H&M ramps up data strategy for CX and supplier boost

H&MSwedish multinational fashion retailer H&M Group is turning to Google Cloud’s data analytics, data science and AI capabilities to enhance both its customer experience strategy and supply chain operations.

The move comes as the firm has reported 20% rise in net sales for H1 to SEK9.6bn, with gross profits rising 52% to SEK5.4bn, citing “well-received collections” which led to a higher share of full-price sales and lower costs for markdowns. Sales in physical stores also increased substantially while online remains buoyant.

H&M Group chief executive Helena Helmersson said: “Although most of the restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic essentially seem to be over, many challenges remain.

“Disruption and delays still exist in the supply chain, but are gradually being eased. At the same time, there is substantial inflation.

“The situation associated with the war in Ukraine and its consequences for our business are continually being evaluated. We are actively looking at various options to find solutions that give consideration to customers and colleagues as well as the impact on the business as a whole.”

Google Cloud will collaborate with H&M Group to develop what has been dubbed an “enterprise data backbone”, including a core data platform, data product, and advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.

This will also include the establishment of a new “data mesh” to make all types of data and events accessible from multiple sources including in-store and online as well as third-party brands and suppliers.

It is hoped that, as the partnership develops, there will be increased optimisation of internal supply chains, as well as next-generation customer experiences across a variety of sales channels, from physical stores to ecommerce.

H&M Group chief technology officer Alan Boehme said: “H&M Group has a long history of innovation across all our brands and we always want to build meaningful relationships with our customers. We are now further accelerating digitalisation as we believe in sustainable growth powered by advanced analytics and tech.”

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