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Personalization and retail: lessons from Stitch Fix

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Slides from a talk at the Bensadoun Retail Initiative at McGill

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Personalization and retail: lessons from Stitch Fix

  1. 1. Personalization and Retail Brad Klingenberg, Stitch Fix brad@stitchfix.com Fashion Retail Conference Montreal | April 2018 Lessons from Stitch Fix
  2. 2. Themes in retail ● The bar for personalization is rising
  3. 3. Themes in retail ● The bar for personalization is rising ● Competing on anything other than price and logistics requires offering something more
  4. 4. Themes in retail ● The bar for personalization is rising ● Competing on anything other than price and logistics requires offering something more ● Data science makes it possible to know your clients at scale
  5. 5. Knowing your clients Three lessons from Stitch Fix Lesson 1: Feedback loops unlock personalization Lesson 2: Client incentives matter Lesson 3: Data (science) enables personalization at scale
  6. 6. Personalization at Stitch Fix
  7. 7. Stitch Fix
  8. 8. Stitch Fix
  9. 9. Stitch Fix
  10. 10. Stitch Fix
  11. 11. Styling at Stitch Fix Personal styling Inventory
  12. 12. Styling at Stitch Fix: personalized recommendations Inventory Algorithmic recommendations Machine learning
  13. 13. Styling at Stitch Fix: expert human curation Human curation Algorithmic recommendations
  14. 14. Lesson 1: Feedback loops unlock personalization
  15. 15. Two categories of data Things clients tell us about themselves in general
  16. 16. Two categories of data Things clients tell us about their experience
  17. 17. Learning through feedback
  18. 18. Learning through feedback Better recommendations Better inventory
  19. 19. Example: Evolutionary clothing design “Hybrid Design” A - body B - sleeves C - color D - print
  20. 20. Lesson 2: Client incentives matter
  21. 21. You need the data! Personalization depends on knowing your clients
  22. 22. Broken feedback loops Why don’t traditional retailers have this data? ● They don’t know they need it? ● Their clients have no good reason to give it to them Recall, the bar is high. You want to know every client!
  23. 23. Broken feedback loops ? Weak or missing altogether Unclear what the customer thinks about what they bought, much less others items https://openclipart.org/
  24. 24. You need the data! The best way to get data from your clients is for them to want to give it you! Compelling self-interest drives feedback loops ● First order benefit (very compelling): your experience gets better! ● Second order benefit (less compelling): your feedback helps Stitch Fix / other clients
  25. 25. You need the data! Reduces the need for “out of channel” feedback Survey Enter to win! https://openclipart.org/
  26. 26. Data collection as engagement Providing information can be fun!
  27. 27. Lesson 3: Data (science) enables personalization at scale
  28. 28. A long history of personalization In some ways, personalization is old-fashioned http://cliparts101.com/
  29. 29. Scaling personalization But how do you scale this? And, we want more! ● Uniformly high quality ● Virtuous cycles and feedback ● Iterability http://cliparts101.com/
  30. 30. Technology and data science Having the data is not enough - data science is required to bring it to life Algorithms are ● iterable ● testable ● replicable http://openclassroom.stanford.edu/
  31. 31. Technology and data science Having the data is not enough - data science is required to bring it to life Algorithms are ● iterable ● testable ● replicable A / B
  32. 32. Having the data is not enough - data science is required to bring it to life Algorithms are ● iterable ● testable ● replicable Technology and data science Algorithmic recommendations
  33. 33. Bonus Lesson
  34. 34. Data isn’t our product, but it’s our business
  35. 35. Let the data scientists out of the lab! Using data to run a business What are we optimizing? How should a business make tradeoffs? Making decisions in the presence of uncertainty How do I tell if this is working? https://www.evanmiller.org/bayesian-ab-testing.html
  36. 36. Thanks! Questions? brad@stitchfix.com http://algorithms-tour.stitchfix.com/

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