Bringing personal shopping to ecommerce, women’s apparel retailer myShape.com is reporting an average of 6-8% conversion rates (and as high as 16% in some cases), according to Mercedes de Luca, global customer experience officer and CIO for the two-year-old company. Typically, industry average ecommerce conversion rates are 1-3%.
With patented Personal Shop technology, myShape provides female apparel shoppers with customized assortments that cover three attributes: body measurements, body shapes and personal preferences. “Because the items they purchase from us fit better we tend to see a reduction in returns,” says de Luca.
Once the customer provides information on her measurements, body shape and personal preferences (such as snug fit versus loose fit and sleeveless versus long sleeves), myShape returns a customized assortment of in-stock items that can be purchased immediately. The assortments are updated in real-time.
To date, myShape has more than 400,000 member shoppers. A demographically diverse group of women have signed up for myShape, says de Luca. “We have been amazed by the range and age of women on our site. It’s really a more psychographic group of women – such as those who are too busy to shop or don’t like to shop.”
Shaping Up The Customer Experience
myShape is working to improve the customer experience in a number of ways. The retailer is taking advantage of third-party technologies such as Baynote Recommendations, which is context-driven software that shows shoppers products that other shoppers are browsing and buying. The myShape team took the SaaS Baynote product one step further and personalized it by adding the suggested companion pieces to the customer’s personal shop page.
The company also is looking at technologies “around improving the customer experience during shopping and at checkout,” notes de Luca. “Because the personal shops are built in real-time and are unique, we want them to build quickly and contain as many items as possible.”
To make the use of third-party providers work smoothly, de Luca is planning to enlist the services of INETCO, which provides real-time transaction monitoring, including:
- Consistent visibility into the entire, end-to-end customer purchase process, both on-line and in-store
- Real-time alerting of transaction slowdowns, failures, fraud patterns and reversals that are impacting revenue and customer experience
- Quick isolation of network and application performance issues affecting business critical processes such as the purchase cycle
“You are depending on your service providers to help deliver the best customer experience and that’s where INETCO comes in,” says de Luca. “INETCO gives the drill-down to the technology folks so they can uncover any problems, such as bottlenecks in transactions, which could be the result of a third-party provider.”
Right Offering at the Right Time
Although it is two years young, myShape is proving to be an idea whose time has come. “As the web explodes with more offerings this becomes even more relevant,” notes de Luca. “We are giving women control over what they see and how they see it. In essence, the shopper becomes her own merchandiser.”
The myShape site will continue to evolve with new services and offerings, including a social networking component,” says de Luca. “We also have several other partnerships we’re working on that should be launching in the next 30 to 40 days.”