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Know Your Shopper: Stella the Style Sampler

June 27, 2017

In an effort to better understand what drives customers as they shop online for apparel and footwear, our “State of Returns” report breaks down the uncertainties buyers face when shopping from behind a screen. Armed with the understanding that returns are inevitable in today’s retail landscape, we’re diving deeper into the different ways people shop for – and return – clothes. Coming from Sara the Size Sampler’s propensity to load up on multiples of the same garment in different sizes (resulting in a whopping 50–66% purchase return rate), we’re shifting focus to Stella the Style Shopper, who, armed with better data on what will fit her, takes chances with style as opposed to size, resulting in a lower – hence, more lucrative – retail return rate.
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Style is Subjective
The consumer behavior of style sampling manifests as shoppers are exposed to multiple styles within the same category/class. If Stella loves grey cashmere sweaters or Steve shops for single-breasted sportcoats, savvy retailers preempt potential consumer dissatisfaction by sharing similar styles based on their established preferences. Provided with options, the shopper is more able to experiment – assuming fit is less of a concern. Of course, returns still play a role with the Style Sampler, but at a much more modest 30% – up to half the Size Sampler rate. Of equal importance, experimenting with the fun of different styles versus the dealing with frustration of unreliable sizing makes for a more positive purchasing experience, increasing future engagement and conversion. 
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Lower Returns are Always in Style
One way to transition high-return Saras to higher-satisfaction Stellas is to embrace the “not all returns are created equal” mentality and focus on personalizing the online shopping experiences with “You Might Also Like” cross-selling of similar items during the browsing process by leveraging data on the shopper's preferences. This is easier to approach once the uncertanties of proper fit are laid to rest for the shopper. True Fit’s millions of data points across thousands of brands and retailers, plus intuitive consumer-facing technology, make fit-based returns a lesser issue for retailers – and shoppers – around the world. Learn more about how you can enhance the online shopping experience with true personalization for lower returns and higher satisfaction. Learn More