Fashion brands are discovering the importance of sizing and fit in reaching customers, driving conversions and increasing loyalty, says Sarah Curran-Usher, MD EMEA of True Fit.
Fit as a factor in a consumer’s decision to buy and keep a brand is well-established. What was less understood until more recently was just how important it is right across the product life cycle, from initial selection all the way through to the decision to keep or return, and even later to replace.
True Fit recently undertook a major study looking into which brands are favourite with their customers for getting fit right. In short, consumers favour brands that they feel ‘ get them.’ However adventurous they may become over the years, favourites are generally firm and long-lasting.
To get this information, we looked at consumer shopping behaviour across multiple price points, locations, categories and consumer personas. And we looked at four fashion segments – tops, bottoms, dresses and footwear.
Data from this report is sourced from the registration data gathered from millions of consumers who have created a True Fit profile and are shopping across its global network of leading retail partners. Our purpose is to help consumers build a virtual closet so we can guide the shopping experience in the form of personalised fit recommendations for each consumer across its network of retailers.
True Fit found five major takeaways from the research.
Direct to consumer brands are a big favourite with shoppers. No longer so dependent on department stores to discover and buy apparel and footwear, consumers are increasingly relying on the direct consumer channel. This is demonstrated by the fact that some brands create their ranges to suit the direct channel whilst offering a broader assortment into stores.
When it comes to the bottoms category, denim is still popular with shoppers despite the move to more casual wear and when it comes to jeans, size counts.
Athleisure fit is extremely important to shoppers, given two major trends – the fact that so many consumers embraced sportswear as part of their main wardrobe during the pandemic; and that sportswear is fashion and often worn throughout the day, even where there may be no formal exercise session attached.
Shoppers now want extended size ranges; Global brands in our survey are able to lead and design their ranges with size inclusivity in mind.
And fast fashion continues to rank highly with consumers for fit; there is a strong affinity between fast fashion brands and demand for fit information
The consumers favourite fit awards overall go to:
There are also awards for favourite fitting brands by location and in category.
US brands are dominant in all territories given their global reach, but UK and European brands also stand out, notably H&M, Zara, Next, New Look, M&S, Asos, Boden Topshop, Boohoo, Matalan, River Island.
These brands are not standing still; fit is a part of more ambitious strategies to create personalised experiences at a critical point in shopper evaluation, which are proven to raise the key commercial KPIs around conversion, basket size and frequency. Fit guidance will become even more valuable as brands look for growth by expanding into new lines.
M&S, who came in second place in the poll of the UK’s favourite fitting brands, is a case in point, as it has evolved its digital experience and expanded its online collections. Earlier this month, it announced a ‘strategic investment’ in activewear brand and ecommerce platform, The Sports Edit, following its buy-out of Jaegar and minority stake investment in Nobody’s Child, as it starts to sell-third party brands on its online platforms and in selected stores. And this evolved model of retailing will mean an increased emphasis on sizing and fit confidence, as traditional M&S shoppers discover new brands on its digital sales channels.
Customers want to browse, buy and shop without fear when it comes to fit and size online. And this need has become elevated as shoppers have adapted to more digitally-native behaviours and are now discovering new brands - or new categories from their known brands – online. This means they need the confidence to convert, backed up with a product they will keep, so building trust into the buying journey, delivered through high-fidelity fit recommendations that are powered by data insights, will become paramount.
To download the Favourite Fitting Brands study click here.
About True Fit
True Fit partners with fashion brands to optimise fit guidance and drive confidence for their shoppers. Its data platform, the Fashion Genome™, is the world’s largest connected data set for clothing and footwear, bringing together data from 90 million active members (shoppers) and 17,000+ brands across the globe. True Fit’s AI engine connects product fit with unique shopper’s preferences and learns more about these preferences as they shop across hundreds of retail sites and brands. Visit TrueFit.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and @TrueFit on Twitter.