Who isn’t turning over every rock these days looking for growth opportunities? Apparel brands, with their almost obsessive focus on style, cost and value, might actually be overlooking one of the most important factors in the purchase equation: Fit.
Me-Ality™ 3D body scanners, which will begin rolling out to 300 US shopping centers later this year, have already begun to revolutionize the way consumers shop for apparel. After a 10-second fully-dressed scan, shoppers receive a customized, personalized shopping guide matching them with the styles and sizes of partner brand products in the mall that will fit them and their budgets. For the consumer, it means more productive and rewarding shopping trips, increasing the likelihood they’ll come back. For retailers, it brings a new and loyal customer base to their stores, increased sales, and fewer returns.
But wait, there’s more: In the process of scanning hundreds of thousands of consumers, Me-Ality realized it was collecting invaluable consumer data that could be used to help brands do everything from enhance their product development process to launch new businesses.
Read on to find out how one company added an inch…and in the process, grew its customer base by double digits.
Searching for Growth
One way apparel retailers and manufacturers can enhance brand appeal is by taking a closer look at their consumers, and intensifying their focus on sizing and fit.
Too often, apparel shoppers are aware of the styles that appeal to their fashion senses but find challenges in identifying their exact fit. Likewise, apparel makers are constantly under pressure to forecast fashion trends with size and fit a main focus.
The tech-savvy software now available to retailers to help manage their inventory levels will be even more useful when coupled with powerful information on what could have been sold had the right sizes been in stock.
The Brand X Story
Sales at Brand X, an apparel company that prefers to remain anonymous, had hit a plateau, despite the fact that their pricing and styling were competitive. They went on a quest to identify other potential opportunities for growth.
Specifically, the product development team looked into ways to conduct a sizing survey to determine how they were fitting their core customer group – women between the ages of 18 and 25.
As a participating brand in the launch of the Me-Ality size matching service, they decided to explore if there was any way they could tap into some of the rich customer profiles Me-Ality was capturing with its scanning kiosks.
Me-Ality™ Market Insights
Me-Ality offers executives a level of consumer intelligence never before available. When Brand X management contacted the company, Me-Ality made them aware of its suite of aggregate data reports that deliver insights into body types based on a database of over 300,000 body scans. Me-Ality was able to segment the data for Brand X to focus on 20,000 profiles from the brand’s target customer base. And by comparing those profiles with the measurements from their apparel, Me-Ality was able to generate reports, like the one shown below, that gave Brand X detailed assessments of their overall brand fit, and identified specific areas of opportunity to alter their designs to better meet the market’s profile.
One of the reports, which examined the target population within one market, revealed that across many sizing segments, the brand was doing a very good job of fitting its target population. However, in 4 key size segments, there was significant lost opportunity. For example, in a size 29 inch, XYZ was fitting 19 percent of the market in the female 18 to 25 year old age category. Utilizing Me-Ality’s data of body types from that particular age group, Brand X determined that it would fit an additional 12 percent of the market if it were to minimally increase the hip measurement of a 29 inch waist style by just one inch. If the brand were to modify its fit slightly in all 4 sizing categories, they would fit a larger percentage of the population and increase potential revenues significantly.
Subsequently, the brand modified its grading/pattern to recover a larger percentage of the market it had previously missed. By incorporating the one inch hip increase into their denim styles Brand X was able to directly increase revenue opportunities and provide an excellent fit to an average of almost 33% percent of their core consumer in the identified 4 size categories. This represents an over 10% potential sales increase in the selected categories.
Brand X management was so intrigued by the intelligence they garnered for missed sizing opportunities that they decided to tap Me-Ality for information pertaining to missed opportunity sizing at retail stores nationwide.