Staying True With Data-Driven Personalization

·4 min read

With demand for online personalization up nearly 123 percent since March, according to data from True Fit, the solution provider has added 2.8 million members to its database over the Thanksgiving shopping weekend.

Although each retailer has experienced slightly different disruptions, it remains that a push towards digital become necessary to reach the consumer this year. No one knows this better than True Fit, who reported a 702 percent increase for the total number of U.S. online fashion orders during November, in its data analyses from 17,000 retail brands and 180 million members.

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Here, Jessica Murphy, cofounder and chief customer officer at True Fit, talks to WWD about navigating shifting consumer behaviors, the new needs of today’s retailers, and working with Boden to implement True Confidence.

WWD: From your perspective, how has consumer behavior in retail changed in the pandemic?

Jessica Murphy: The shift towards digital in fashion — and across retail generally — was already happening before the coronavirus, but there is little doubt the pandemic has accelerated this trend. At the same time, the consumer has become the disruptor, dictating the digital experience in exchange for loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing.

The demand for digital is here to stay; new cohorts of shoppers have come — and stayed ­— online. At the beginning of the holiday shopping season, we saw huge growth from shoppers [65 and over] in joining our platform, putting them only behind 19 to 24-year-olds and 25 to 34-year-olds as the demographic demanding digital personalization the most. This digital demand has been heavily skewed to mobile. Mobile-first buying behaviors have become more deeply rooted, with mobile traffic now accounting for 60 percent of traffic and 45 percent of orders happening on mobile. There is a whole cohort of retailers who far exceed this with 70 percent of orders being placed on mobile. As a result, many of our partners have accelerated the improvement of their mobile experiences to remain competitive and meet permanently shifted consumer expectations.

WWD: How has True Fit’s technology become an even more vital solution for retailers during the pandemic?

J.M.: Data from our Fashion Genome shows that consumer demand for online personalization has increased upwards of 123 percent since the start of the pandemic. Consumers are demanding services that help them replace many of the activities that were once mostly reserved for in-store like trying on clothes and shoes or browsing store assortments to discover new styles. The consumer is the disruptor now, so keeping pace with quickly changing demand is crucial for retailers moving forward.

Building relevance and trust that gives shoppers more confidence when experiencing brands digitally requires a comprehensive view of the customer. That’s where a platform like True Fit is helping its brand partners build an understanding of shopper affinities and preferences, in an effort to better serve them.

WWD: How does True Fit differentiate itself from other solutions in the market?

J.M.: Our connected data set, the Fashion Genome, gives retailers access to shopper insights both within and beyond their brand, based on anonymized data from 180 million True Fit members. That means not only can a retailer see how a customer shops with their brand, but they can gain insights on style, size, and fit preferences across the multitude of brands with whom they shop. This data comes to life by allowing retailers to understand how shoppers behave across a multitude of fashion channels and buying journeys; allowing them to adopt micro segmentations, better product offerings and build truly personalized and relevant offers.

By unifying consumer data, retailers are best armed to meet the changing needs of new and existing shoppers, both in the immediate future and longer-term as digital fashion gets ever closer to sales volumes through physical outlets.

WWD: Can you tell us about the success you had in implementing the True Confidence platform with Boden?

J.M.: Boden’s a fantastic brand, with great product. They are on a real mission to supercharge their digital customer experience, to improve their on-site personalization strategies, both for new and existing customers.

True Fit partnered with Boden to help them strengthen shoppers’ confidence about fit, as well as help to reduce returns and minimize size sampling behaviors when shoppers order an item in multiple sizes when they are unsure about fit. They implemented True Confidence, our solution which eliminates sizing guesswork by providing personalized recommendations based on each consumer’s personal preferences.

Boden saw a 2.6-times increase in conversion rates, a 57 percent jump in order rates, a 12 percent increase to AOV and a 5.9 percent reduction in returns for shoppers who followed True Fit recommendations, yielding a 5.1 percent incremental revenue lift for the brand. We’ve been really honored to work with them in accelerating their digital strategy.

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