Finding the Best Fit: The Modern Woman’s Solution
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Women are clearly leading the way to the future. With more and more women holding significant positions in today’s workforce, it’s no secret that professional parity continues to improve. According to a recent Pew Research report, women made up almost half of the workforce in 2009. Furthermore, in terms of education, women earn more bachelor’s (57.2%), master’s (60.4%), and doctoral degrees (52.3%) than men, and just fewer than half (49.0%) of all first professional degrees. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2010)

It’s also no secret that today’s “Wonder Woman” wears many hats for many different roles: working professional, supportive partner, caregiver, and primary shopper—just to name a few.

Today’s Modern Woman is a multi-tasking, working mother. According to the Department for Professional Employees (2008), 71.2% of women in the overall labor force had children under the age of 18. Many of these women are single mothers as well. Even in households with two caregivers, recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012) found that housework duties still fall predominantly to women. Moreover, 74.9% of women identified themselves as the primary shoppers for their households in 2011, according to the annual MRI Survey of the American Consumer.

But it’s not all on equal footing at home. Despite overcoming obstacles to achieve professional equality with their male counterparts, domestic traditions for women such as household shopping still persists in today’s society.

With so many responsibilities and duties placed on professional women, shopping for clothes may be perceived as a yet another chore to mark off the list in everyday life. And, shopping today is made even more time consuming and complicated, as sizes vary widely with no universal standards, making shopping amongst multiple brands and retailers a real chore. Accordingly, busy female shoppers may resort to estimating their sizing needs; making snap purchases without a guarantee of fit;and inevitably, waste precious time returning merchandise to retailers. Traditionally, women have relied on fitting rooms prior to purchase to offer a sizing solution. But this involves a greater time commitment and still doesn’t guarantee a successful purchase. And there’s another challenge that faces women; they tend to be the primary shopper for everyone. Many of today’s Modern Women also shop for their partners and/or children who may not be with them at the time of purchase. If they are shopping on their laptops, tablets or phones, the sizing riddle becomes increasingly challenging for both women and retailers.

So how can retailers meet the size and time challenges of today’s professional women and ultimately earn brand loyalty? Enter Me-Ality’s size-matching station, meID profile, and free “intelligent shopping” service.

Utilizing its patented body scan system, Me-Ality’s millimeter wave technology and proprietary software collects more than 200,000 points of reference on the human body. The scan process only takes 10 seconds, is 100% safe, and the customer remains completely clothed. These precise body measurements are compared against each piece of clothing offered by the company’s partner brands and retailers. The result is a personalized shopping guide highlighting the sizes and styles that fit the consumer best—completely removing the guesswork out of shopping, regardless of clothing category or brand sizing.

With each individual scan, the user receives a unique profile identifier (also known as a “meID”). When shared, it allows other users to access an individual’s recommendation and to make purchases on their behalf in-store and online.

The service is free to the consumer and currently can be experienced at approximately 70 mall locations throughout the country. For retailers, the retail service creates higher potential for sales and reduced returns due to size.

For holiday 2012, the National Retail Federation expected returns to reach a new record of $46 billion. While retail marketing is an essential key to success, taking steps to reduce all returns, including the size-related ones, is worth examining. Happier customers mean more return customers. No one can afford to lose the Modern Woman shopper; she represents a significant ripple effect of satisfied customers.

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