Episode 122
August 23, 2019

Shopping as Yourself Online

What does the perfect fit really look like? Sabrina Abney, Ecommerce Director at Mizzen + Main, and David Pastewka , Co-Founder at Drapr, join the show to talk optimizing virtual try-on solutions, "comfortable AF" clothing, technology in digital-first marketplaces, and crafting the best-possible customer journey.

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What does the perfect fit really look like? Sabrina Abney, Ecommerce Director at Mizzen + Main, and David Pastewka , Co-Founder at Drapr, join the show to talk optimizing virtual try-on solutions, "comfortable AF" clothing, technology in digital-first marketplaces, and crafting the best-possible customer journey.

Listen now!

Main Takeaways:

  • David Pastewka, co-founder of Drapr, and Sabrina Abney, Director of eCommerce at Mizzen+Main, join Brian and Phillip on today's episode.
  • Mizzen+Main is using innovative technologies like Drapr to take the online customer experience to new levels of personalization and ease.
  • Customers are becoming increasingly accustomed to a one-to-one retail experience, and body data is allowing brands to create just that.
  • Body data is allowing brands to get deeper insights into their customer bases to not only understand physical attributes of their core customers, but also to predict what sizes need to have larger inventory to meet consumer demand.

A Virtual Try-On Company Meets Quality and Comfort: The Drapr/Mizzen+Main Story:

  • Phillip met David a few months ago at the Drapr booth during RetailX and was taken back by how
  • Drapr allows customers to virtually see how clothing from various retailers will fit over their actual bodies in a way that is as close to photo-realism as possible while browsing on a store's website.
  • Sabrina takes us through a brief history of Mizzen+Main and how the founder came up with the idea after observing a bunch of sweaty interns.
  • Phillip remembers the first time he encountered Mizzen+Main through one of their memorable domain: comfortable.af.

Solving Fit Issues of Digitally Native Brands: Drapr Saves the Day:

  • Sabrina comments that all digitally native brands are challenged by the fact that customers can't try on products before they commit to a purchase.
  • The ability to see what a piece of clothing looks like on your body is a huge boon when it comes to making the decision to purchase.
  • Brian recalls the marketing campaign that featured JJ Watt as a great example of way to identify customers that connect with your brand.
  • Drapr is trying to replicate the experience of trying something on your body, and then standing in front of a mirror.

The Science Behind Try-On Technology: Replicating Fabric Online:

  • Brian asks David about how they handle the ways in which different types of fabrics behave and interact when worn.
  • While the "feel" of fabric cannot yet be captured online, the fit and draping qualities of Mizzen+Main shirts were captured with 3D scanning and cloth simulation.
  • The main goal of the process was the capture the realism of the shirts to make renderings as true to life as possible.
  • Sabrina explains that innovation is the fabric of Mizzen+Main's products and brand identity, and the technology behind Drapr is the perfect intersection of values.

Benchmarks of Success: Quantifying Innovation:

  • How do brands determine what is a successful innovation when the metrics of success are constantly evolving along with technology?
  • Sabrina reveals that there are KPIs that are being tracked (which are constantly being tweaked) along with invaluable customer surveys.
  • Brian geeks out the potential massive reduction in product returns that come along with the ability to see how clothing fits before purchasing.
  • "Success doesn't look like just a conversion, but looks like a positive customer experience which requires the ability to quantify whether or not it's a good experience."

Conversations Drive Direction: The Power of Customer Feedback:

  • Phillip asks David if the conversations that are being had with their customers are informing the future direction of Drapr.
  • Every single case and customer is so different, so the conversations give invaluable insight into how customers behave and what benefits them most along the customer journey.
  • The data from just the first set of customers using their tool has given Drapr enough information and direction to shape the next few months of development.
  • Phillip harkens back to the episode with Jeremy King and how everyone at eBay was required to speak directly to customers as part of the company culture.

Doing More to Earn Customer Loyalty: The Cost of Being a Premium Brand:

  • What can premium brands do to encourage customers to spend more on products that are at more of a premium price?
  • Sabrina speaks about how listening to their customers and making their voices heard attributes greatly to brand loyalty in addition to their innovation.
  • Mizzen+Main is in all Nordstrom stores across the country, has over 700 retail partners, and has started opening their own branded stores.
  • Just getting a customer to feel the fabric and try the shirts on is a huge factor in customer attribution, and it doesn't necessarily matter where the customers interact with the fabric.

Shaping the Future: Content Creation from Body Data:

  • Brian asks both Sabrina and David if digital try-on has lead or if it will lead to content creation sometime in the future.  
  • David says that content creation will play a huge part in Drapr's future, where you won't be putting clothing on a body that looks like you, but you will be simulating clothing on your actual body.
  • This extremely personalized image of a customer in a digitally rendered version of clothing is immediately shareable and be considered content creation.
  • Brand loyalty doesn't necessarily translate to loyalty of the technology that powers it so how do you bridge the gap from brand loyalty to loyalty in technology?

Intimate Personal Knowledge: The Management of Body Data:

  • Sabrina discusses the conversations that Mizzen+Main had with Drapr regarding the usage of customer data and how that data would be managed.
  • Who will own the data in this partnership between Mizzen+Main and Draper, the brand or the technology provider?
  • Can body data of a customer base help in the future development of a brand?
  • Brian brings up how a 3D body scanning app is in on Drapr's roadmap amd David confirms that there will be pilot programs being released within the next few months.

