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Melbourne startup builds technology to change the way we do online shopping

To Me Love Me Fashion Technology is an Australian tech startup that is solving a real problem of online shopping for both retailers and customers.

As customers, we all know the issue, the chance of finding clothes that fit perfectly is pretty low, which then results in many returns. 

And for the longest time, nothing significant has been done to rectify this.

This is where To Me Love Me comes in, using a software as a service (SaaS) platform and adding it on to online retailer’s platforms, it will help customers find their perfect fit.

Co-founder and CEO Penny Whitelaw provided a mental journey for you guys.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=””]“Imagine shopping online and having a tool that says “in this Ted Baker Jacket you’re a size 12, in that The Fable Silk Blouse you’re a size M and in those Levi Jeans you’re a size 28” removing all ambiguity and sizing guesswork. Then let’s go one step further and help you find garments that actually suit your unique body shape, size and lifestyle in the brands you love. Once we know this, we can recommend pieces that are relevant to you.” [/box]

And this is only the start.

The insights will bring invaluable data for the retailers, efficient solution from design to production and manufacturing. The supply chain will benefit in a positive way where they will know the details of their customers and how much and what to produce. 

This reduces inefficiency and overproduction which in turn, promotes sustainability.

The data-driven decision making will reduce wastage in terms of overproduction of items that are not desired by customers anymore while increasing operating profit margins by producing those that customers want and also decreasing the return cost.

Environmentally friendly can be added to the positive impact mix as well, with lesser wastage and eliminate overproduction, the environment can sigh a big sigh of relief.

It’s a win-win-win for retailers, customers and the environment. 

A real issue

Incorrect fit accounts for an average of 40 percent of returns according to Whitelaw, that is costly for retailers if they are receiving heaps of returns especially if they are providing free returns. 

We know that standard sizing is a myth and each brand size their clothing differently and it is inconsistent which makes it hard for consumers to make a smart decision, especially with online shopping.

On top of that, if returning outfit is charged, many would just forget about it, and this creates waste. 

The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world second to oil, which is not a surprise with fast fashion paving the way. Overproduction of stock that might not be selling as well, perishable clothing that doesn’t last long, our consumerism culture of buy-and-throw, all contributes to the already dire environmental issue. 

On top of that, according to ABC, Australians are the world’s second-largest consumers of textiles, buying on average 27 kilograms of new clothing and other textiles each year. 

The report also gave insight into the non-biodegradable aspect of our clothing and also that only 15 percent of donated clothes get sold.

Hence there is clearly something that we can do, so why not implement technology into this issue.

A perfect solution

To Me Love Me seems like the perfect solution because it is disrupting the culture of waste.

By having the technology to provide you with the right fit, this will change the behaviour of buying more and returning more which will have the chance too reduce landfill and return cost.

Accurate fitting will also increase customers’ confidence with the brand or the online shopping platform, which might create a brand loyalty benefiting the retailers.

The data-driven decision will also help retailers produce the designs that are doing well as opposed to the production of dead-stock, which ultimately is helping the environment.

Plus, the fashion industry and their manufacturing model has been stagnant for too long, bringing the best of technology to revive and evolve the industry is vital.

The Saas platform is easy and simple as well, retailers can integrate the simple 9 line API into their platform, and with it being white label it will look and feel like the brand.

For the customers, they will fill in their details which will help the algorithm understand the user’s measurement and desires. Then the user can shop and buy and share it on social media with no worries.

CEO Penny Whitelaw via Facebook.

We caught up with Penny Whitelaw to discover her journey and give you guys an insight into To Me Love Me.

When was To Me Love Me created?

The idea to solve the online fit problem goes way back to September 2013, but it wasn’t until around May 2015 that we began to explore the problem on a deeper level. We spent more than 12 months collaborating with online shoppers, e-tailers, garment manufacturers/technicians, mathematicians, data scientists and developers to understand the entire process better, validate our idea and user-friendly design focused fit solution that would deliver positive results.

Why did you feel that To Me Love Me was a need?

I can’t sing (only joking;). In my former life, I had a gruelling schedule, working crazy hours and living like what felt on an aircraft/in a transit lounge. I had to find ways to do everyday things efficiently, hence becoming a dedicated online shopper. The problem was, despite using the various measurement guides my much-awaited purchases were arriving too large or too small and what should have been a fun, rewarding “To Me Love Me” time-saving experience, was proving time and time again to be disappointing, frustrating with many subsequent returns. Being results oriented with a background in behavioural change design, it was natural for me to look at how my behaviour was affecting retailers bottom-lines & the environment holistically. What I discovered was astonishing which led to an even greater desire to do something about it.

Why is Australia a place for To Me Love Me?

With the growth in online shopping and innovation are heavily driven by what the customer wants and needs, Australian fashion eCommerce is changing quite rapidly, and it’s an exciting time to be part of it.

Being a smaller environment also means it is great for piloting new products, tends to be more forgiving and collaborative both within the start-up ecosystem and retail industry as a whole.

What’s next for 2018?

We will continue to work with Australian brands concentrating on our speciality being womenswear, but are looking to move into the European market with some exciting developments on the cards for mid-year.

Part of that is expanding on our existing product offering with a suite of personalisation tools that will further support e-tailers in their mission to grow wallet share, retain customers and increase profitability.

Via Facebook.

A tech startup using technology to solve an issue that has been around for a while, and in turn creating a culture of sustainability. That’s a 10/10 from us.

Plus they snag the gold for the eCommerce/retail tech pitch night by Startup Vic in 2017.

Keep up with them on their social media to see what they will do next!

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Melbourne startup builds technology to change the way we do online shopping
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