South Africa-based retailer Woolworths has signed a strategic partnership with technology company First Insight to drive customer engagement and margins.

The retailer will leverage First Insight’s Next-Gen Retail Tech Platform to optimise design, merchandising, and sourcing.

The technology company will gather zero-party, voice of customer (VoC) data using consumer engagement tools and operationalise product testing to accelerate merchandising decisions in Woolworths’ Womenswear division.

The partnership will provide Woolworths with actionable insights to transform how it makes product investment, pricing, and marketing decisions.

Woolworths business development and innovation general manager Roxanne Gillan said: “We are excited about our partnership with First Insight as their research and data will provide us with valuable insights, to better service our customer needs through a more targeted merchandise selection.”

Using online social engagement tools, First Insight collects real-time data such as customer preference, sentiment, and pricing on a company’s potential product offerings.

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The company then processes the information through analytic models to identify the products that present the greatest risk and opportunity.

First Insight CEO Greg Petro said: “We are excited to be a global partner of Woolworths to help them leverage insights with the goal of serving their customers better.

“Our proven data gives retailers and brands the insight and competitive advantage they need to offer their consumers better assortments at the right price.”

A subsidiary of Woolworths Holdings Limited (WHL), Woolworths is based in South Africa and operates across ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

It offers fashion, home and beauty, and food products.

Last week, the company partnered with DSV and Everlectric to roll out electric panel vans for online order deliveries. The move will enable the company to reduce its carbon footprint.

WHL also owns Country Road Group, an Australian speciality fashion retailer trading in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.