Making It Easy: How to Use Body Data for a Tailored Customer Experience:

  • Creating audience segments and campaigns for these segments based on body data is a natural trajectory for Mizzen+Main's marketing plan.
  • Sabrina mentions how size data can be used for birthday specific marketing, as a pain point in birthday marketing is that advertised pieces would not always be available in the customer's size.
  • Customers want a more one-to-one experience with product recommendations in not just style and color, but with fit and size that make it easier for them to shop.
  • Brian asks Sabrina is Mizzen+Main's customers will come to expect a personalized experienced based on their body data in the future.

Beyond the Customer Journey: Further Uses for Customer Body Data:

  • With the knowledge of customers' sizes, Brian asks Sabrina if body data affects the supply chain in regards to planning production trends.
  • As their core customer starts to get older, the body types and sizes that sell the most products change along with the customer ages.
  • Sabrina enlightens us that they are using their own version of predictive modeling to plan how much to make of certain sizes.
  • When customers find another brand that has clothing in their size, Sabrina predicts that it might already be too late and you have probably already lost that customer.

Five Years From Now: What Does the Future Look Like:

  • David predicts that everyone will be shopping as themselves online due to the undeniable advantages of shopping online.
  • Technology is progressing to the point where you will soon visit a brand's website and see pictures of yourself there in that brand's clothing.
  • Sabrina thinks virtual try-on will replace size guides in regards to customer expectations on clothing sites.
  • The entire customer journey from email, to advertising, and even to browsing websites will be tailored to an individual level.

Brands Mentioned in this Episode:

As always: We want to hear what our listeners think! With body data becoming more robust, where do you think the future of retail personalization will be within the next few years? Is there a point where customer data goes too far when it comes to intimate physical knowledge of customers' bodies?

Let us know in the content section on Futurecommerce.fm, or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Linkedin.

Have any questions or comments about the show? You can reach out to us at info@futurecommerce.fm or any of our social channels; we love hearing from our listeners!

Retail Tech is moving fast, but Future Commerce is moving faster.

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Brian: [00:00:00] Welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about cutting edge and next generation commerce. I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:00:04] And I'm Phillip. And today we have an amazing set of guests. I can't wait to introduce them to you. Before we do, I just want to remind you, we are always looking for your feedback. We want your voice on the show. And we'd love to hear what you think about today's show. You can do that over a FutureCommerce.fm, and make sure you leave us some feedback. Give us a five star on iTunes, Apple podcasts, Google Play everywhere podcasts are found... All right. Without any further ado, I'm so excited for today's show because I think it's right in our wheelhouse here at Future Commerce. Today we have David Pastewka, the co-founder at Drapr. Say hello, David.

David: [00:00:43] Hey, thanks very much for having me.

Phillip: [00:00:45] And Sabrina Abney, Director of Ecommerce at Mizzen+Main. Say hello, Sabrina.

Sabrina: [00:00:50] Hey there. Thanks for having me.

Phillip: [00:00:51] Of course. And David, we met just a few months ago, I believe.

David: [00:00:57] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:00:58] At RetailX, your booth took me by surprise. It was very, very interesting. Could you tell us a little bit about what Drapr is?

David: [00:01:05] Yeah. So Drapr is a virtual try on company. So basically it allows a customer to try on clothing when they're browsing on a web site. Practically speaking, for the customer, if you show up and find this tool, you punch in some measurements that you know about yourself, like height, weight and the body type. And then you'll actually be able to see the clothing that's on that product page fit on top of your body. We're doing as well as we can to make that as photorealistic, so that you can then kind of flip through the sizes. It's all 3-D. You can spin around it. And really, can I just bridge that confidence gap to know what you'd get when you actually order the thing?

Brian: [00:01:41] It's here. It's really here. Finally here. This is we've been talking about the virtual try on forever. And so it's so exciting to see a brand like Drapr, like really bring this to market. So excited.

Phillip: [00:01:56] And with a prestigious brand, one I think that is becoming more and more of a household name, like Mizzen+Main. Sabrina, could you catch us up to speed for those who may not know what Mizzen+Main is, what is the brand story?

Sabrina: [00:02:08] Yeah. So Mizzen+Main was founded in 2012. And basically what we do is use performance fabrics to make the most comfortable and easy to care for menswear. So if you think about all the benefits that you get with athletic wear, but disguised as a dress shirt, it's kind of what we do. Our founder was working in D.C. and saw a bunch of just really sweaty interns running all over the place into meetings. And he thought there has to be a better way. He didn't have a retail background originally, but started researching fabric innovations and found some really great fabrics and started making some dress shirts. And here we are today, wow, seven years later.

Phillip: [00:02:54] Wow. And that's pretty awesome. When I first heard about Mizzen+Main, of course my head in the sand about these things usually, but I remember at Shop Talk a couple years ago, I think Mizzen+Main was attending the show in some way with another technology partner. But I remember seeing racks of those shirts. You know, the Mizzen+Main dress shirts. And above it was a banner that said that your domain name was "comfortable.af" Which I thought was just like absolutely perfect to sell in one very easy to remember domain. Like "These shirts are comfortable AF."

