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Q&A: Romney Evans, co-founder, True Fit

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Ahead of the Drapers Digital Festival in May, Drapers speaks to Romney Evans, co-founder at headline sponsor True Fit. 

What are the key trends in digital fashion retail that you think are most important in 2019?

1. Personal relevant curation. To win in fashion you need to show the consumer the right style, fit, and size; it’s fundamental to apparel and footwear shopping. However, the opportunity to get it right is narrow. Seventy percent of Amazon customers never click past first page of search results and more than one third of shoppers click on the first product featured on a search page. The limited product display on mobile accentuates the challenge further.

2. Data privacy. People are tired of breaches, and deliberate abuses. Retailers must continue to take steps to respect and safeguard sensitive data to ensure that it’s only being used according to the consumers’ intent, with permission, and with real value given back to the consumer.

3. Sampling products at home continues to increase. Different business models are tackling this from different angles. Stitchfix and Amazon Wardrobe are embracing the trend by simply shipping stuff to consumers, enticing them to buy more, and only charging them for what they keep. This trend poses real challenges to more traditional retail models as consumers are being conditioned to “try before you buy.” Therefore, the solution for both models is better personally relevant curation; funnelling consumers initially towards the items that suit their personal style, fit, and size.

What 3 things do you think retailers should be prioritising this year?

1. True curation for every interaction. There’s tremendous urgency to get curated fashion right. It’s a complicated, nuanced vertical. The objective has always been showing consumers the right product, in the right place, at the right time and now the data is available to do it. Early adopters are working to introduce products earlier in the customer journey, with every marketing communication used as an opportunity to deliver on a shopper’s personal style, fit, and size. This intelligence can be used to enhance every service opportunity online or instore by integrating Discovery APIs into clienteling apps, native apps, and chatbots.

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2. Differential privacy. Retailers need to be employing techniques for sharing important data that enhances user experiences while making it statistically impossible to match that data back to any one individual’s information or profile. Excellent practices around privacy will be a long-term differentiator between retailers for consumers.

3. Connect digitally with bricks and mortar shoppers. Most in-store purchases are web influenced. Consumers consult digital content before, during, and after their store visits. Retailers need to tether themselves digitally to these shoppers when they’re instore with clear calls to action that deliver clear value in return or risk losing them to competitors. There must be benefits to engaging with a sales associate in a digitally-authenticated way, or using a store’s native app, or consulting a chatbot.

What will you be talking about during your keynote at the Digital Festival?

Lars Rabe, managing director EMEA at True Fit will be leading a panel session with one of our True Fit customers to showcase how we are working together to personalise every touchpoint of the customer journey from awareness through customer loyalty.

Mike Woodward, head of analytics and insight at True Fit, will be sharing best practices for testing and validating the value-add of adoption-based personalisation technologies, like True Fit. A/B testing has become the default standard for performance assessment in retail, however it isn’t always the best method for analysing digital experiences, and his session will showcase an alternative to longitudinal A/B testing.

Finally, we will be showcasing some of the newest integrations with our True Fit partners. They have taken our APIs for style, fit, and size and are deploying them in a variety of experiences from top of funnel awareness, to onsite curation during the consideration phase, to eliminating sizing guesswork at purchase and enhancing in-store with personalisation.

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