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The shape of things to come?

Personalisation was a big issue at the recent Drapers Ecommerce Summit, as retailers attempt to bridge the gap between an online and offline shopping experience.

New site Garmentology,at www.garmentology.co.uk, has been created with exactly this in mind.

Garmentology is the brainchild of Susanne Newman, an image consultant by trade who wanted to tackle the challenge of bringing personalised shopping online. The site, which is currently in beta stage, works by allowing women to build detailed profiles of themselves and Garmentology then matches these profiles to garments.

Newman wanted each person to have a profile that recorded intricate details of their shape and size, rather than grouping people into common shape categories such as apple and pear. Body proportions such as leg length and waist height are taken into account.

Garmentology then looks at the products on the site and matches them according to how well they fit the individual’s profile. All attributes of the garment are considered, from hem length to fabric fluidity.

Once users have been given a list of products that suit their profile, they can click on the product to direct them to the retailer’s site to buy. Garmentology has a number of retail partners including My-Wardrobe, Browns and Marks & Spencer but Newman is looking to grow this number before the site is properly launched and marketed to the industry.

Once it is fully launched later this year, Newman has more ideas of how the concept can evolve, including incorporating customer preference options, such as whether they prefer long or short skirts, to build even more detailed profiles. Newman also hopes retailers will incorporate the Garmentology technology onto their own sites, allowing them to show customers product in order of its suitability.

Garmentology brings the concept of a style adviser online, helping to tackle the challenge of sizing and fit and therefore cutting the rate of returns.

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