Using Analytics, Fitcode Aims to Connect Shoppers to Jeans That Fit

Xconomy National — 

There are few things more universal in wardrobes the world over than blue jeans. But they are also the number one item that is returned by online shoppers, says Rian Buckley, founder and CEO of Fitcode.

“Fit is the number one purchase driver and reason to return,” she says.

For many of us, the idea that size is a poor indicator of how an item of clothing will fit is not new. Yet, at least for the time being, retailers and brands continue to market clothing using the current sizing system. Buckley experienced this problem firsthand during her career as a model.

Even though models must conform to a specific body type and size, she still saw that clothes fit differently on each woman. “They had to be clipped and pinned into place to make them fit,” Buckley says. “They’re designed all for one body shape and [designers] are expecting to fit across the entire customer base of body shapes.”

There had to be a better approach to fit, she thought, and in, 2014, founded Fitcode, which uses analytics and artificial intelligence software to determine which brands (and the sizes within those brands) fit each user the best.

“We need to get people in the right product the first time,” Buckley says. She decided that jeans would be the first priority for Fitcode since it’s an item that nearly everyone wears and one that often is hard to find the right fit for.

For retailers and brands, Fitcode’s service could be attractive because it could help prevent unnecessary returns, which are costly. As online shopping gets more popular, the number of returns increase—especially as long as returns are free. Being able to easily return something that doesn’t quite work, makes it easier for many shoppers to hit buy on their computers.

To that end, Americans returned more than $260 billion in goods each year, according to Optoro, a retail industry logistics company, according to a MarketWatch article. About 80 percent of the customers who returned items were sending back clothing and accessories, the article stated.

A recent study from Brightpearl, an e-commerce software firm, reported that as many as 40 percent of retailers have seen an increase in intentional returns in the past year and another 44 percent agree that their margins are being strongly impacted by handling and packaging those returns. Intentional returns are those that come about when a shopper, say, orders a blouse in three different sizes because she isn’t sure which one will fit best. Brightpearl, which has offices in Bristol, … Next Page »

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