Thursday, May 16, 2013

True Fit- Working Toward a Better Way of Shopping Online

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The statistics regarding return rates of online clothing purchases are pretty staggering but the reality of the importance of online shopping is such that they need to be addressed. The biggest obstacle is fit; when shopping in a store, you can try a garment on, even in several different sizes, and judge the fit before you buy. Shopping online is a crap-shoot; even if you know your usual size in garments, the garment you are looking at is not guaranteed to fit the way you like it. We had several presentations on the advances in scanning technology which can accurately scan a person's body and provide enough information to suggest what could be, technically speaking, a correct fit, but this does not account for one important variable, which is personal preference. What may be way too tight to one person could be too loose to the next, and scanning technology alone can not take these considerations into account.

True Fit
is an attempt to address this issue. In alliance with a given retailer, they will partner with all the retailer's vendors; I am currently working on this project with them at Hart Schaffner Marx. I provide all the measurement data of the models which the retailer will be carrying and True Fit inputs this information into their database, which will be cross-referenced to every other garment in that category. When shopping on the retailer's web site, the shopper will be asked to input some basic body measurements, but also is asked to provide information about their favorite garment already hanging in their closet, and this is where the element of personal preference can be, to some degree, addressed.

Let's say you have a suit by brand X, in style Y, size Z. You enter this information in the dialog box on the retailer's website; it doesn't have to be a garment carried by that retailer, as long as that garment's specs have been provided by its maker at some point. True Fit will cross-reference all the data it has on all the other garments carried by that retailer and then make a suggestion of cut and size that most resemble what you have indicated that you already have and like. In initial trials it has slashed return rates enormously, which is good for customers and retailers alike, and is a very interesting development for the industry. I'll be keeping you informed on how this progresses.

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8 comments:

chikashimiyamoto said...

Interesting stuff. One very useful metric would be customer conversion rate. To put another way, it would be useful to have an indication of lost sales as a result of customers going elsewhere given what appears to be a more laborious order process for the customer.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I bought two skirt suits from J. Crew online last year. The jackets fit well. I was impressed by the quality of the menswear details for the price. I've never had a women's jacket that had surgeon's cuffs, a ticket pocket, an internal pocket, and contrasting striped sleeve linings.

I was unsure abut the skirts. But even after talking to a customer service rep, my order was not successful. I had the skirts altered and they still don't fit well. There is nothing more irritating than wearing a garment that pulls or hangs weirdly because the cut is wrong for your body.

adventuresingoodfood said...

Anonymus, some of th eissue could be grain. When I worked in children's clothing, the slightest lasyer askew in the middle of 50 layers could make a garment caddywhompus. Jeffery, very good reporting you're doing for us on the conference. Has anyone has experience with iTailor which I saw on this site. I was thinkgin of a shirt and pants just to see quality, fit, etc. before investing more $$.

Adison Klein said...

I can’t believe I just found this. I have visited your blog several times in the past, and to my surprise I was looking around it this afternoon and found this article. I actually had the same idea for a very similar system four years ago. I wrote a 40-page business plan for it three years ago for a course I was taking. I have spent the last few years toying with ways to perfect the business strategy. Then last week I was discussing starting programming a beta version with a friend who is computer engineer. You mentioned that you are working with the company. I just finished my business degree last week, and would be truly appreciative if you could help me get into contact with the company. I would love an opportunity to try to work for them.

Thanks,

Adison Klein

Jeffery Diduch said...

Adison-

Please email me your contact info: jeffery_d at ymail dot com

Anonymous said...

It seems like TrueFit has been around for a while, do we know how many retailers they're in or how much funding they've received?

Anonymous said...

Hy.First I want to thank you cause you taught me so many things.You have amazing skills. Can you please do a tutorial on how to sew the sleeve head roll? Thanks

Online Shopping said...

Online Shopping
That's wonderful stuff you've written up here. Been searching for it all around. Great blog

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