Stitch Fix, established in 2011 in San Francisco, has disrupted the fashion retail industry. With input from the customer and collaboration between artificial intelligence (AI) and human stylists, the online styling subscription service eliminates the need for their customers to go out and shop for clothing or even browse online, because they deliver personalized recommendations right to their door on a regular schedule. The customers can keep all of the products or return what they don’t like or need. That feedback gets input into the company’s data vaults to make the algorithms even better at determining the preferred style for each person and even identify trends.
In 2017, the company had $1 billion in revenue and 2.2 million active customers, but competitors such as Amazon and Trunk Club are lining up to mimic its style of retail. Here are just a few of the most intriguing ways Stitch Fix uses artificial intelligence in combination with human stylists to propel its business.
Personalization of clothing and accessories
Stitch Fix has combined the expertise of personal stylists with the insight and efficiency of artificial intelligence to analyze data on style trends, body measurements, customer feedback and preferences to arm the human stylists with a culled down version of possible recommendations. This helps the company provide its customers with personalized style recommendations that fit their lifestyle and budgets.
Improve satisfaction rate and lower return rate
The better the Stitch Fix stylists—human and machines—are at providing their customers with products they will love, the better their business runs. As they invest in merchandise they know their customers will love, the less they waste on warehouse space, return costs and donating items that weren’t sold. As Eric Colson, chief algorithm officer at Stitch Fix, said, “Our business is getting relevant things into the hands of our customers.”