Shop Direct ramps up big data investment with senior hire

Shop Direct, the UK’s second largest pureplay online retailer, has continued its investment in big data and personalisation by hiring Gael Decoudu as head of data science and digital analytics.

Gael, who has over 10 years’ experience as a leader in analytics and statistics, will head a team of over 20 people that uses data analytics to uncover ‘actionable insights’ within ecommerce.

These insights help to improve the end-to-end customer journey – including making it more personalised – across Shop Direct’s Very.co.uk, VeryExclusive.co.uk and Littlewoods.com retail brands, as well as support senior-level decision-making within the company.

Having previously held statistics roles at Lloyds Banking Group and Capital One, Gael joins Shop Direct from Vistaprint, where he led a global team as Director of Data Science from the business’ office in Barcelona.

Qualified data scientist Gael, who will be based in Shop Direct’s head office in Liverpool, commented on his new role: “Shop Direct has quickly become one of the UK’s major ecommerce players, and its ambition in data science and digital analytics is unrivalled.

“The company is using its remote retail heritage as well as new methods in data analytics to understand its customer and improve their experience.

“Through even better data modelling and segmentation, we intend to unearth new actionable insight that can make the shopping experience even more relevant for our customer, which can help our retail brands thrive.”

Group deputy CEO Gareth Jones, who has responsibility for customer intelligence at board level at Shop Direct, commented: “Using data to understand our customer and our business is one of the most critical success factors for Shop Direct today and in the future, and Gael has outstanding experience in leading teams that use advanced analytics to create commercial advantages.

“As part of our strategy to become a world class digital retailer, we want to develop insight from data analysis to create a more personalised experience at every stage of the customer journey. That’s what Gael’s team will be focused on and we intend to continue investing in our data asset, as well as new ways to analyse it and unearth insight.”