Perhaps the biggest predicament when shopping online for apparel is buying the right size that fits. Regardless of the size advertised, there is still no guarantee that the item will actually fit once it is tried on.
In seeing this common problem too often, fashion designer Kiana Anvaripour started her own company dedicated to solving this fitting issue. In April 2016, Anvaripour launched Fovo, an e-Commerce platform designed to curate fashion items for women shoppers based on their body shape rather than traditional sizing.
“There’s an ocean of people who aren’t being served, and we wanted to serve them,” said Anvaripour, who serves as CEO and Creative Director at Fovo. “That happens with shape, which is missing from the top of the purchase funnel. Shape really dictates color, trim and fabric, and it’s the factor that commands the most attention.”
Anvaripour comes from an extensive background in fashion design, founding luxury shapewear lingerie brand dMondaine in 2010 and working with numerous other brands within the fashion industry, such as Lorena Sarbu and Letters of Marque. Through these experiences, she spent many hours in women’s fitting rooms, giving her further insight into shoppers’ preferences and concerns, in addition to how well products fit.
“When you get into the fitting room with the shopper, it’s about making them feel comfortable,” Anvaripour said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “It’s already tough to make a purchase when you’re in a hurry and you have to go to your son’s wedding, so we’re trying to make a non-invasive, easy experience. From that experience, I realized that people would spend more, they would keep coming back to the sales associate and they would send me emails thanking me for the assistance. Once we had that information, we wanted to capture that same in-store experience online.”
Anvaripour had some help in getting Fovo off the ground from Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn, who has invested seed funding in the platform and serves as an advisor to the company.
“When Nick and I met, he showed that he shared my passion for this space,” Anvaripour said. “He realized that when Zappos started introducing clothing, he was always looking for a way to optimize the shopper experience. He believed in my vision that shape was the way and really wanted to get involved.”
Accessing Fovo To Curate Fitted Apparel
Upon entering the Fovo web site, users looking to curate their own fitted apparel take a five-question quiz designed to determine their body shape. Questions include:
What is your favorite part of the body to show off?
On any given Monday, what do you wear?
Which style icon does your body resemble the most?
On any given Saturday, what do you wear? and
How do you prefer your clothes to fit?
The last question includes sizing for jeans, dresses and tops, as well as hem length. After the quiz is filled out, the platform will showcase clothing that is personalized based on the shopper’s answers.
The aim of the quiz is to treat the shopper like Fovo is their best friend, giving them fashion advice. For example, every suggested item has a “Why This” description attached, giving the shopper a reason why the product would be a great fit for their needs. Fovo’s algorithm sorts merchandise from sizes 00 to 32 and only displays apparel available in the shopper’s size.
With a created profile, shoppers can continue to add items to their cart, and the platform will adjust accordingly to continue making recommendations based on prior purchases. Upon selecting items, shoppers can check out directly through Fovo.com.
“We want to be the resource for women, and also provide a way for them to communicate to each other about what’s going to look best on them, and not just to us,” Anvaripour stated. “Personalization is really the way forward for e-Commerce. More women are very busy, especially when they’re assuming so many roles: they are mothers and they have careers. They don’t have time to sift through the endless scroll, they want it provided to them in a very snackable, easy way.”
Serving as a shopping resource has enabled the platform to go beyond personalized technology and build a community for women consumers, with a goal of providing them with all the confidence they need throughout their shopping journey.
“It’s not just about closing the sale,” Anvaripour said. “It’s about women taking away a piece of information and feeling good about themselves — that they can take that tip or trick and apply it to the wardrobe they already have. That moment when a woman feels like they’ve been served, where they look in the mirror and they like what they see — and you helped to make that happen — is the most satisfying part.”