Sabrina: [00:03:40] They are actually.

Phillip: [00:03:42] There is a story behind that, right? Like there's a story behind the domain.

Sabrina: [00:03:45] There is. Well kind of the origin of it is Mizzen+Main is not easy to remember. Our founder's joked that had he known that it'd be hard for people to remember, maybe he would have picked something else. They're the two masts of a ship, for anyone who's wondering where that came from.

Brian: [00:04:02] Ah ha.

Sabrina: [00:04:03] Yeah, he went with something that kind of felt like traditional, but I don't know, airy...sailing...but in an uncomfortable.af because it is much catchier and easier to remember. And our marketing director was tasked with the responsibility of figuring out how to get this. It's actually an Afghanistan domain. She couldn't figure out where or how to acquire that. So she ended up on what she felt was a very sketchy web site to buy this "af" domain. And she was like, "I don't know, it seems super sketch, but it's the only place where I can find it, and they'll let me buy it." It's turns out to be a totally legit site. And so hence we have a comfortable.af as I'm kind of like one of our vanity domains that we use.

Phillip: [00:04:53] Yeah. I think when you're thinking about sort of the brand voice, it's sort of just positions Mizzen+Main in like a certain part of my brain. And I'm sure that you have interesting challenges selling, you know, direct to consumer online. I'm sure some people are probably wondering how Drapr fits into that story. Sabrina, could you give us a little bit of an understanding of like the kinds of challenges that your customer faces and how something like Drapr might solve that for you?

Sabrina: [00:05:27] Sure. [00:05:28] So really, I believe that all digitally native brands similarly have this challenge where the customers can't try on different sizes, understand the fits before they commit to a purchase. So ultimately, that's what we're trying to do here. We carry a couple different sets in our shirts, and it's hard for a customer who's not familiar with our brand to try to understand like, well, what's the difference between a Trim cut and Standard cut? How does that fit me differently? And we do our best. We try to provide different things to kind of explain it, but you really understand it when you put it on. Like you said, you saw at Shop Talk. And really what we're trying to do is get people into our shirts, so they understand what the difference is, kind of a little bit by little bit. And that's kind of where Drapr comes into play, is trying to help people understand visually what that looks like on you before you decide to make a purchase or you buy a multiple sizes and figure like maybe one of these will work. [00:06:29]

Brian: [00:06:31] Yeah I bet JJ Watt is the Standard fit. That'd be my guess.

Sabrina: [00:06:34] He actually... He is a 2X Trim.

Brian: [00:06:41] A 2X Trim. Well there you go. Interesting. That makes sense, yeah.

Sabrina: [00:06:44] You'd be surprised how many people actually write into our customer service to specifically ask us that, too?

Brian: [00:06:51] That's how I think I found out about Mizzen+Main, first was that JJ Watt campaign you did, which was awesome. And I was like, oh man, back like 2017 maybe earlier? Really great. I think you probably hit your target customer with that ad quite well. Well, actually, actually, speaking of which, who would you say use your customer? I've just assuming some things right now. But who would you say your customers are?

Sabrina: [00:07:21] Our customers, they span a pretty broad demographic. We've got guys just entering the workforce. We have guys who are kind of like high level executives, a lot of business travelers, obviously pro athletes like JJ. We also Phil Mickelson, who wears our shirts. They tend to index a little bit higher in income, or they're kind of up and coming, and they're looking to optimize their whole life, whether it be work or, you know, sports activities they participate in. And it's kind of like where we fit in is where we're trying to optimize their wardrobe that you can look nice and professional, but still feel really good and comfortable. And so that kind of spans, you know, a lot of guys, not just athletes. We're in Texas here at Mizzen, and it's like 105 today. Everybody needs a more comfortable breathable shirt.

Brian: [00:08:17] Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with that. It's really difficult to be in a workplace environment as a man that wants to wear stuff that looks nice, and you're just like...yeah. I was actually I was a speaker at Shop Talk the year that you had that booth. And so I got a shirt and it really was comfortable AF, as advertised. Super cool. Super cool technology. It is really unique material. I love that.

Phillip: [00:08:51] I think it's interesting that... So comfort is one thing that I think is probably a little hard to bridge the gap through, you know, through a phone or a laptop screen. That sounds like one challenge to overcome. But try on like how it fits and how different fits might fit on your body is another challenge. And it sounds like a technology like Drapr might close that gap. David, could you tell us a little bit about the types of solutions that you might employee to help a brand like Mizzen+Main to help with your technology?

