Sebastian Schulze, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Fit Analytics
2020 has changed the world as we know it – and few industries are feeling this monumental shift as much as retail. The global pandemic has forced retailers to focus on their e-commerce operations. While e-commerce was already on the rise, this year’s global changes have accelerated the shift from in-store to online shopping. So what do companies need to consider when making the rapid shift from bricks and mortar to online?
E-commerce is about technology, not just retail. Many companies try to scale old retail business models online, but this isn’t enough. To be successful in the new online retail world, companies need to be driven by technology and data. Most new technologies on the market that support e-commerce are reaching towards one common goal: personalisation. Online merchants need to meet shoppers where they are, and personalisation technologies connect these retailers with their customers.
While retailers are worried about sinking profits and store closures, shoppers are still shopping. Customers are hoping to find what they need in an often-unfamiliar online landscape. They browse thousands of products on a device as small as a smartphone, day and night. This doesn’t leave a lot of room to pollute the catalogue screen with irrelevant products. If shoppers don’t quickly see what they want, they will shop elsewhere.
Machine learning technologies, such as sizing and fit solutions like Fit Analytics’ Fit Finder, enable retailers and brands to match customers with the items they are looking for when they want them. “Personalisation turns billions of separate data points into insights and translates these insights directly into actionable recommendations,” says Sebstian Schulze, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Fit Analytics GmbH.
Apparel personalisation solutions such as Fit Finder distil millions of customer preferences, purchase and returns data, and hundreds of thousands of body models into bespoke, item-specific size and style recommendations for individual shoppers. Personalisation enables retailers to offer a relevant and satisfying shopping experience for each of their customers. As a result, shoppers keep what they buy, and come back to their new favourite brands for future purchases.
“Companies committed to a future in retail are prepared to leverage data, machine learning, and AI technologies to keep up with changing business practices. These companies understand and embrace the intrinsic value of personalisation technologies. We’ve seen a year-on-year increase of retailers looking to implement personalisation technologies on their e-commerce sites, even in the face of uncertainty caused by Covid-19,” says Schulze. “Today’s shoppers embrace technology to meet their needs and match their values. Retailers recognise this trend and use the opportunity to rebuild personal relationships with their customers in the digital world.”
Apparel companies such as ASOS, Uniqlo, Tommy Hilfiger, Boohoo, JD Sports and more work with Fit Analytics to solve sizing and fit challenges throughout the retail life-cycle. The Fit Analytics data platform positively impacts every aspect of apparel operations, from manufacturing to native app personalisation.
For more insights into shopper preferences and the user journey for sizing, get Fit Analytics’ white paper – available here.