Finally, retailers are leveraging data and its insights across all parts of the supply chain to drive a profound transformation in the retail industry. From crafting assortments based on consumer demand signals to reimagining consumer interactions with such products to receiving and processing customer feedback, modern day retailers are refiguring the product development process.
Karen Moon, Jared Schiffman, Eric Colson, and Catherine Twist explore how the retail industry is embracing data to include consumers in the design and development process, tackling the challenges associated with the wealth of sources and the unstructured nature of the data they handle and process and how the data is turned into insights that are digestible and actionable by an industry that has traditionally shied away from data.
Karen Moon is cofounder and CEO of Trendalytics, a style-centric visual data platform that measures consumer engagement with merchandise trends. Karen has more than 12 years of experience in retail and technology working with companies across the supply chain, including department stores, luxury retailers, and independent designers. Previously, she executed Goode Partners’s investment in SkullCandy and worked on the turnaround of a luxury specialty retaile; worked in Gap’s Corporate Strategy group, where she assessed acquisition and new retail concept opportunities such as Piperlime.com; and held positions at Goldman Sachs, where she executed over $1 billion in technology and media transactions. She’s been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and other publications. Karen holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA (summa cum laude) from UCLA. Her research at Harvard included studies in multichannel retailing, luxury diffusion brands, and supply chain innovation for emerging designers. Karen initially pursued a BA in fashion design at Otis College of Art & Design.
Jared Schiffman is the founder of Perch Interactive, a startup intent on revolutionizing the retail environment. Jared has worked at the intersection of design, computer science, and education for over two decades. His work fuses the physical world with the digital world and plays with relationship between the two, his projects are steeped in metaphor and gesture and emphasize the power of direct experience. Jared is the cofounder of Potion, an interactive design and technology firm located in New York City named one of the top 10 most innovative design companies in 2010 by Fast Company; has taught courses at Parsons School of Design, New York University, and at the Gate’s-funded High Tech High in San Diego. Jared holds a master’s degree in media arts and science from the MIT Media Lab, where he studied with John Maeda in the Aesthetics and Computation Group, and an SB in computer science and engineering from MIT.
Eric Colson is chief algorithms officer at Stitch Fix, where he leads a team of 100+ data scientists and is responsible for the multitude of algorithms that are pervasive to nearly every function of the company, from merchandise, inventory, and marketing to forecasting and demand, operations, and the styling recommender system. He’s also an advisor to several big data startups. Previously, Eric was vice president of data science and engineering at Netflix. He holds a BA in economics from SFSU, an MS in information systems from GGU, and an MS in management science and engineering from Stanford.
Catherine Twist is the chief digital officer of Xcel Brands (which owns and manages the Isaac Mizrahi, Halston, Judith Ripka, and C. Wonder trademarks), where she is building an integrated data science, trend analytics, and technology platform to support Xcel’s fashion businesses across design, merchandising, marketing, and product development. Previously, Kate was chief marketing officer at Xcel, where she led marketing and PR for all brands; worked at Estee Lauder Companies, where she developed global marketing strategy for the Clinique brand; held operating roles at the fashion brands Bill Blass and Marc Jacobs International; and, earlier in her career, worked in investment banking and served as strategic advisor to top-tier luxury branded products, retail, and licensing companies. She holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
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