David: [00:09:26] Yeah, it's... So really kind of who we are targeting on our side is the customer that is maybe not perfectly comfortable shopping online, or it's kind of the newer customer to Mizzen+Main, or to I guess a lesser respect even customers that have purchased Mizzen+Main before, but have sort of forgotten their size. [00:09:45] I think the way that we put it is like what we're trying to create is we're trying to replicate the experience you have if you actually try something on your body and then stand in front of a mirror, because we believe that's really where the purchasing decision happens. Like even if you bought the thing, that's when you decide whether or not you want to keep it, this kind of standing in front of your mirror. [00:10:01] And so our focus is very much on producing those realistic and accurate 3D visuals that you can then put in front of the customer on the web site to hopefully get them to that buying decision before having to necessarily order it and then deal with returns. And I've been speaking with a bunch of the customers kind of in this pilot phase that have used it, and been soliciting their feedback. And that's a lot of what you hear. It's people that have been like have heard phenomenal things about Mizzen+Main... Their word of mouth referrals are insane. People love their shirts. But for whatever reason, you know, maybe it's just not someone that has bought a lot online. That's kind of me, I don't shop online at all. And so part of this is to kind of solve the problems for myself. And it just gives them that extra little bit of confidence. They see, as Sabrina was saying, the difference between the Trim and the Standard, or they pick out that one part on their body that they usually have problems with. And if they were to try it on real life, they would look there immediately to see how it fell on their hips, or something of that sort. And just trying to really give them that more realistic experience when they're on the web site.

Brian: [00:11:09] Well, especially with materials like Mizzen+Main uses. It's not necessarily your standard, you know, shirt material. It's way more interesting, and it's going to fall a little bit differently potentially. How do you sort of handle the actual... I mean, I love your name that you picked... Drapr. Because I just think of like, you know, something... Well actually, I think of George Costanza being draped in the whatever it was. But the idea that you're going to see how the cloth falls on your body. So how do you account for that and what does that experience feel like?

David: [00:11:51] Yes. For this one... First off, we can't do the feel of it, unfortunately, because I know that is a lot of what kind of sells the shirt.

Phillip: [00:12:00] Yet. Right?

David: [00:12:01] Maybe in the future when you can send out some sort of like tactile device to feel the thing in advance. But what we did is to produce these, we actually got a bunch of the Mizzen+Main shirts shipped to us and then we 3D scanned them. And then it was a lot of just kind of going back and forth with actually putting the things on our bodies and then looking at what we had produced for the actual visualization and making sure that those two things coincided. So it was making sure that you have that realism and then it was, of course, getting feedback from Mizzen+Main to make sure that the look and feel is also on point, and some of those smaller stylistic things... Making sure the right features were accented. But it's very much like actually putting the thing on, tweaking the parameters and the cloth simulation. But that's not something we have to go into until a lot of detail on today. But yeah, just really trying to match realism with what we are producing, or what we're producing to realism.

Phillip: [00:13:01] And it's been a pilot so far, as I understand. It sounds like this is an area of innovation that a company like Mizzen+Main might be able to leverage as sort of a differentiator. I'm sure there's a lot of people trying to sell shirts online. So, Sabrina, I guess I would ask you, how important is that innovation to a company like Mizzen+Main to stay competitive?

Sabrina: [00:13:25]  [00:13:25]The foundation of our shirts and our fabric is innovation and really wanting to kind of carry over technology onto the site that kind of mimics what we're doing in our fabric is part of our brand ID. [00:13:38] And then from a perspective of trying to make shopping as easy as possible for customers online, that's where that technology and innovation becomes really important. It's already hard enough to figure out, "What size am I supposed to wear? What fit am I supposed to wear?" What we want when customers come to our site is just for the whole experience, that customer journey, to just feel easy. Just like it'll feel easy when they put that shirt on, and it's real comfortable. So it's highly important to us, and just as more and more people go to start shopping online, it just becomes increasingly more important.

Brian: [00:14:15] I would imagine that as you introduce a lot of innovation... And this is super innovative. I love this so much. You've got different ways to sort of figure out how you're being successful with innovation. So maybe, for this, I'd love to hear sort of like in general advice for our listeners on how you determine what makes a successful innovation. And also, more specifically, are there any data points you can share that show the success of using a virtual trial tool? How did you determine what success would look like?

Sabrina: [00:14:50] So we had definitely KPIs that we are still tracking. We're nearing statistical significance, I think, David, but not quite there yet. So things like conversion rate, bounce and exit rates, how many people are engaging and interacting with the tool, are all KPIs that we're looking at. But even as David mentioned, [00:15:12] we are doing customer surveys and speaking to customers and asking like, "Does this help you?" And over 50% of our customers that we've talked with have said, "This has helped me decide what size I should wear.". [00:15:26]

Brian: [00:15:27] Wow.

Sabrina: [00:15:27] Or "This is helping me, instead of buying multiple sizes, I could pick a size and feel confident about buying just that one size." [00:15:37] And so for us, it's there's kind of this harder to measure component of just building trust with customers, in general, that is really valuable to us. So that gets weighted to equation of, "Is this successful?" And so maybe we see like some of our KPIs aren't exactly where we wanted to be, but like, does this build trust with our customers and does that help them make a better decision shopping on our site? [00:16:05]

Brian: [00:16:06] Oh, my gosh. Yes. Like, think about the return problem. The return problem is such a big e-commerce problem, as well. [00:16:12] I see this as a massive cost reduction in returns. If someone was going to buy two sizes, or even three sizes, and sort of bracket those purchases, the fact that they're only going to buy one shirt now. That's mind blowing. That's game changing. [00:16:30]

Sabrina: [00:16:31] It is definitely game changing from a cost perspective because everything gets shipped back Fedex, and that can add up definitely when customers are buying multiple sizes. And a lot of people have that shopping behavior. Like "I don't know what size I'm going to wear, so I'll buy two." And they don't think about, nor should they be overly concerned about that additional cost to the company. We look at that as if that's what it takes to get you into one of our shirts, then we want you want in our shirts. [00:16:59] But definitely that cost reduction, that we're not seeing the returns come back, is fantastic. But also it's an inconvenience to the customer to have to go through. Even as seamless as you can make a return process, they still probably have to print out a label, they have to stick a label on a box, they have to go somewhere... Maybe it's just a mail room in their office, but somewhere in drop it off... [00:17:23]

Phillip: [00:17:22] Preach.

