The chief executive of True Fit, Bill Adler, has called on the fashion industry redefine the way it models customers or miss out on reaping the rewards of digital retail.
Adler told the Drapers Digital Festival the global value of the fashion market is $2 trillion annually, but only 15% of that is spent online. The chief executive outlined his aim to transform that to 50%, through extensive use of data to help provide consumers with bespoke shopping options based on a set of personal preferences.
Commenting on the fashion industry’s tendency to allocate people into rudimentary sizes of footwear and clothing Adler said: “We have fallen into this trap in that most of these size charts are generalised experiences.
“Fashion leaders and consumers want personal experiences, and this is the same online. It has happened with books and movies and music. We are looking to do this in footwear and apparel, and are on our way.”
Adler noted the famous competition in 1943 conducted in Cleveland, Ohio, which took measurements from more than 15,000 women between the ages of 21 and 25 to find the shape of the average woman, which was named Norma.
“How many women shared the same measurements as Norma?” said Adler. “None. There is no average, you are totally unique. You all have unique bodies.”
In January the Boston-based firm, which has signed up 11,400 retailers worldwide raised $55m of funding to roll out its personalised platform for apparel and footwear.
The funds will be used to enhance its existing discovery engine – a function that compares fit data and anonymised transactions to determine what consumers keep and return – which will launch in the market later this year, as well as launching personal outfitting services and a chatbot virtual stylist.
Commenting on the platform Adler said: “We really want to take it down to a granular level and predict what people will love and will keep.
“The attributes could be colour, fabrics or closures. The people at Spotify figured out the attributes that people cared about. Turning this data into averages is not just nonsensical it is not giving the customer something that is personalised to them.”