In anticipation of NRF 2016, revisit Stitch Fix COO Julie Bornstein's talk on the role of machine learning in personalized shopping
Spot the biggest trends in store development, e-commerce and payment technologies at NRF Retail’s Big Show 2016 using the PSFK 2016 Future of Retail Report, a directional playbook for brands and retailers to build value, drive sales and boost loyalty. Download the full report here, view our trend summary on Slideshare and check back during the conference for daily content related to Retail’s Big Show.
Most shoppers have only dreamed of having a personal shopper; however, with the advent of artificial intelligence, consumers can harness technology to simplify the shopping process similarly. At PSFK’s Future of Retail 2016 SF event, Julie Bornstein—a retail industry expert and COO of artificial intelligence-enabled service Stitch Fix—shared her perspective on technology’s ability to personalize shopping support.
Featured in the new Future of Retail 2016 report from PSFK Labs, Stitch Fix unveiled unconventional retail space that invites customers to learn and create.
Bornstein, who grew up shopping on the weekends at malls in her hometown of Syracuse, NY, followed her passion for retail to positions at Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters and Sephora. She recently left big-box retail to disrupt the industry at Stitch Fix, a subscription service that uses artificial intelligence and human judgement to recommend apparel to shoppers. Each month, subscribers receive a curated box of apparel and accessories that have been personally chosen from them by a combination of machine and human stylists.
“Traditional retailers work off the premise that consumers like to shop, they have the time for it and that they like to do it,” Bornstein explained, contrasting big-box assumptions to Stitch Fix’s personalized viewpoint. Stitch Fix’s audience consists of women across the United States, many of whom don’t have time or access to niche brands to help them curate a personal style.
“There are people who are better at shopping and can save shoppers time,” she emphasized. Stitch Fix works to democratize access to personal shopping by using a combination of algorithms and human judgement to scale its personal recommendation service.
Across a variety of industries, recommendation has been identified as a key to success—35 percent of Amazon sales, 50 percent of LinkedIn connections and 75 percent of Netflix views are driven by recommendations, Bornstein said. For this reason, Stitch Fix has invested in a team of 50 data strategists who refine algorithms that match individuals to products, connect shoppers to stylists and optimize the lifetime value of consumers.
Stitch Fix’s strategies have so far been successful—over 80 percent of clients come back within 90 days for a second order, and a third of their clients spend 50 percent of their clothing walletshare with Stitch Fix.
“There’s a lot of radical change happening and there’s the question: how much can you change consumer behavior?” Borstein concludes: “There is a real willingness to drastically change the way you behave if it’s simple, it’s clear and it works.”
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Built on a robust study of trends and patterns in the market, the 6th edition of the Future of Retail 2016 report offers a directional playbook for brands and retailers to build value, drive sales and boost loyalty. PSFK Labs defines 10 pillars to build a modern and engaging shopper experience strategy to go beyond changing expectations and to create an enhanced shopper experience. Download the full report here, view our trend summary on Slideshare and check back daily for exclusive content about the latest trends moving retail forward.