Sabrina: [00:17:23] And it's just an inconvenience. Right?

Brian: [00:17:26] Yeah. Ugh. I hate returns.

Sabrina: [00:17:26] So eliminating that from the experience, from the customer side, is great too.

Phillip: [00:17:31] I love this idea that success doesn't just look like a conversion, but success looks like a positive customer experience, which requires for you to quant. Right? Because we're all addicted to data. It's really hard to quantify whether it was a satisfactory experience, especially when people are... I mean, it might just come down to NPS, but I mean, why don't you just talk to your customer? {laughter} Just talk to your customer and ask them if this was a valuable tool for them. Are there any learnings about the customer that a company like Drapr can make in having these conversations that helps you inform the future direction of you product?

David: [00:18:16] Oh, yeah. I mean, it's been insanely valuable, so far. And I think, just to kind of build on what you just said is, it's so much easier to just find a single number that you're watching that you're trying to optimize. It's like easier to rally troops around it, but when you actually start to speak with the customer, everyone is a little bit different. [00:18:34] Like, sure, you can say, "Oh, I converted this person when they wouldn't have otherwise," or maybe "I saved a return here." But every single case is so different and what they found value add is also so different and specific. And so for one person it might be as simple as "Hey, you told me what size I should buy. That's fantastic." And for someone else there they use the tool extensively, and they try on all the sizes and they like really, really analyze it. And they're picking out various folds here or there. A decent anecdote was Mizzen+Main just had a big anniversary sale. And kind of to your point of returns being a pain is, during the anniversary sale I know the return policy was a little bit less lenient. And so you had a bunch of people coming there being more confident and saying, "Yeah, I bought seven shirts instead of two because I just had that extra kind of boost in confidence.". [00:19:24]

Phillip: [00:19:24] Wow.

David: [00:19:26] In a perfect world, I would exclusively look at customer feedback and doing customer phone calls. Unfortunately, it doesn't scale especially well. And you still need a customer to say, "Sure, I want to talk to you." But yeah, we've been able to populate a kind of a backlog of feature requests and kind of a product direction for us that's going to keep us busy for the next three to six months just off of these these first few customers using it.

Phillip: [00:19:50] We recently had Jeremy King, who's now head of engineering at Pinterest, who was a former CTO at Walmart.com. He was remembering back to his eBay days of how they used to divvy up customer check ins and everybody, including executives, were required to speak to 10 customers within, I forget if it was like a quarter or a half. But being customer facing and being open to talking to customers was part of the culture there. And he felt like it was something that has made him successful and carried into all of his future roles. It sounds like one of the keys to success, especially in a partnership between a brand like Mizzen+Main and a technology partner like Drapr, is having that at the core, is measuring success, but not just through purchase rate, but through actual human interaction. It's what makes partnerships. [00:21:02] Because partnerships are based on people, and not necessarily on data points. I find that really, really interesting and very germane to what we usually, what we've been talking about here, especially this year on the show. We've been talking a lot about clienteling, and it sounds like the story here is really just how can we serve our customer better? [00:21:21]

Sabrina: [00:21:21] Definitely. We're a premium brand. Our shirts are kind of in the ballpark of about $125. And so we have conversations internally a lot about what are the other things that we are doing. Why would a customer spend more to continue to do business with us? [00:21:36] And we have a great product, but we have to be doing more to earn their loyalty. And it's a lot of things like this where we hear from customers like, "This did help me. And I really appreciate you guys going to the extra effort and providing tools like that to make it a better experience for us." It's those sorts of things that win their loyalty and have them coming back and for many, many reasons. That's a wonderful thing. We want our customers to be advocates for us and share word of mouth. That [00:22:06] also allows us the ability to leverage our CAC better, and other things like that.

Phillip: [00:22:11] Yeah, things that do matter. Those do matter. I'm curious, just because I don't know, is there a clicks to bricks strategy at Mizzen+Main to put a performance fabric shirt into the hands of people that are shopping elsewhere?

Sabrina: [00:22:25] Well, we've talked about ways that we could get just our fabric into the hands of customers. We do have a pretty robust wholesale and retail strategy. So we're an all Nordstrom stores. We have over 700 retail partners, and we've started opening our own Mizzen branded stores across the country. And in this effort, we know that getting that fabric or getting a customer just put on the shirt, like it almost doesn't matter where, we want them to try and put it on. And then once they're sold on the brand, we can work on trying to pull them through entire e-commerce site or to our stores. But getting someone to touch and feel the fabric like you guys did at Shop Talk a few years back is really important to us.

