Marks and Spencer has confirmed that it is expanding its partnership with predictive analysis firm First Insight, which helps retailers make product investment and pricing decisions.

The British retailer has been using First Insight’s consumer-driven predictive analytics, which uses online social engagement tools to gather real-time preference, pricing and sentiment data on potential product offerings, to make design, buying, and pricing decisions on categories including apparel, lingerie, footwear, accessories, food, home and beauty.

The software has enabled the retailer to test tens of thousands of products across more than 50 departments in order to buy more of what customers like, said the brand in a press release, while helping to “shape collections” so that customers get the “best products at the right prices”.

Gordon Mowat, director of supply chain and logistics at Marks and Spencer, said in a press release: “Everything Marks and Spencer does as a company is filtered through the lens of what we know about our customers, and every decision starts with them.

“First Insight’s technology gives us invaluable feedback on new products during design and development, so we can buy more of what our customer likes and eliminate products that score less well.”

Greg Petro, chief executive and founder of First Insight, added: “The global retail market is changing quickly, and retailers need to adapt to succeed. Marks and Spencer is a forward-thinking company and is investing in solutions to get closer to its customers.

“We have developed a valued partnership with Marks and Spencer which has demonstrated a strong ROI and the ability to scale across their business. We look forward to expanding the partnership to additional categories.”

US-based First Insight works with numerous retailers across the world including sportswear brand Under Armour, jewellery brand Pandora, and footwear retailer Crocs.


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