Tanya Shaw, president and chief executive officer of high-technology fit shopper Me-Ality, has built an entire business based on merging the in-store and online experiences.
This story first appeared in the September 26, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Of the tool, Shaw explained that customers go to a common area and undergo a 10-second body scan. In this time, 200,000 measurements are taken of the body and users get a “meID” — a bar code that’s either printed, e-mailed or sent to their mobile device — that, when scanned at a participating store, tells them the style and size of a particular item that will fit them best. Customers get a report based on individual priorities that list the locations that carry these products (by floor, department or online). It also recommends a size, taking the guesswork out of the equation for shoppers hesitant to shop online.
Shaw said Me-Ality — now available at 70 of the largest malls across the country and soon opening at another 300 mall-based locations — is approaching one million consumer scans. She projected that number will reach 10 to 15 million by the end of next year. Other statistics she revealed: Thirty five percent of consumers scanned are under the age of 25, 70 percent are under 40 and 72 percent are female.
“This information allows us to curate the shopping list to an even further extent. We can target a demographic by size,” Shaw said, adding that users are receiving targeted communication that only suggests items and brands that will fit them.
Based on a study conducted on 4,000 Me-Ality users, 94 percent found the service accurate, 78 percent became aware of new brands that were suggested to them via their meID and 60 percent bought a brand they had never heard of because it was recommended. Additionally, 80 percent revealed that they won’t buy online due to uncertainty of fit.
According to Shaw, the conversion rate of those using the tool is 47 percent — considerably higher than the 19 percent who convert in a traditional store. She also said consumers using Me-Ality are buying two to three times more at a time than a shopper who enters a store without a targeted shopping list.