Brian: [00:23:14] I also feel like with a tool like this, there's going to be a strategy, like you can have this play in to other campaigns, as well. And I mean, virtual try on I feel like lends itself to even content creation. Have you explored that? And for you, David, have you explored that as like a feature, as well? Or like, I don't know, maybe I'm headed down a weird route here. But I just feel like if you're trying things on virtually, it just seems like such a shareable asset.

David: [00:23:45] Yeah. From our side that's definitely the hope. I mean, the most we can kind of control with Mizzen+Main today is on the product page. And we'd, of course, love to experiment and, you know, kind of put these in some maybe some personalized e-mail blasts and then try it on other channels and just experiment there and see what we get out the other side. I think this also becomes much more relevant in the future of Drapr. [00:24:08] So like today we're putting clothing on a body that's approximately like you, in the not too distant future it's going to be placed right on your body, and it's going to look just like you. I think as you, especially as that kind of final asset that you're evaluating, as it kind of becomes more compelling, it's gonna be more shareable. And I think you can start to leverage that much heavier. [00:24:27]

Brian: [00:24:27] Yeah, that makes sense. That's awesome.

Phillip: [00:24:29] All right. Somebody has to ask the question. So I guess I'll be the guy. Are there any data privacy concerns around sharing your personal measurements or your body data with a company like Mizzen+Main? They may trust Mizzen+Main, but do they necessarily trust Drapr? How do you go about doing that in a way that builds trust with the customer? And how do you take those things seriously? I guess is what I would ask...

David: [00:24:56] Yeah. I mean, I don't think it's kind of like a "Hey now, I guess we have to ask." It's a very important question to lead with even. I guess there's two answers to this. First off, there's kind of today and then there's tomorrow. Today there really isn't much of a concern. It's a height, weight, body types, and completely anonymized. It's the kind of thing where like the aggregate statistics that Mizzen can see afterwards can be helpful to them. But there's no personally identifiable information in that. [00:25:23] Now, as we do progress towards a more personalized experience, our stance is that this data belongs to the customer 100%. And to what you were sort of referring to there, it will be sort of like a provisioning model where if you have entered in enough information such that you've created account, you have some personal identifiable information in there, whether that be a name maybe associated with the body that you've created, or just the body itself. That's the kind of thing where you basically grant access to Mizzen+Main such that their clothing can be set to your data, but it's always yours. It's always available to delete, to fully cleanse. [00:25:59] We've got some extreme privacy, like some people on the team that are incredibly, incredibly kind of into their own personal privacy. And so we take leads from them in terms of how to do all of these things properly and make sure that we never, never fall into you like a bit of a trap that may eventually kind of spiral out into something that would compromise someone's privacy.

Phillip: [00:26:21] Yeah, customer advocacy. That's an important part of especially a technology and body data startup. Sabrina, I'm curious what your take is on behalf of the brand. Is that something that you were concerned with when you piloted the Drapr technology?

Sabrina: [00:26:42] Yeah. We had several conversations kind of upfront before any work was done. Like what would our customers data be used for? Where would it be stored and kept? Will it be anonymous? And we had lots of conversations up front before we decided to move forward and felt good about that. I do agree with David that kind of like in the future for a customer to be able to create an account and attach their 3D rendered body to their account, where they own the data, and they can change it, or delete it, or do whatever they want will be great. Because it will also, from the customer's perspective, allow us to give them a better experience on the site, and if they're open to sharing it then that's exactly what we'll use it for and give them the ability to always remove it from their account if they want.

Brian: [00:27:39] You mentioned that this data is going to... I guess my question is, as this experience moves forward, who's going to own this data from like a 1P versus 3P perspective? Will it be Mizzen+Main data or will it be Drapr data? Who's the account with? Who's going to actually store the information?

David: [00:28:00] So we are storing the information, and back to it, it is the customer's to again provision the use of as they see fit. Now, we are kind of in this stage, like I mentioned, some of this aggregate information might be interesting to Mizzen+Main to see how well their shirts fit an average shopper to their website. And so in that particular case, when it sort of combined and aggregated, you know, that's something that can be shared where. Yeah, we totally understand the sensitivity of the kind of material that we're dealing with here. And it is important that it belongs to the customer and lives in a place that we know that it is just being accessed appropriately.

Brian: [00:28:43] So actually, in many ways, Drapr, is a very big data component to your business, as well. Like this data could be used to accomplish a lot of things and you're going to give customers the ability to allow for it to be shared in different places, whether it's Mizzen+Main or other retailers. They're going to have control over their data and be able to leverage it to accomplish other things. Is that part of your business in the future?

David: [00:29:15] Yeah. It could be. I think we have to... It's always gonna come down to what the request is and seeing, kind of just finding that right balance between everything, right? Like if it's clearly exploitative of customers data in some way that doesn't make sense, barring the access to that... But if there's some other benefit there, that seems safe, and again, is anonymous and aggregated... Yeah, we're still kind of exploring to see where all of this information can be beneficial to a brand. Can it help with future product development?

Brian: [00:29:49] Right.

David: [00:29:50] ...and answering that kind of question.

Brian: [00:29:52] That's interesting. So the other thing that I keep hearing is 3D body scans are on the road map without getting maybe too specific. When do you see being of the employ more personalized body data in the future here in the next six months, next year, next two years, next five years?

