How fashion retailers use data to improve everything

On the Innovation Stage at this year’s NRF, fast growth clothing brand UNTUCKit, together with online jeweller Rocksbox and personalisation platform True Fit, discussed how to deliver high value personalised service using data in new and clever ways.

Aaron Sanandres, CEO of UNTUCKit one of the fastest-growing retail brands in the US, explained how personalisation has gone way beyond tailored email messages. “Customers expect you to understand their buying behaviours in a deeper way and respond to that,” she said. “Starting out as a digital business it was easy, we had lots of data on our customers.”

Data drives location planning for UNTUCKit

As the business has grown the brand has extended into physical stores and now has over 50 outlets across the United States. Challenging the perceptions that malls are a dying breed Sanders claims: “We see a ton of highly productive malls. Our customers want to see a physical presence of our products, but we have decided to adopt a smaller footprint for our stores.”

The decision of where to locate new stores is firmly data driven, leveraging insight from their existing customer base as well as data from persona buckets. What is more challenging is how far to use data in the physical environment. “I want to create a more curated experience for customers in store. The challenge is how I make it relevant for them and not creepy. We mustn’t disrespect our customers privacy in store.”

True Fit’s fashion genome

Jessica Murphy, Co-founder and Chief Customer Officer of data driven personalisation platform True Fit agrees. Her company’s Fashion Genome is the world’s largest connected data set for clothing and footwear. By connecting design data from thousands of leading brands, together with customer purchase data from hundreds of retailers and amalgamating this with personal preference data from millions of registered True Fit users, the Genome maps detailed style, fit, size and other technical attributes to shoppers’ personal preferences.

“Customers are looking to make emotional connections with the clothes they buy. Using a detailed attribution collection process including product structure, fit, pattern size and texture, we bring shoppers relevant recommendations base on products that they will want to love and keep. This is based on the psychology of fit, the ‘in the mirror moment’. Is it a good fit? Is it comfortable? Does it provide that wow moment? We have found that customers are happy to share their data if they feel it helps to improve their purchase decision making.”

Curated selections at Rocksbox

Meaghan Rose, CEO and Founder at online jewellery brand Rocksbox, explains how she is expanding this approach to the jewellery market. “I noticed that no one was thinking about how women make decisions about buying jewellery in the way they do about fashion. We wanted to introduce the concept of discovery based on personal style for jewellery purchases.”

Rocksbox is a jewellery membership service that features brands like House of Harlow, Kate Spade and Hendra. Customers who sign up for the service fill out a style guide to help the business understand their preferences. After completing the style guide, customers can browse thousands of styles on the site to create a wish list of jewellery they’d like to try. Products can be purchased using monthly membership credits or returned and replaced with newly curated selections.

Rose continues: “When a member opens the box, they need to feel this is my style. We merchandise at the individual level, rather than through store data.”  Rocksbox had to think very carefully about the data it collected to make informed preference decisions. “Getting to know our customers style and preferences, her signals, is important. Instagram plays a key role.”

Backed by VC investment, the company is delivering strong growth and has shipped over 1million boxes to members to date.


Photo credit: Rocksbox

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