and website placement, using these insights to drive their decision-making.
“What really sets PUMA apart is their commitment to integrating market intelligence into their entire organisation. They understand that data-informed decision-making should not be limited to one single team; instead, it should be embraced by everyone involved in product decisions.
“By keeping their finger on the pulse of the market and their customers at the centre of their merchandising strategies, this ensures they stay ahead of the competition and continuously meet their customers’ expectations.”