This year, NRF was a happy affair: Retailers were celebrating a successful holiday season, year-on-year growth, and a net increase of store openings. Beyond the traditional focus on top-line growth, this year I heard a renewed call to improve the bottom line. In the apparel personalization market, solutions built on fit analytics are achieving both objectives.
At their heart, these fit solutions are personalization tools that reduce returns by guiding shoppers to clothes that fit and delivering improved recommendations based on detailed data models of the shoppers and their purchases. Solutions have expanded beyond the basics, creating profiles more complex than just a shopper’s physical geometry; they now include details about garment preferences, styles, fabrics, and how an individual wears their clothes. All this drives recommendations that increase shopper confidence, order value, and conversion.
I visited several vendors at NRF this week and saw three options for unique approaches:
- Measurement. Vendors such as Perfitly build their model by asking the shopper to enter their measurements online. In the case of MySize, shoppers use their smartphone’s accelerometer to measure themselves.
- Image processing. These solutions use photographs or 3D scanners to build a model of the shopper. Texel demonstrated its 3D scanner at the NRF Innovation Lab.
- Big data analytics. These solutions use a shopper’s history of purchases, returns, and favorite items from their closet to create a shopper model. TrueFit claims 500 million anonymous profiles on its platform and 90 million named profiles.
Most vendors take a blended approach that progressively improves the model as the user’s history and measurement data deepens. Fitters are pushing the limits of their shopper and garment models, tracking several hundred attributes for each. The depth of data delivers top-line results with vendor case studies that report conversion rates increasing by up to 70% and returns decreasing by more than 50%. Fit solutions are delivered as cloud services with profiles that cross merchants to ease adoption and expand value to the shopper. As more vendors move from beta test to production deployments and as early market vendors continue to demonstrate extensive ROI, look for adoption of fit solutions to grow in 2019.
 The True Fit site has several deployment references from well-known brands with KPI metrics. Source: “Case Studies,” True Fit” (https://www.truefit.com/Resources/results).