Customization and curation have consistently been key to capturing today’s consumer, and in an effort to further tailor the shopping experience, retail software firm True Fit is working to help consumers find brands and styles that fit their figures.
Eliminating the biggest setback for online shopping — finding the right size — True Fit’s technology uses both brand and consumer data to take the guesswork out of virtual buying. And brands like Macy’s, Uniqlo, Nordstrom and Levi’s, have already tapped into the tailoring technology. True Fit has partnered with more than 1,500 leading brands to create a database of fit details.
The idea, according to the company, is to combine big data with a simple user experience to effortlessly find the right styles for consumers, and, to reduce online return rates resulting from flawed fit.
True Fit turns fit data from brands and for specific styles (including information on measurements, fabrics, intended fit and trends of similar styles, for example) and translates it into an algorithm that provides personal fit ratings for users.
Users create True Fit profiles directly from participating brand’s sites and answer questions about a style or brand they currently wear and the size of their go-to garment that fits just right, and the technology provides a five-point scale fit rating that indicates how well an item will fit. And the more a user uses True Fit, the “smarter” it gets based on prior purchases, and the software can ultimately curate the site to prioritize each person’s best fitting and most flattering styles. When the user is ready to select a size for a product on a participating brand’s website, she can choose to access her True Fit profile and the rating pops up. Consumers’ profiles are accessible across all devices, brands and retailers.
For retailers, True Fit means higher conversion rates because of less likely returns — the company says 86 percent of purchases facilitated by True Fit came from shoppers with no previous sales history. It also means more repeat purchases as 14 percent of users with previous purchases bought more and returned fewer items. Return rates have been as much as halved in some categories.
The company has amassed more than 5 million users and is adding as many as 150,000-200,000 each week. True Fit recently raised $15 million in growth equity to expand the business further.
Sourcing Journal spoke to True Fit co-founder Romney Evans about the need for the technology and how the service could reshape e-shopping.
SJ: Why did you feel the need to offer this type of service? What is it about today’s consumer that demands it?
RE: True Fit started many years ago as a result of dressing room frustration. After my wife tried on dozens of jeans unsuccessfully, I knew there had to be a better and more convenient way to shop. The convenience factor is especially important, because consumers in this day and age demand always-on service that’s personalized and efficient – a balance we’ve found with True Fit. With a simple user experience and a robust network of data, True Fit’s Discovery Engine churns out recommendations for apparel and footwear that will both fit and flatter.
SJ: How will this service reshape retail? How is it affecting conversion rates?
RE: True Fit is already experiencing great success in the industry for retailers, brands and consumers alike. As retail focuses its lens on personalization, True Fit’s technology will help bridge the divide between the physical and digital worlds. This is because it’s more than a technology service – it’s a relationship service that builds confidence and trust and encourages loyalty. Its unique use of its propriety data sets and algorithms eliminates guesswork anywhere and everywhere consumers engage.
Demand for True Fit’s service has risen sharply at the retailer level, with new bookings of its Discovery Engine tripling in the last year and longtime partners expanding 3.5 times during the same period. The increase in demand can be attributed to growth in market for retailers, as those who operate True Fit software see an average 4.5% increase in net incremental revenue.
SJ: What will this mean for brands?
RE: Like retailers, brands are benefiting immensely and many of them are becoming retail partners as well. True Fit now partners with a network of more than 1,500 top apparel and footwear brands. Its platform has become the largest collection of fit data in the world. Consumers love discovering new brands and new styles. True Fit users are 60 percent more likely to buy a brand they’ve never purchased before than non-True Fit users. And it’s all about confidence. Further, consumers are 81 percent likely to purchase a brand again if they had a positive fit experience with that brand. Getting fit right directly impacts the LTV of consumers.
To date, brands have been very supportive of the service. In addition to working with brands to harness data, True Fit’s analytic capabilities and corresponding insights can be used to make strategic decisions about sizing that influence everything from merchandising to returns and beyond.
SJ: How important is curation for today’s consumer?
RE: Consumers love options and recommendations that are true to them. True Fit is to clothing and shoes as what Pandora is to music, collecting and providing recommendations for users that get smarter time over time. While True Fit does curate product recommendations across brand, it filters to the top the best-fitting selections to ensure consumers will love and keep their purchases the first time.
SJ: How are retailers using True Fit on their websites? In stores?
RE: Retailers are integrating True Fit directly into their website shopping experience. The technology seamlessly joins with the retailer’s UX, but is identifiable on product pages by the True Fit “T” icon. Given the varying paths to purchase of Millennial shoppers, True Fit has made its service available to retailers, brands and consumers at every touch point in the near future, from online to on mobile to in store.
SJ: What’s next for True Fit?
RE: True Fit’s main differentiators in the market are that there are no avatars or measurements involved. Our assessment of “virtual” experiences is that they tend to distract the purchase process. They also struggle to take off with the masses because they’re difficult to scale. Brands and retailers are so good at making products desirable, but with virtual experiences users often have to confront the reality of body image as well, which has the unfortunate tendency to insert self-doubt and friction into the buying process.
Moving forward, you can expect to see True Fit evolve its product everywhere consumers are shopping. We’re excited to be working with some leading retailers on some unique in-store applications and mobile integrations. Our goal is to instill confidence into the shopping process so you know it fits before it ships.