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INTERNET RETAILING AWARDS 2014 Dressipi’s founders on creating confident consumers

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We’re asking companies shortlisted in the Internet Retailing Awards 2014 to tell us about themselves. This week, Sarah McVittie and Donna North, co-founders of Dressipi, shortlisted for the Service Sector Award, tell us about Dressipi’s approach to using service to create confident consumers.

Consumers’ challenges

Most women share the same challenges when buying clothes online. As busy people, most of us find we are faced with too much choice, too little time and not enough knowledge or understanding on how to make good shopping and dressing decisions that will ensure we always look and feel great in what we wear. Ultimately we want to know what will look good on us, how to create or complete a look and, if we’re purchasing online, we want to know what size we are.

With thousands of fashion retailers now online, indiscriminately pushing products to the consumer, this problem is exacerbated. The choice is overwhelming, with very few retailers genuinely servicing consumers helping deliver their perfect edit or find the best products in the right size that will make them look and feel great. As retailers tend to know little about their customers and even less about their products, they struggle to personalise their online offering and their margins suffer as a result.

The solution

Dressipi is unique for each customer and delivers real value to women when they are shopping or getting dressed – building their confidence ensuring they always look and feel great. The following tools help build customer confidence:

• Personalized product recommendations solves ‘what will look good on me?’

• Personalized automated outfits answers ‘How do I create/complete a look?’, and

• Personalized size finder helps customers understand what size they are

This ‘fit and flatter’ approach ensures a win win for everyone. Consumers have the tools to confidently purchase, converting them from browsers to purchasers and, as a result, retailers see margin improvement through conversion and average order value increases as well as a reduction in returns.

What sets Dressipi apart

Two things: we really understand the customer’s relationship with clothes and how their preferences can change with the trend cycles of fashion or life stages; and we have a solution that can leverage significant volumes of constantly changing data.

What a customer buys and wears is both personal and emotional. Finding products that a customer will love AND keep has to match personal parameters like taste, style, size, body shape, colouring etc. and it has to be right for a specific mood or occasion. Layer on top of that the evolving life stages (first job, pregnancy, etc) AND rapidly changing product and you can understand why personalisation of fashion is so much more complex than static products with greater sales longevity.

Good personalisation requires vast treasure troves of meaningful data to improve. The Dressipi data model underpins the Dressipi service. We collect and structure 1000s of data points on both individual customers, their preferences and each product and brand in a retailers range. We then use this data, combine it with our proprietary ‘matching technology’ to identify the single products that a customer is most likely to buy at that point in time, build appropriate outfits with new items or clothes they already own and recommend the correct size for each customer.

A ‘technology only’ approach fails to take critical subtleties into consideration, while a ‘human only’ approach fails to be scalable. From the outset Dressipi recognized this and combined fashion expertise (stylists) alongside world leading technologists to deliver a solution that is as good as (or arguable better) than an in-store personal shopper and is completely portable and scalable.

At Dressipi, we believe that this unique approach to personalisation will fundamentally change how people buy clothes online and deliver much greater efficiencies and margins to the retailers.

We’ll be finding out who’s taken the Service Sector Award title at the Internet Retailing Awards 2014 party this Thursday (June 26). To find out more about the shortlist, the awards and how to get a ticket, visit the Internet Retailing Awards site

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