Predicting Consumer Tastes with Big Data at Gap Case Solution & Answer

Predicting Consumer Tastes with Big Data at Gap Case Solution 


Gap Inc. is a US based clothing and accessories retailer, which has achieved a massive success worldwide,because of its brand quality and strong market presence. It is also the reason why the company has gotten huge support from customers, ultimately resulting in it gaining the loyalty of customers, which is a very substantial factor for a company to remain-sustainable in an extremely competitive market such as the fashion brand industry. It is one of the largest specialty retail organization based in the USA, which was once the most beloved apparel retailer of America as it was highly known for its classic denim and laid-back basics.

Art Peck – the CEO of the company was eliminating his creative director for the Old Navy, The Gap and banana republic brands as well as for prompting the collective ecosystem,which was fueled by the input of the big data. Rather than depending on the artistic vision, he wanted the firm to use the mining of the big data obtained from the Google Analytics and the own customer database and sales of the company, in order to choose the assortment of next season. Peck was betting that the intelligence fueled by the big data would help the company outperform in the highly competitive fashion industry by predicting the tastes of the consumers and future of the fashion trends.

Why is gap doing properly in 2017?

The company has been experiencing a significant decline in its product’s sales, due to which Peck is concerned to turn around Gap Inc. following the two years of the weak business performance in the environment, where the brick-and-mortar retailers were under pressure. The considerable reasons behind the reduced level of sales of the company is that the fashion industry is highly competitive and is characterized by emerging fashion trends, changing needs and tastes of the customers, rise of the e-commerce and prevalence of data-driven decision making etc.

The shopping habits of the customers and the emerging shopping trends in the fashion industry, have been in flux and the company is struggling to keep up with it. As a result, the sales of the company have been decreasing for two consecutive years. The company is unable to couple the enhancement in productivity with the required innovation efforts, such as: analytics-driven decision making, the automation of production, reorganization for greater agility as well as the review of the Omni channel footprint.With evolving technologies and social media & the growing pool of the young generation; the competitors in the fashion industry are striving to embrace the self-disrupt and changing demands of the customers.(Rossolillo, 2016 ).

Driving the meaningful benefits as well as experience of discerning the customers is what drives the innovation and uniqueness for the company. In fashion industry, the competitors are in the race of bringing enhancement in the productivity with the required innovation efforts, which includes: reorganization for greater agility, automation of the production, analytics-driven decision making as well as the review of the Omni channel footprint.Optimizing the shopping experience of the customers should be the priority of Gap Inc. To remain the market competitor, Gap Inc. is required to take various factors which under consideration, which are influencing the positioning of the fashion players, such as:

  • Quality of point of sale.
  • Price premium.
  • Rarity/ Quality of raw material.
  • Product exclusivity.
  • Price premium.
  • Personalization and service.

The importance of prevalence of online shopping trends cannot be underestimated, because it helps us in finding out certain things about the products and services, which are offered online. There has been a dramatic rise in the number of e-commerce websites over the past few years. The reason for this increase in the e-commerce website is that with the popularity of online shopping on the rise; there are more products to buy, more consumers to cater toand more ways to do so. The rise in e-commerce is also a good factor, as consumers are looking for ways to buy products in bulk and save money at the same time. There is also an increase in the amount of e-commerce stores, which is also good for the company. As many people tend to shop online on a daily basis; it is no longer necessary to physically go to a store to purchase a particular product. The online purchase also provides an avenue for consumers to find products and services in bulk, which is another thing that is becoming much more viable.Data drives provide an ability to capture an unlimited amount of information and put it all together in a format that is easy to retrieve. Data is essential to the creative process of a business and the need to be able to store, analyze and retrieve large amounts of data, which is very important to any company.

Was peck correct in firing his creative directors and replacing them with big data drive creative process? Why or why not?

Despite the growing popularity of the big data drive creative process in the market; in my viewpoint, Peck was not correct in firing his creative directors and replacing them with big data drive creative process, because of the reason that the creative directors most likely add uniqueness to the product, and they are considered as trendsetters who are responsible to create fashion. The creative directors have potential to influence the entire product line and they are the visionaries of the fashion brand.  Many creative thinkers believe that the big data will help the company in creating more powerful and  accurate forecasts. They believe that this can help a business to respond more quickly to the market changes,however; the brand equity perspective suggests that a brand must also be able to recognize these predictive models and change to match with the market trends, in order to maintain its relevance.

In addition to this, the creative directors are accountable to serve as guardians of the company’s  image as well as for the provision of ideas and taste inspiration regarding products. Not only this, the creative directors also tend to establish the design’s direction for each product line, creating a small number of inspiration pieces and overseeing and approving the product’s designs, thus the personal vision of the creative directors reinforces and establishes the tone, feel, look as well as the spirit of the brand as a whole.

Furthermore, the creative directors are the artistic visionaries and they establish the feel, look & the tone of the brand. Particularly, the creative directors tend to create a few aspiration pieces and then the merchants and the lower level designers figure out how to create multiple designs from these pieces, thus the creative directors give the vision of what the brand should be.

Instead of replacing the creative directors with big data drive creative process; Peck can bring young creative designers on board, considering the customer segments, with an inclusion of a proposed big data as a technique to gain further information and valuable knowledge regarding the consumers ’preferences and taste, and emerging industry trends or survey conduction, with the use of the internet in order to have a closer look on what exactly the consumer wan-tout of the brand. Thus, relying completely over the big data would-bring inaccurate and incorrect predictions due to the fact that the consumers keep changing their tastes and preferences, so that the big data would not be as much accurate and reliable.(Khaire, 2015)………………….

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