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AI-platform adds apparel to its analytics

Signals Analytics added the category to assist companies looking to revitalize the fashion category, which got hit hard during the pandemic but has been hot in private label.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Signals Analytics, an AI-powered consumer and market insights platform, has launched a platform to color insights around the apparel industry.

The platform connects data from more than 13,000 external sources, including Target, Walmart, Macy’s, Amazon, Instagram, Nordstrom and more, providing contextualized insights across the consumer, competitive and commerce landscape fueling faster and more successful go-to-market strategies in an industry where the need for speed is greater than ever, the firm said.

Based in New York, Signals Analytics uses its patented machine learning to help retailers and global brands maximize the impact of analytics. The fashion category is new to the company, and is a sector that got hit hard in 2020 during the pandemic.

The company said many apparel brands have been struggling to sell existing inventory, new innovation and debut product launches. Its internal data showed the number of new products launched on ecommerce channels declined by 56% year on year, and even as countries begin to reopen.

The new platform aims to help predict consumer sentiment around burgeoning fashion trends, as well as what competitors are doing. It provides a system of insight from which brands can improve decision-making, reduce the time between product development and launch, anticipate trends to improve product design, and generate effective merchandising and marketing strategies, Signals Analytics said.

Apparel is becoming a hot category in private label, too, based on recent launches from both Target and Walmart.

“As apparel companies continue to map out future plans, it is critical for them to incorporate a strong data strategy across all areas of the business — from concept to commerce,” said Guy Cohen, chief product officer of Signals Analytics. “Fashion has always been regarded as a creative rather than data-driven field, lagging behind in insight-driven decision-making. By layering in advanced analytics and predictive capabilities such as those in Signals Analytics, brands can balance the art with science, using data-driven insights to create product lines that speak to what will actually push consumers to add items to their online carts.”

Some trends the company has spotted through its platform:

  • Increased activewear. While there was a decline in new product launches, it wasn’t so in this part of the category with consumer conversations around impact-absorption, fast-dry, and antimicrobial materials grew by 272%, 394% and 740%, respectively.
  • Sustainability. The platform found discussions around the issue grew by 21% over the last six months, and specific materials saw bumps in activity such as bamboo (up 368%), jute (up 2,566%) and lyocell (up 691%).
  • Dispelling gender norms. Signals Analytics saw a high demand for chunky heels, wedge soles and wingtips in men’s shoe category, yet few men’s products possess these attributes, the company said, highlighting a white space for product designers to reconsider gender norms and product features for men.