David: [00:30:11] Yeah, we've been developing a... so I guess backing up a little bit further, we've been a body scanning company for six or seven years and Drapr is kind of a new product to that company. And so we've been developing a body scanning app for over a year now, and we should be piloting it with one or two companies by the end of the year. That'll be a pretty alpha stage, and so if you happen to kind of stumble upon one of those, you might end up as testing that out for us. When we'd actually be able to kind of offer that, and we think it's good enough to offer to someone like Mizzen+Main and maybe that gets integrated is probably the six months.

Brian: [00:30:47] Wow, that's super exciting. Oh, my gosh. Looking forward to hearing updates on that front, as well. That's been a big topic of ours, or a theme for the show. So I'm super excited to see that come to fruition.

Phillip: [00:31:01] I'm curious. So back to this sort of one to one, you know, access data front... As a marketer, Sabrina, I'm curious if in trying to build the onsite customer experience, if having access to that sort of information would solve some of the challenges that you have today at Mizzen+Main around creating audience segments and ad campaigns for audiences. What are some of the things that you do today to market directly to customers? And is there some future where knowing this kind of information about a customer would help you make that more specific?

Sabrina: [00:31:42] Absolutely. [00:31:43] I think as it pertains to fits and as we look to expand our product assortment. I think in aggregate, knowing where the trends are going, will help our product team, for starters. And then from a marketing perspective, we have like David mentioned our birthday sale that we had recently. We sent out campaigns that were sized based to those customers because we know that things were going to sell so quickly. And like a customer pain point, during birthday sales specifically, is "Well I got to the site, and I can't find anything in my size because it's already sold out so fast." So we send out campaigns based on size like, "Click on this link. Here's everything available for you in your size." And being able to do more of that in the future on a regular basis would be great. I think our customers want that more one to one experience. [00:32:37] They don't want to have to browse through our site and go look around for things that are appropriate for them. And that's not just in product recommendations for style or color, but also for fit and size. It's all back to just making it easier for them to shop.

Phillip: [00:32:54] We've been talking a lot about that. And Sabrina, I'd love your input here. I don't know that we have a choice in the very near future as to whether or not we can or should segment and market directly to customers, because I believe that there is a customer expectation that's not set by us. Our customers' expectations aren't set by us anymore. They are set by the other great experiences they're having elsewhere. For instance, if you're not offering two day free shipping, you're at a disadvantage. Someone else set that expectation. Amazon set that expectation. Not you. And the customer has that expectation of your ability to be able to deliver on that expectation. And so I'm curious what you think about the idea that a personalized "Always remember me. You know my size, and I should only see things that pertain to me," is an expectation your customers have now, or if they will, in the future.

Sabrina: [00:33:51] I think that our customers don't have that expectation right now, but they will very, very quickly. And part of that is specifically because our core demographic are men, and they don't shop online quite as frequently. Female shoppers... Man, you go to like any website dedicated to women's clothing or athletic wear, and they've pulled out all the stops. They have like lots and lots of tools and it's become, I think, much more expected with female shoppers right now. But I think that we're months away, early next year, where this will be an expectation for all of our customers. Like, "Why are you showing me this if it doesn't pertain to me?" for our male customers, as well. Just like everyone has this expectation for very expedited shipping because of other retailers. [00:34:45] So our thought is always wanting to be kind of ahead of that or as close to, you know, delivering it to our customers as they're expecting it. But the more and more brands are starting to move to a more customized personalization, it will become an expectation. For sure. [00:35:06]

Brian: [00:35:06] That makes sense. You're actually kind of setting the trend in the men's category, at least on this then.

Sabrina: [00:35:15] I hope so.

Brian: [00:35:16] That's exciting. Thinking back to something else, you said... You run out of stock in specific sizes very quickly. But now you know what a lot of your customers sizes are. So is this data also affecting how you stock and how you like, even like down a supply chain?

Sabrina: [00:35:38] Yes, definitely. We have passed through some information that we've gotten just at the aggregate level to our planning team. And we have had other tools on the site in the past where we've captured some sizing data act under our planning team. [00:35:56] So when they plan our size curves, they know what to buy deeper in. And it's been changing where, you know, obviously like a medium or large is always going to be the most popular sizes. But what we're seeing where we need to go in deeper in sizes as we grow our customer base, that like customer is changing. As our core customer gets a little bit older, their bodies are changing some. And we have to change the way we think about the size curves of what we're making to make sure that we have that product ready for those customers. [00:36:31]

Brian: [00:36:31] So are you doing like predictive modeling on that? That's really interesting. What a crazy data point. I love that.

Sabrina: [00:36:39] We're doing kind of our own homegrown predictive modeling, but not any like fancy algorithmic modeling, but looking at trends of how these sizes have gone in the past and where we're seeing them go. So like we are seeing our Standard sizing grow to be more of a penetration, higher penetration of our size curve. So instead of capping ourselves and saying like, "Well, this is this is just gonna be it because that's what we're buying." We're trying to find out how much is enough, so we don't sell out of those sizes. Because if we don't have sizes, especially from kind of like a size inclusivity standpoint, if we don't have those sizes available for customers when they find somewhere that does, we may have lost them. So we have to stay ahead of making sure that we have the sizes in stock for them, outside of birthday sale where we are trying to move all that inventory.

