Decluttering the Buyer Journey
by Mark Hunsmann in May 2020
How a new technology relieves shoppers of questionnaire fatigue
Phrases such as fast fashion have become ubiquitous terminology in recent years, with our desire for changing trends overriding our ability to re-use fashion. Instead, we opt for lower quality, less fitting pieces that conform to society’s sartorial rules. Yet that is all changing. In a time when we are so used to getting everything at our fingertips, why should this mean we have to compromise on quality, or how we look? This is where StyleIQ comes in — a digital shopping assistant that is aiming to turn this concept on its head and provide users with apparel e-commerce personalisation.
This new paradigm in fashion means old rules in shopping are becoming outdated and not offering consumers what they actually want. Therefore, it’s vital for businesses to embrace the use of technology and realise that is not just a fad, but something that will change the entire way we shop for years to come.
"StyleIQ is an add-in technology for apparel e-commerce that helps retailers capture their customer’s facial complexion in order to display highly relevant products in real-time."
This digital curated shopping experience has a host of features including fashion colour search, personalisation and portrait search — it adds a whole new dimension to shopping and is a real game-changer in the field. No longer will you have to browse and wonder what will suit you, for this technology in an app in your pocket will be two steps ahead, knowing what suits you and where you can find it.
This app you carry on your smartphone in your pocket is a revolutionary and more appropriate use of mobile phones, reiterating the fact that smartphones aren’t just a smaller version of a laptop or desktop, but an assistant in its own right. Issues still arise from people feeling smartphones are a similar tool to computers just with a smaller screen, when it couldn’t be further from the truth — they are used frequently when multitasking and recent surveys have shown the average adult spends three hours or more glued to their device a day. These are used for quick actions — swiping left or right, scrolling and browsing, yet reading and writing is often impractical due to size constraints, or that one of your hands may be occupied; for example holding your bag, shopping or even onto the rail if you are standing on public transport. Due to this, taking a selfie is so much easier and more practical and something we are all accustomed to doing in today’s society.
It’s this fast-paced convenience StyleIQ are looking to tap into — and something they are succeeding with. When compared to other industries, fashion is falling behind. Music-wise, you can use apps such as Shazam to instantly identify a track or album just by sampling a few seconds of music whenever you hear it. This app has 150million monthly users and a billion downloads.
“There’s this huge focus on… doing a much better job at curation and discovery,” says Stitch Fix chief operating officer Mike Smith.
"There’s this huge focus on… doing a much better job at curation and discovery, there’s going to be a higher burden placed on the retailer and the brand instead of the customer doing all the work!”"
It’s this forward-thinking approach that new generations are being accustomed to, whereby consumers don’t have to do all the work and instead the service is being brought to them. In a time when there are so many stores selling similar items, the stores need the customers more than the customers need them. Due to this, it’s important that regardless of the size and segment of the business, they have the courage to “self-disrupt” their own identity and the ways they used to achieve success in order to adapt to the quickly changing times.
And StyleIQ is so much more than just an additional feature for apparel apps. It is, in fact, an entirely new approach to shopping, ripping up the rulebook and taking the first steps towards the future. It allows the opportunity to explore the offerings of a particular retailer, while also tailoring the items to their own appearance and tastes. It is the closest thing to walking into a brick and mortar shop and being greeted by a highly educated assistant who can tell just what will suit you and your complexion, just by looking at you and know the entire stock of the shop well. It is revolutionary and it is exciting. And it is turning tradition on its head. It is set to benefit our society in so many more ways than one. Consumers will receive exactly what they want when they want it. Similar to the way we receive movies, TV shows and music in an instant, digital shopping assistants will ensure you know what clothes are available.
It should also help to eliminate the rise in returned items which has increased rapidly due to the ease of online shopping. Today’s digital purchasing means people don’t go into shops to try items on anymore, resulting in ill-fitting purchases. Consumers are often shocked when something they order arrives and looks completely different to how it did on the model on the website. StyleIQ will ensure you know what suits you before you purchase, so this step of trying on clothes only to return them will be eradicated. This will help to save businesses who have to foot the bill for returned items, as well as the frustration of consumers when they really like an item only to be disappointed.
Style IQ’s focus on marrying instant needs and wants with the idea of finding something that isn’t only instantly available but will last and suit you. This is a real nod towards how our needs and expectations are changing. Their digital shopping assistant will tailor your whole shopping experience, with apparel e-commerce personalisation being the new way to source new clothing. This innovative approach sees them propelling into the future of fashion and offering a solution to both consumers and retailers who are affected by the constraints of modern-day shopping.