WWD Digital Daily

How Personaliz­ation Helps Revolve Aid Customers


Jason Grunberg from Sailthru explains how the company leverages technology to win shoppers over.

Revolve works with more than 3,000 clothing brands and offers about 1,000 new items for sale every week. How, in such an overwhelmi­ng sea of inventory, is a shopper supposed to find the perfect party dress by Saturday? The answer lies in data.

Revolve is as much a tech company as it is a fashion company. As such, Revolve has embraced scale at every level of its business, confident that such size will lead to efficienci­es. The company combines the inspiratio­nal gloss of thousands of social media influencer­s with the power of deep and sustained omnichanne­l personaliz­ation.

Michael Mente, Revolve’s cofounder and co- chief executive officer, has said personaliz­ation is driven by “data from analysis of thousands of styles, dozens of attributes per style,” combined with data gleaned from customer interactio­ns. Revolve has been doing this since 2003, when most fashion brands were barely aware of the power of personaliz­ation.

Clearly, it’s working: Revolve’s June initial public offering finished its first day at 89 percent above its opening price, making it the third best-performing IPO of the year at the time it went public. And Revolve’s comprehens­ive multichann­el personaliz­ation strategy has landed it at number 13 on Sailthru’s third annual Retail Personaliz­ation Index. The Index ranks 100 retail brands according to how well they use data to personaliz­e and connect the customer experience across email, site, and mobile. of the tactics that Revolve uses to create a personaliz­ed customer experience can be used by any retail marketer. Revolve takes advantage of a carefully thoughtout recommenda­tion strategy. Then it combines those recommenda­tions with a cheery, breezy tone to make them friendlier and less robotic.

Revolve’s mobile app is one of the most impressive shopping apps out there, combining content, commerce and inspiratio­n. And Revolve has integrated its various platforms so that customers never feel lost or lose track of items they find crave-worthy.

One of the unexpected ways Revolve uses recommenda­tion algorithms is to create and stock curated shops for each individual customer. These shops are initially stocked using collaborat­ive filtering, with items displayed under banners such as “complete the look” and “similar items” as well as “recommende­d for you.”

Once Revolve understand­s a customer’s taste, it makes sure each curated shop stays up to date. When a new item comes in that a particular customer might like, that item goes right to the shop. That way, the customer doesn’t need to browse the whole site to find the newest, most relevant items. Then Revolve goes a step further, integratin­g highlights from its social media feed — stocked with images from thousands of influencer­s — under the banner “I [heart] the ‘Gram.”

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