Brian: [00:37:35] Are you... This gets down to sizes.  We have two different fits and several different sizes. But like, small, medium, large, extra large... Are you looking to get even more specific with sizing as this data starts to come to light, especially with future enhancements, with 3D modeling ahead?

Sabrina: [00:38:04] Yeah, make sure I answer your question correctly, but yeah so across the fits and across each individual size, like small, medium, large and extra large, and then even kind of looking at like our large trim and how is that fitting our customer? And as the more kind of size and fit data that we can understand about our customer, we might say like, "Hey, we need to tweak the way this shirt fits." Just in general, like maybe it needs to have a tiny bit more room in the shoulders, or the sleeves need to be a tad bit shorter, and trying to perfecting each individual size for our customers.

Brian: [00:38:41] Or actually I think... That is amazing and super cool. But I think what I was asking was, and I asked it in a very convoluted way, but are you going to add sizes? So are you going to have the XLa? Or you know, the Lb, or whatever it is, where there's like different fits? Obviously, that's terrible branding. Are you going to start expanding the number of sizes, even between the S and the Medium?

Sabrina: [00:39:12] Like half sizes?

Brian: [00:39:13] Yes.

Sabrina: [00:39:15] You know, I don't know. I think some of that will have to lean on the data to see what it tells us. Obviously, when you add a lot of those half sizes and things like that, it is a big inventory investment to do that. So we'd have to feel really good about the need for those. So we would probably, you know, like I mentioned just a second ago, like look at refining our existing fits to make sure they fit as best as possible. But if we found that there is a large need for another size, that's something that we would definitely explore.

Phillip: [00:39:46] I'm thinking about the brand Atoms, which is, you know, a new start up footwear brand who proactively ships quarter-size increments to their customers, so you buy one pair of shoes, but you get three just to find the perfect fit because each of your feet are actually sized a little differently. I find that an interesting category, or an interesting business model and a way that might be interesting to grow in a vertical and probably really tough to implement in a broad category business that has separates. You know, it's again, very capital intensive. But really, really fascinating. I appreciate so much that both of you were willing to take so much time with us today. I'd love to hear more about the story as it progresses. David, I'm just going to ask you, you know, we always close the show asking people to predict the future. Where do you think the next five years is heading for Drapr? What does five years from now look like as far as you're concern from a retail landscape perspective?

David: [00:41:00] 1Yeah, [00:41:01] I think it happens a little bit quicker than five years, but everyone will be shopping as themselves online. There are so many advantages to shopping online versus in-store. There are certain things you can't bridge like the feel of a fabric. But for the rest of them, the technology is definitely progressing in the direction where it'll be, you show up at one Mizzen+Main's web site, and it's just pictures of you there trying that on in that, you know, that running pose, or in that sitting pose. And, you know, you are the male model. [00:41:31] And then guess what? If you were to purchase that size and you put it on at home, you could compare kind of yourself in the mirror versus that picture. And those two things would be nearly identical. Yeah, there's a lot happening on the technology side that's making that all possible, such that, yeah, I'd say comfortably in the next three years that's going to be possible.

Phillip: [00:41:49] Sabrina, I would ask you the same question. What do the next three to five years look like from an innovation and technology perspective for Mizzen+Main?

Sabrina: [00:42:00] Well, we have a lot of things on the road map that we're either testing or trying, but in terms of, you know, virtual try on and personalization, it will be just as you go to a website today and 100% expect to see some sort of size chart or size guide, it will become a virtual tie on or something very similar, whether it's actually you or someone who looks like you, that will be the expectation, not the exception, or like someone doing something really cool. And from a personalization standpoint, being able to go all sites and have them know exactly who you are, what you want to see, what you don't want to see, and that's through the site... The whole customer journey really...emails, digital ads, all of that, just really custom to you to reduce the sheer amount of noise that you kind of get hit with as you shop online. That's where I think that will be.

Brian: [00:43:00] So exciting.

Phillip: [00:43:02] Well this has been fascinating. Wow, thank you guys so much. If you want more information about Drapr, where can people find you online, David?

David: [00:43:09] Yeah. You can either go to Drapr.com... It's a little dated now, but there's a form field there that I'll respond to personally. Or you can just email me at David@Drapr.com.

Phillip: [00:43:19] That's DRAPR?

David: [00:43:21] Yes.

Phillip: [00:43:22] And Sabrina, we know it's comfortable.af.

Sabrina: [00:43:25] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:43:25] That's good. I love it. Thank you both so much. We appreciate all of your time, and thank you for listening. Just a reminder, we want to hear from you. Add your voice to this conversation. You could do that at FutureCommerce.fm. and make sure that you subscribe and like all of our podcast goods, wherever podcasts are found. You can listen at Apple podcast, Google Play, or anywhere that you might have a smart speaker device. I happen to have one in my living room, and I can listen to myself speak at any time and often do. It's very creepy by saying "Play Future Commerce podcast." I don't know where I'm going with this ending, but it feels right. So I went there. That's it. That's all we got.

Brian: [00:44:08] Awesome.

Phillip: [00:44:09] Thank you so much for joining.

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