Online clothing retail is plagued by one thing during its rapid rise: high returns (estimated at £37 billion every year). In the UK the online fashion sector has been the best ecommerce performer experiencing a 258% growth in the last five years; however, with 40% of all sales returned, retailers are desperate to find a solution to this £100m/day problem. Prrrfect Fit have developed Intelligent Size Recognition Software, which has implemented 100,000 plus measurements from 111 brands across their site and has reduced by two- thirds the industry’s returns average to 10%. They are now looking for funding to create a licensable SaaS API to integrate with online retailers and distributors across the UK.
KITE Invest: Prrrfect Fit both works directly with customers, running their personal measurements through the most comprehensive database of apparel measurements on the market, and with partner retailers. How has Prrrfect Fit found their product received by each of these groups?
Josh Fail-Brown: We ‘ve found that both groups respond really well to Prrrfect Fit. From consumers we get a lot of great feedback about how we’re making their lives easier, and when we tell them about the idea of being able to shop for their loved ones using the same software directly on a retailers site they tend to light up (especially now its coming up to Christmas).
From retailers we’ve had an excellent reception; PrrrfectFit.com already works with more than 100 brands, which considering we’re only a little over 1 year old is a great validation. I’ve recently spoken to the likes of Hobbs, FCUK and ASOS about our intention to create a licensable version of our software and they’ve all responded positively…a friend of mine from Selfridges said if we could make this happen and cut their returns by 2/3 it would be “the Holy Grail” for their online platform.
KITE: Aside from sales retention, what wider benefits do reduced returns promise?
J F-B: There are a number of benefits from reduced returns not least to a retailer’s bottom line. We’re looking at:
Increased customer satisfaction.
Improved customer experience.
Reduced cost of sales
Better inventory/stock management. We actually offer our partners the option to share our sales data; one example of the benefit would be to demonstrate regional sales of particular sizes resulting in smarter inventory distribution.
There are also a number of environmental benefits to reduced returns, when you consider the process both parties have to go through: for retailers alone there is collection, transport, cleaning, re-packaging and delivery back to store. We’re making a massive dent in the carbon footprint of the apparel industry.
KITE: As you become more established what will be the key to keeping compatibility across retailers and the rapid pace of change in the industry?
J F-B: Retailers themselves don’t have to be compatible in terms of hardware/software;
every retailer can still apply their own unique distribution and sales strategy. Prrrfect Fit’s business model is to offer a standard API to be as horizontally integrated as possible. As long as a retailer has an online platform then we are compatible.
Retailers might require different customization of the API or different data to be in the background but we will assess every request on a case-by-case basis to determine the cost and benefit of the required software implementation. We can customize our database for customers as they require and as we become more established we’ll be looking at new and improved ways to integrate with new and existing partners.
We’re lucky because software is infinitely malleable and the marginal cost tends to run at a decreasing scale, so we will always be concentrating on staying ahead of the curve. Although the industry moves quickly we believe the right team and the right technology can stay ahead!
KITE: In approaching retailers what will set Prrrfect Fit apart from the competition or their in-house teams?
J F-B: Currently the size of our database which has been curated over 3 years and contains more than 100k+ individual measurements from 111 different retailers means we are starting off with an increased scale of data compared to other products on the market; and our database is still growing. Really it’s our analytical base which sets us apart, and the ease of customization for individual brands and products.
KITE: What investment are you looking for and what benefits do you expect investors to receive in joining the Prrrfect Fit’s journey?
J F-B: We’re looking for £500k investment to build a strong team who will create a SaaS API version of our product. We’re also looking for our investors to provide knowledge and expertise that will help our business grow and become the global leader in fashion technology.
For investors, they will become part of a young startup entering a new and emerging market in the form of fashion technology. They’re also gaining a foothold into a £1.5 trillion industry that has some major hurdles to overcome, and Prrrfect Fit are looking to be one of the first to solve those problems.
If you consider the results of a case study we did a little while ago on Shop Direct Group which shows their returns are valued at £500m per annum, then think Prrrfect Fit could make a sales improvement of £330m…that’s what we want investors to become a part of.