Carhartt is the first apparel brand to start using True Fit’s “Shop for Others” feature, a capability in True Fit’s data-driven personalization platform that allows shoppers to create and leverage multiple True Fit profiles to help them shop for family members and friends.
Anna Cole, director of e-commerce operations, user experience and merchandising at Carhartt, said in a statement that the brand rolled out Shop for Others in time for shoppers to use it for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day purchases. “Our end customer is not always our shopper, and this new feature from True Fit will really benefit those consumers shopping online for gifts,” she said.
When shoppers create additional True Fit profiles for other people, they will be asked provide details about the person they are shopping for such as age, gender, height, weight, the size and brand of a well-fitting or favorite piece of clothing the person already own and ultimately, the categories of products they want to receive shopping recommendations for such as suits, dresses, tops, bottoms, shoes. The result of all that input is that the shopper receives a True Fit recommendation similar to what they would receive if shopping for themselves.
Data-driven personalization platforms like True Fit are starting to look more and more like a path for apparel retailers and brands to rise above the competition. When last we heard from True Fit, it had just partnered with Tulip Retail to get its capabilities into the likes Kate Spade, a retailer/brand that has been one of the poster children for apparel sector struggles (Kate Spade finally drew an acquisition bid from Coach last month.)
Carhartt likely has been feeling some similar market pressure as its retail partners have struggled. For example, Carhartt items were going for liquidation prices at Gander Mountain stores earlier this year as that retailer plotted the closing ore more than 30 locations.
True Fit's recommendation capabilities can help retailers and brands forge stronger bonds with shoppers amid sector shifts, and the Shop for Others feature multiplies the possibilities. It gives True Fit users more reason to use the platform more frequently, which means it gives them more reason to buy from True Fit-enabled retailers more often. Better fit capabilities also promise to reduce costly returns and improve customer satisfaction overall.
At the same time, the new feature could help nudge a cultural shift in buying apparel to give as gifts. True Fit noted that the apparel and footwear market is worth about $2 trillion, but that these items are notoriously difficult to give as gifts due to style preferences and fit and sizing challenges. Yet, a large portion of apparel and footwear are purchased on behalf of others, the company said. Reports suggest 75% of women self-identify as the primary shopper for their household, while 64% of consumers bought clothing for children last year. Shop for Others could be one of the tools that helps them avoid a trip to the return desk,