Fashion

Dressipi: why confidence is so crucial for the future of online clothes shopping

By Oliver Smith 18 July 2016
Dressipi co-founders Donna North and Sarah McVittie.
Summary

Dressipi is on a mission to fix the No.1 problem for companies like Asos and Net-a-Porter

Online clothes shopping is going from strength to strength, but we’re still missing one crucial ingredient.

Asos, Net-a-Porter and BooHoo.com have become online fashion powerhouses as people embrace digital fashion.

But they are still a long way from overtaking Britain’s biggest high street clothing retailers. So how do these online groups catch up?

Sarah McVittie, co-founder of Dressipi, told The Memo that confidence is one of the biggest hurdles:

“We have learnt that with something like fashion, a customer’s fashion confidence is key to driving enjoyment and increased revenue… someone who has a high level of fashion confidence will consistently spend 50-100% more than someone who is less fashion confident.”

A more confident shopper

In the real world shops benefit from having easy returns policies – “just bring it back to the store within 30 days” – as well as an army of assistants who will advise and reassure less confident shoppers.

It’s this advice and reassurance that Dressipi is trying to fix for women shopping online with its smart recommendation engine that’s used by John Lewis, M&S and Topshop.

“For some women it is about dressing to their shape, to others it is about understanding how they should wear a particular trend and to others it is about understanding how to maximise their wardrobe,” says McVittie.

Dressipi attempts to use the answers to a few questions to make recommendations for clothes that they are more likely to love.

Sounds too good to be true?

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding and retailers using Dressipi’s system have seen a 30% jump in net revenue per customer (i.e. people are buying more) and a 5% decline in returns.

The future of clothes shopping?

The next step for Dressipi, says McVittie, is to start sharing the clothing profiles they’ve built for people across different retailers and offline.

“For example, you’d walk into a store, scan a barcode and learn whether that item suits you, how to wear it, and how it would work with your existing wardrobe.”

It’s a pretty groundbreaking idea, bridging the gap between online and offline shopping and, according to McVittie, it might not be too far away.