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New service to predict best-selling items

SoundOut Retail and WGSN have developed a customer insight tool designed to anticipate successful items before they hit stores.

The new service will allow retailers to test consumer reaction to key variants such as new products, collections, sizes and prices, and receive feedback as quickly as overnight.

SoundOut’s technology was originally developed for the music industry and is used by major UK and US record labels and radio stations to predict hits before they are released.

It works by linking to hundreds of thousands of trusted reviewers who provide fast, honest feedback on new products. The results are then analysed and presented in a detailed, actionable format.

The predictive analysis company has teamed up with trend forecaster and Drapers stablemate WGSN to introduce the service to the fashion industry. It will launch early next year in the UK and US.

SoundOut founder and chief executive David Courtier-Dutton said: “Together we can jointly offer clients a truly unique product to help them respond to the ever-faster business of fashion with clarity and certainty.”

Like Drapers, WGSN is part of Top Right Group.


Readers' comments (4)

  • How about using the data to predict the poorest sellers, so they don't waste space on the shelf / website?

    This would be more valuable. (Assuming it works).

    If the predictions are made before the product is in store, surely it will be an assessment 'before returns' with further bias based on how a garment is displayed to the panel of consumers?

    Sounds fun.

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  • Hi Cristina, Yes, SoundOut can be used to predict both the best and worst sellers. There is more info on the process here: Thanks.

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  • Finally someone's invented a crystal ball!

    I once met a man, an IT guru and property developer, that thought he could write software to do all his B&M...
    Opened a very big flagship store at a busy shopping centre and did manage to trade for two years, but sadly is no longer here to tell the tale.

    Interesting concept, but it could be dangerous from an IP perspective to share design so widely and publicly, it will often be obvious to see a brand's identity (Rampant Sporting's colour stripes in the case study on the website) when the need for this feedback is so far in advance of the product arriving in the market, it's open to abuse.

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  • Thanks Grace.

    Without knowing the cost, I can see benefit. Particularly to spot the worst sellers, as mentioned previously.

    However, I do have a concern you promote that you can give accurate assessment on colour. Anyone who has bought online knows, often to their cost, that the colour is often not as it appears on their PC/mobile/tablet.

    This is just one of the subtle differences to the music industry... that makes fashion the wonderful challenge that it is!

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