Stitch Fix: how data and technology make online retail more personal

How do companies deliver e-commerce uniquely to their customers? For Stitch Fix, it’s about bringing a customized approach to fashion, made possible through data and technology.

Here’s the model:

Stitch Fix sends five items–clothing and accessories–they’ve chosen specifically for you. You keep what you want; send the others back. You pay $20 for the personal style service, and that $20 is credited to your purchase.

They don’t compete on price, although their price points average around $50 per item. They don’t compete on shipping. Instead, they use data science and human creativity to make the choices personal and appropriate for each customer.

Personal. Not too expensive.

It’s all about the data:

Each customer fills out an extensive questionnaire, and then, after he or she receives their “Fix,”  is asked to give feedback. Data points include waist, inseam, material, color, weight, pattern. Likes and dislikes. Upcoming trends. They keep collecting and collecting until the computer “learns” the best fit. Then, a human–a stylist–oversees the choices.

Stitch Fix sold $730 million worth of clothing in 2016 and $977 million worth in 2017.

They currently have more than 2 million active clients.

Want to compare Stitch Fix to competitor Trunk Club? Geek out on the differences to learn which is best for you. Or, want to think about our consumer culture, and two interesting reactions to it? Ask yourself: how should I live, as a postconsumer or a minimalist?

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