Getting a decent fit might be about finding the right sizes and proportions, but finding a true fit goes beyond measurements — think customer taste and preferences.
No one knows that better than retail tech provider True Fit, a Boston-based firm known best for its fitting solutions. But as hard as proper sizing is to crack, the company has an even more ambitious goal — to arm apparel and footwear retailers with the industry’s deepest, most comprehensive set of customer and product insights.
This week at Shop.org in Las Vegas, the firm unveiled two new offerings — True Insight and True 360 — and held demos for the attendees of the retail conference.
True Insight offers stores a glanceable — and sortable — dashboard for product information that can be hard to come by otherwise. Retail executives can look up a garment’s fit compared with an extensive array of similar items across the industry.
“Our data set has become quite large,” said True Fit chief product and marketing officer and co-founder Romney Evans. “We connected this data set of anonymized profiles for about 430 million unique buyers in North America and Europe, and analyzed their purchase behavior. So we start to understand the patterns of what people are buying, what they’re keeping, what their relationship is from one brand to another brand.”
With True Insight, analytics are covered in sections such as Demographic & Body Shape, Fit Consistency, Returns Performance, Purchases by Brand & Price Point and Purchase Attributes. Think of it as a one-stop shop for customer intelligence. Retail executives can parse details like Purchase by Style Shape, Purchase by Consumer Age and even Purchase by Consumer BMI.
Where Insight offers a user-friendly face for product insights, True 360 acts as more of a back-end tool for more consumer specifics, as a given customer shops at various stores. There’s no dashboard for 360, as the information hooks directly into retailers’ own systems.
The goal is to simplify access and usage of the robust data set, by piping it directly into the stores’ customer relationship management systems. From here, it can drive recommendation models or go out to vendors, who can better support marketing campaigns or other efforts.
“We can see that one unique individual is buying multiple things — we know the attributes about that individual, and the attributes of the products that they’re buying,” said Evans, explaining that the company has the tech packs, or technical specifications and measurements, for millions of products. “We connect those users’ buying behavior to really rich data that we have on about 17,000 brands, where we’ve actually mapped their DNA and each of their styles.”
He’s referring to True Fit’s so-called Fashion Genome, the company’s large-scale effort to capture product data across brands. The Genome powers True Insight, which — when coupled with True 360 — delivers unique views that are both granular and comparative across the industry.
“We understand the key points of measure and what those are across the garment,” he continued. “We also do a sort of data enrichment process on all of those millions of styles, where we identify all of the unique style characteristics. So now, through about $110 billion transaction value, we compare [the data from] 430 million users, and we can generally see that they bought a certain style ID, but also understand the rich attributes of those rich style IDs.”
To hear True Fit tell it, the tools make for the most comprehensive analytics and recommendations platform available for the fashion industry today. At the very least, it’s more evidence of how fitting tech companies are increasingly looking to fuel greater insights and personalization. And by the looks of it, it certainly seems improbable that a given retailer or brand could reach the same breadth and scope on its own.
As deep as the company’s data goes today, it has plans to extend it even further. Next year, it’s looking to move into India and Asia, and it’s already in talks with potential partners, ranging from independent brands to large retailers. The opportunity looks massive. According to e-Marketer, India’s retail e-commerce sales will shoot up 31 percent this year to $32.7 billion, following behind only China and Indonesia in the Asia-Pacific region.