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New e-commerce platform seeks to reshape women’s apparel shopping


Determining if an online clothing purchase will fit properly is a challenge for many women.

Launched in May 2016, e-commerce site Fovo curates apparel selections that are tailored to female shoppers’ specific body shapes.

“The way forward is personalization,” said Fovo cofounder Kiana Anvaripour in a Chain Store Age interview. We want to help women optimize the experience of shopping online for apparel so the ‘endless scroll’ doesn’t exist.”

Anvaripour, a classically-trained clothing designer who founded luxury shapewear line dMondaine in 2010, has some pretty impressive company in her latest venture – Nick Swinmurn, founder of Zappos.

“I have always been passionate about what’s next’ in e-commerce,” Swimmurn told Chain Store Age. “When I started Zappos, we introduced multi-view. The experience has not changed much since then, even though you have developments like video. However, customers are savvy and they need more. When I met Kiana, her concept of shape and personalization impressed me.”

Fovo works by having customers take a five-question quiz to determine their body shape. Using a proprietary algorithm, the site then presents a feed of curated merchandise specific to the shopper’s body type, including expert styling advice billed as “Why This.”

The more a user interacts with the Fovo platform, it begins to learn her preferences and curates up-to-date suggestions based on those learnings. A universal shopping cart allows users to purchase products from all retailers featured on the site, such as Saks and Forever 21, with one checkout process.

According to Anvaripour, the ultimate goal is to make shopping for apparel online more like shopping for apparel in a store. Fovo also lets customers share comments and advice with each other.

“In the e-commerce experience, you’re missing a trusted associate to help you select merchandise,” said Anvaripour. “We help the customer understand what’s best for their body type. Seven in 10 women like shopping in-store. It builds customer loyalty.”

Swimurn agrees that Fovo’s model allow the site to offer an online experience with a more human touch.

“Fovo is taking that expertise and automating it. through personalization, content and ways for people to comment and engage, which was huge for us at Zappos,” said Swinmurn.

Both cofounders said early consumer response to Fovo, which is accessible by native iOS and Android apps as well as online, has been extremely strong. The company is focusing efforts on building the user base, and sounds confident it has found a purpose.

“We are helping customers by changing the category debate and allowing people to shop by shape, not just size,” said Swinmurn.

“Fovo is a movement really,” concluded Anvaripour. “It’s about embracing shape. Aspirational positive

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