For several years personalisation has been the term darted around retailer and brand boardrooms, the wow in front-end technology strategies, and the industry buzzword of the times. While use of the term may have become saturated, its use is testament to the level of investment-commerce retailers put into ensuring their products offers and content stands out in the battle for consumer relevancy.
In fact, personalisation is imperative to the online experience today, and consumer’s expectations have only heightened in line with growing budgets. According to PwC’s Total Retail Survey 2017, 59% of consumers who purchase clothing and footwear online want personalised offers designed especially for them. While much has been made of technologies that focus on customer engagement by delivering great customer experiences and loyalty programmes, designed to increase lifetime value, 40% of online shoppers still like to shop in many different stores for clothing.
We believe that learning from shoppers’ preferences and unique body shapes is how the fashion industry can evolve in today’s consumer-driven world. Moving from being mass manufacture-focused to instead celebrate the individual in a way that will not just reduce returns but make the retail industry, as a whole, less wasteful and promote more meaningful relationships with shoppers that positively impact the bottom line.
We recently undertook a major research project into the habits of British shoppers, and found that a staggering 95% of UK online clothes shoppers say finding items that fit perfectly is a key priority when shopping online. For a further 44%, finding their fit posed the biggest barrier to shopping online, and 41% agreed they would benefit from only being shown items that fit them well. Online shoppers clearly recognise the need for greater sophistication and accuracy in the sizing information currently provided by online retailers.
We recently took our ‘fit mission’ one-step further, with the launch of Fit Match. A world first, it is a search engine add-on that integrates into retailer’s search and product listing page capabilities. It is the ultimate clothing search tool and instantly provides every individual with clothes that will fit. When activated on a retailer’s website, consumers are only shown garments that fit their unique body profile and are currently in stock. This helps consumers of all shapes and sizes to find the styles they love and feel great in – and also beautifully streamlines the steps-to-purchase for retailers.
After all, in the quest for personalisation, what could be more personal than helping individuals to find great clothes that fit perfectly with ease? What could drive a better experience than being empowered to use a search function that only serves the individual relevant items that fit them perfectly and are in stock? How loyal would that individual be to a retailer that could deliver this value into their busy life, every time he or she shops online?
We cannot afford to ignore this new generation of consumers, searching for richer experiences and greater convenience – and providing accurate fit is primary to meeting the expectations of today’s online shopper. My hope is for more e-commerce providers to experience how fit technology can deliver against these expectations, and help them to celebrate their customers for the individuals they are.
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