Date
24 April 2018
Stitch Fix uses style experts and artificial intelligence to select clothing and accessories for its clients. Photo: Facebook
Stitch Fix uses style experts and artificial intelligence to select clothing and accessories for its clients. Photo: Facebook

Applying AI to personal styling service

Decades ago, when the internet was still in its infancy, experts predicted that one-on-one marketing would soon become a reality, and consumers would just sit at home and wait for the products they ordered to be delivered to them.

That’s exactly what Stitch Fix is doing. The personal styling service platform sends individually picked clothing and accessories for a one-time styling fee.

Company stylists base their selection on information that the customer provides.

Customers are required to fill out an online survey about their style preferences.

They can just provide the basic data, such as height and weight, dressing styles, and budget. There are also questions about how many appointments a customer has each week or what kind of accessories they like to wear.

After analyzing the information, a company stylist will pick five to ten items to send to the customer. If the customer does not like the selection, they can return it and will not incur any charges.

Stitch Fix tracks each customer carefully, including delivery history, feedback and complaints, in order to keep improving its understanding of the customer’s style preferences.

What’s so special about Stitch Fix is that in addition to stylists, the company also boast 80-member team of data scientists.

Eric Colson, its chief algorithms officer, had worked as vice president of data science and engineering at Netflix.

Algorithm is deployed in matching stylists with clients as well as in other parts of the company’s operation, including merchandising, inventory stocking, logistics and product design.

A successful company usually has a unique corporate culture. The motto of Stitch Fix is written on the office wall: Trust, Inspire, Act, Develop, Learn.

It is said that staff can take days off anytime without application. And all departments must notify each other what projects they are currently working on every Friday before the employees go home.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 11

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

RT/CG

Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.

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