Algorithm Ensures Customers Always Get The Right Size When Shopping Online

Algorithm Ensures Customers Always Get The Right Size When Shopping Online

An online service is helping brands and retailers provide a better shopping experience for their customers trying to find the correct clothing size online.

Timothy Ryan, PSFK Labs
  • 12 may 2012

In preparation for the release of our upcoming Future Of Retail report, PSFK reached out to Clothes Horse, an online service helping clothing brands and retailers provide a better shopping experience for their customers shopping online. Using a data driven approach to recommending sizes based on a shopper’s body details and favorite styles,  the algorithm underwriting Clothes Horse provides shoppers with tailored recommendations for properly fitting clothing so they can make more confident purchase decisions, leading to more sales, fewer returns, and increased customer loyalty. We caught up with co-founder Vik Venkatraman to get his thoughts.

Tell us a little about Clothes Horse. How does it work? What is the idea behind the service?

Clothes Horse is solving the problem of buying clothes that fit online. It works by taking a ton of data about shoppers and brands, expertise on production, fabric, and fit, and wrapping it up in an algorithm that is both accurate and simple to use. The single biggest hurdle that keeps the apparel industry from truly adopting the web in a big way is that it remains challenging to communicate fit to the shopper. Do you know how to read a size chart? What does “fits true to size” mean to you? By focusing on the shopper and the brand, Clothes Horse aims to transform an industry through technology — and we’re solving the fit problem first.


Are there any notable figures or statistics around customer engagement and usage?

We get a lot of usage, and our engagement is terrific — we put a lot of emphasis on the user experience and in understanding the shopper problem. Typically, 10-15%+ of people who come across our product will open it, and 90% of people who open our product will receive a recommendation. We deliver thousands of recommendations a week, creating confidence and trust for shoppers, and lifting the top and bottom lines for our retail partners.

We have have noticed that enhanced customer scanning software and algorithms are offering unprecedented ways for retailers to remotely tailor products for their customers, ensuring consumers reach a new level of comfort and satisfaction in their online shopping experience. Do you see this trend manifesting on a wider scale? How so?

We live in exciting times. There’s a perfect storm brewing between new capabilities in technology, an increasingly savvy shopper who expects the benefits of technology, and a retailer community who is now ready to adopt and experiment with much more openness than ever before. As a result, technology like ours, that allows the retailer to use real data and sophisticated algorithms to provide a smarter, more tailored experience is quickly going to change from something new and interesting to something expected and obvious to the shopper. I would predict that smart retailers are also going to be able to use the insights gained from better data and better interaction with the shopper to create a ton of efficiencies all the way up the value chain — which should result in better shopper experiences, better prices (or better margins), data-driven design and forecasting, and a ton of other benefits. The successful retailers of the future are going to be widely tech-enabled and operate very differently than they do today.


What are the opportunities for retailers utilizing Clothes Horse? How about consumers? Where do the personalized recommendations stem from?

Besides reaping the obvious benefits of increased conversion rate, enhanced shopper experience, reduced returns and other direct benefits, retailers using Clothes Horse take a huge step from a previous era where the shopper was just a blip on the page, to today’s world where the shopper wants to have a rich, personalized experience that uses the full breadth of data thats at their fingertips. Consumers who build Clothes Horse profiles will unlock the world of possibility that comes with always knowing the right size to buy, at any of our retail partners across the web.

The recommendations come from algorithms we run on both the human side and the wardrobe side of the shopper. We have a lot of data on the sizes and proportions based on real people that we’re able to use to drive a super-simple user experience. The shopper never needs to measure themselves, just answer easy questions. We then mix that with their preferences – the shopper simply tells us about at least one piece of clothing they have in that category. Then based on both of those bits of info as well as all the other shoppers and preferences on our system, we’re able to come up with the best size for the shopper, as well as some details on how it should fit.

Today, all the data that exists in your lifetime of experience and all the items in your closet lay dormant — we’re creating a future that uses these and more to build amazing experiences and better business for our shopper and our retail partners.

Thanks Vik!

Clothes Horse


Turn Food Scraps Into Fertilizer In 24 Hours

Technology Today

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children Today

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail 2017

See All
Travel Today

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Johnna Marcus

Digital Marketing

USA Today

Twitter-Powered Metronome Measures The Tempo Of Austin

The installation is designed to swing faster as more tweet come in

Travel Today

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture Today

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise


Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business

PSFK Op-Ed Today

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

PSFK Labs Yesterday

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Fitness & Sport Today

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

Syndicated Today

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Fashion Today

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work Today

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing Today

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Advertising Today

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive Today

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.