September 25, 2018
In the saturated market of fashion, brands and retailers are trying to stand out amongst one another: each showcasing the latest trends, styles and colours. RYE, a Singaporean womenswear label, is not one of them. Instead, the brand offers timeless capsule collections that are designed in-house. From classic dresses to minimalistic tops, RYE focuses on a different approach: evergreen fashion.
However, the core issue about highly visual concepts is the constant work put into it. Bessie Ye, founder and designer of RYE, is in charge of the entire operational process, which includes the design direction and the overall production. Essentially, the ‘art’ of the equation. On the contrary, the science aspect – in this case, merchandising – is less prioritised.
“I was very design-focused,” says Bessie. “The collection was based on design concepts and [it] was not very strategic. I plan without any structure and just go with the flow.”
This is where Omnilytics comes in: filling in half of the equation to complete the picture. With Omnilytics, the Singaporean brand was able to structure a proper merchandising plan. This led the company to identify missed opportunities, set better pricing strategies and most importantly, do more with less.
Effective Merchandise Planning
“Previously, merchandising planning was more manual and I had to go to multiple sites to look at assortment,” Bessie explains. “Omnilytics removes that process altogether. If I decide to introduce a certain shape, I’ll look at what my competitors are producing on Omnilytics. It then allows me to see all variations of similar shapes and performances of the products. This helps me to manage my risk levels better.”
Bessie converted the real-time data on Omnilytics into actionable insights, allowing her to act upon the next decision with speed and precision. Not only is the improved merchandise planning process more effective, it greatly reduces the manual side of things as well. In other words, it saves time, something that is crucial in the fashion business.
“If I want to look at a specific silhouette, all of the pictures from different retailers will be on the dashboard and I can see them at a glance,” she says. “It gives me more information and I have a wider pool of brands to analyse compared to when I did it manually.”
Overseeing ruffle dresses from competitors at a glance
The streamlined merchandise planning impacted the buying process too. With data-driven decisions by Omnilytics, Bessie accurately identified and adjusted her purchase orders in accordance with potential best-sellers. Once they stocked up on what consumers were actually looking for at that time – the right size, colour, and style – it led to stronger retention and maximised returns.
The structured merchandising and buying plan allowed Bessie to focus and channel her energy into other equally important tasks.
Right Product, Right Price
2 months after onboarding with Omnilytics, RYE was en-route to releasing a new collection. After utilising the dashboard for assortment planning, the next step was deciding on a price, something that RYE turned to Omnilytics for assistance.
“I didn’t know I needed to have a proper, more streamlined price analysis. Omnilytics helped me with that: structuring a consistent price architecture. Watching the pricing and historical movement of other competitors allowed me to increase my market competitiveness, as well as capture a higher margin.”
Classic Muscle Tees from RYE – the bestsellers from the new collection that has the right pricing
“For our most recent collection, we made sure the pricing was aligned with our competitors. All of the data available on Omnilytics helped me to gauge the market and ensured that what we were putting out there were not just the right products but also products set at the right price,” says Bessie.
Hitting Targets Both Online and Offline
A crucial element in the current retail industry may be the online sector, but for RYE, offline sales are just as important. The brand can be found in three locations across Singapore including TANGs, a popular department store in the country. The store is situated in a highly competitive environment, where competitors are just a few steps away. As RYE’s competitors were putting out clearance signs, Bessie knew they also “needed to do something to boost sales”, but did not want a “discount label” to be part of her brand image.
To solve this, they dug into Omnilytics’ data to better understand the discounting mechanics. Bessie found tangible results immediately; simply by thinking more carefully about her pricing approach, down to the subcategories, sizes and colour levels.
The same process was applied for the many events and fairs RYE participates in. This year, they were involved as a vendor for Boutique Fair, a popular event among Singaporean expats. In preparation, Bessie crafted a well-structured merchandising and pricing strategy, taking both internal sales data and external data from Omnilytics into account. This allowed her to deep dive into the granular level of merchandising: which products could be discounted, how to clear old inventory without affecting brand identity, and which products to display to maximise margins. As a result, RYE exceeded their sales targets at the event.
Better Than Before
As of June 2018, RYE’s “business grew year-on-year by over 60%” since they started using Omnilytics.
“I think our success stems from the fact that we made the right decision every time – and we did it through data-supported decisions with Omnilytics.”