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Machine Learning Provides Competitive Edge in Retail
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Re: retail
  • 5/17/2017 11:29:28 PM
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..

Joe writes

 I find that, except for basic things (shirts, underwear, socks, etc.), I usually have to try stuff on -- because different brands/types of pants, shoes, suits, etc. fit differently.  And I don't want to go through the hassle of returning something by mail (I've had to deal with that before).

Moreover, the colors and patterns that you sometimes get when you buy online are often *much* different when the actual product you get in the mail is compared against what you saw on your screen. 

I particularly thought of A2 discussions of the pitfalls of online buying of clothing when I read this article in yesterday's Huffington Post:

These Photos Prove Why You Shouldn't Buy A Prom Dress Online

The photos pretty much say it all.

For the record, I have never ventured into buying a prom dress, on or off line ...

 

Re: retail
  • 5/6/2017 4:01:42 PM
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Define persuaded... does it mean they'll have discount codes thrown at them? Offered free shipping? "Buy a second ill-fitting pair and save 25%!"

Or will online merchants just wear down any lingering resistance to how the same merchants want to do business?

Re: retail
  • 5/6/2017 3:58:49 PM
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Right, Joe... there are items like pants that have to be tried on for fit, and usually again when the legs or the waist get tailored. 

Which also explains why I so rarely shop for pants, online or IRL.

Re: retail
  • 5/5/2017 4:42:13 PM
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@kq - I agree with you that consumers over time will be "persuaded" to not demand trying on clothes before purchase

We won't be fooled by empty promises, though. The individual body models and mass customization will improve to the point that trying things on is a waste of time. You'll already know how it fits - how it really fits - through the image of the item shown on your body.

At least half the population never cared for trying things on in the first place.

Re: retail
  • 5/5/2017 11:03:34 AM
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I suspect consumers over time will be "persuaded" to not demand trying on clothes before purchase, but rely on the "expertise" and customer service aspects of online retailers and maybe even brink and mortar stores. We'll be led to believe what is shown in a picture is just what we need and don't worry about the fit?

Re: retail
  • 5/1/2017 1:11:55 PM
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@rbaz: I imagine the problems with slimming margins when it comes to free shipping are made up for by savings in other areas that are inherent to traditional brick-and-mortar supply chains.

Re: retail
  • 4/30/2017 11:56:37 AM
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Joe, I agree that online shopping for clothes has its drawbacks, but availability is the overwhelming positive. Like you, I find it best to view and try on the clothing in person before buying. The brick and mortar stores with online buying options are working hard to make returns and exchanges easier and more convenient. It's a balance and do both buying process on a case by case basis. I do question the long term viability of offering these free shipping and return offers on clothing items. It can't be profitable.

Re: retail
  • 4/30/2017 11:03:00 AM
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> I also find it much easier to find what I'm looking for in the color and size I need on a site than by strolling up and down aisles in most stores.

Really?  I find that, except for basic things (shirts, underwear, socks, etc.), I usually have to try stuff on -- because different brands/types of pants, shoes, suits, etc. fit differently.  And I don't want to go through the hassle of returning something by mail (I've had to deal with that before).

Moreover, the colors and patterns that you sometimes get when you buy online are often *much* different when the actual product you get in the mail is compared against what you saw on your screen. 

Such has been my experience, anyway.

Re: retail
  • 4/29/2017 1:53:59 PM
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@kq4ym, variable pricing has been with us in one form or another for some time. Incentives doled out though rebates, coupons and various devices has one shopper paying different prices for the same item. The sophistication of the method to dispense the incentive in order to maximize the impact for the vendor is the change.

Re: retail
  • 4/27/2017 5:03:38 PM
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I can imagine a future where brick and mortar stores may devise schemes to have flexible pricing depending on the individual shopper's history. Shopping carts or phones will display the price to the individual which may be different that the shopper next to them. I don't think this is a way to do business, and don't like that online we're getting different prices than our neighbors, but it's probably the way things are moving.

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