Personalisation and Profitability

Kent&LimeWhether it’s the crowds of people, overwhelming choice, time and thought process that needs to be invested or even the queues in stores – for one reason or another most men don’t like to shop. Consequently retailers in men’s fashion often find themselves serving a disengaged customer, not always reaching their full (spend) potential.

So what can fill this gap?

Well, a personal shopper will take away many of those pain points, allowing you to avoid the shopping centre entirely, providing a collection of items that will suit your budget, style and shape, but isn’t a personal shopper an expensive one-off service for the rich and famous?

Enter Kent and Lime.

Kent and Lime has a smart retail model with the innovative use of data at its core, offering personalised boxes of garments for male consumers of all tastes, budgets, backgrounds and sizes.

“Our mission is to make style simple” said Will Rogers, Co-Founder of Kent and Lime at a recent Retail Doctor Group breakfast discussing the innovative use of data. “We want to remove obstacles, we remove hassle and create experiences like no other”.

So how does it work?

Each customer sets up an account on the Kent and Lime website answering a simple range of questions to provide their personal Kent and Lime stylist with some initial foundations to work from. Once signed up, ‘his’ stylist gets in touch to arrange a 10 minute phone conversation to really get under the skin of what he needs, desires, definite no-go’s, preferred colours, textures and patterns etc. 48-72 hours after this phone call, the stylist has sent the customer a unique box of outfits (often including additional details such as belts, shoes and underwear), with a personalised letter outlining the contents, how they’d work together in outfits… and yet the customer still hasn’t paid more than a courier fee.

The customer then tries on his new tailored wardrobe in the comfort of his own home, keeping only what he likes and returning the rest in the box. He is then charged for what he has kept, and the stylist has gained a new level of understanding of the customer’s preferences which are added to their digital profile, significantly increasing the chances of conversion of their next customised box.

Speaking to our clients and partners from around the world, personalisation and being truly ‘customer centric’ are goals that sit very high on most retail business’s agendas today, but the reality is that while most businesses would like to create a truly unique and personal experience for their customers they have are still struggling to bring that desire to reality. For many, the gap still remains around how to implement and see significant ROI. For Kent and Lime, this gap has been filled with the clever use of data.

An efficient and effortless format combining data-driven technology with a real human to human interaction from their in-house stylists, enables Kent and Lime to know their customer’s needs and wants at a deeper level than many other retailers can even imagine.

“We’ve now got data on over 40,000 customers and why they want to use us” said Rogers.

Kent and Lime is currently testing the use of a bespoke style algorithm that can understand basic qualitative data.

“We get data about what they want to begin with, then data about what they like and didn’t like, then that starts to seed the algorithm. This is so that when we have customers who are similar to other ones, we can start to refine that selection really quickly,” said Rogers.

The result is not only a highly personalised and relevant retail experience for the customer, but a significant impact on back of house efficiency and most importantly, basket size and spend for Kent and Lime; demonstrating the key to profitability from personalisation is the accuracy of the data – understanding the customer with a greater alacrity than ever.

Brian Walker is founder and CEO of Retail Doctor Group and can be contacted on (02) 9460 2882 or brian@retaildoctor.com.auVikki Weston, co-author of this column, is part of Retail Doctor Group’s Retail Insights team and can be contacted via email at vikki@retaildoctor.com.au .

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