Bras Even , An Algorithm for Everything

Description: THE two and a half miserable hours that Michelle Lam spent in a fitting room, trying on bras, one fine summer day in 2011 would turn out to be, in her words, a “life-changing experience.” After trying on 20 bras to find one that fit, and not particularly well at that, she left the store feeling naked and intruded upon

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Feb 23, 2013
images-1

Professional bra fitters have also moved online. Linda Becker, whose family owns two bra stores in New York, says she sells twice as many bras online today at LindaTheBraLady.com as she does in her stores. Some of her online customers have previously visited one of her shops and been fitted in person. But new customers take their own measurements and work with customer service representatives on the phone. She says only 10 percent of online orders are returned.  But some customers turn out to be extremely hard to fit and it’s hard to tell why, Ms. Becker says. “That kind of customer will be impossible to fit online because the problem is unseen. There’s no way of figuring it out over the phone.”  Read Rest of Story 

Definition of algorithm: a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a computer.

 Questions for discussion:

1. What applications of this particular kind of algorithm do you think would be valuable in the marketplace?

2.  Will this e-commerce application replace brick and mortar stores for this application?  Why or why not?

Advertisements

28 thoughts on “Bras Even , An Algorithm for Everything

  1. ...

    E-commerce has its advantages and disadvantages. Buying clothes from online is not a good way in my opinion. Usually, we buy cloth on the stores, so that I can try the size and feel the materials of that. If we tried on those clothes, we can buy it. If it is not comfortable, we will not buy that cloth. When we are shopping clothes online, we just can see the clothes. We only know what the cloth look like. We cannot feel the cloth of that pant. I did bought some clothes from online store. Some of those clothes are not fit me at all. Some clothes they only look pretty on models in that picture. That is not fit you for the person they actually buy.

    Online shopping does have some advantages. People who do not want to go outside, they can get what they want from the online shopping. It saves time and energy also. We can stay at home for a long time, at the same time; we can get food, clothes, CDs, toys, and so on through buying online. If people want to order some special art ware, the online shopping is best way to do so.

    Reply
  2. Xiao Yang

    I am a big fan of online shopping actually. The reason why i am keen on shopping online is that you can not find out some brands in your city or your country. There are some advantages about e-commerce. First, you can get some online deals which are not offer from brick and mortar stores. Second, online shopping saves your time. For example, you don’t need to wait for the fitting room a while even though you just have only one item. In addition, it just take you a short time to check out, which means that you don’t have to line up in some holidays and big days, such as Christmas, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Boxing day etc. Thirdly, you can often take advantage of internet shopping specials, coupons, and free shipping offers.
    In this case, the algorithm involves matching a woman’s body type to a particular bra based partly on consistent variations among manufacturers for a given size and style. It takes full advantage of intelligent technology. Because the size chart and size guidance sometimes can give you some wrong and uncertain information. Another interesting thing is that True&Co’s innovation is to put a batch of bras into customers’ hands so they can choose what fits best. So the customer ends up with five bras to try on at home, with no obligation to buy. This undoubtedly improve the customer experience.
    For me, shoes and bras have the same problem. Due to the different materials,shapes and brands, people usually can’t fit in the same size. So I normally go to the physical stores to buy this kind of product.

    Reply
  3. Amber Siemens

    With online shopping being such an increasing market now, I think this is extremely valuable tool to use in the marketplace. As,Michelle Lam had stated, it can be frustrating trying on bras, and having none of them fit,or just feeling deterred and intruded by all of the fuss with in bra fitting. Having this algorithm technology can help out the women who are too busy to go shopping for an hour and find nothing in return, or the women who are physically in capable of being able to go out shopping. I believe this would be a very good system to have for most clothing that we buy in stores and can now buy online as well.

    I personally don’t believe that this sort of e-commerce application will replace brick and mortar stores by any means. There are still a lot of consumers out there that would much rather go to a store, touch it, try it on, as well as have the customer service readily available if need be. I have yet to buy anything online myself, and I am the target market that generally does buy online quite frequently. I also think about the security of the web, when dealing with giving a company my credit card number as well, as do many others. I would say it is beneficial to have both available, and that way your consumer can decipher for themselves.

    Reply
  4. Samantha Mazury

    I think this algorithm could simplify and improve the overall quality of the shopping experience for consumers. With this type of algorithm it reduces the amount of time shoppers spend finding the “perfect” fit, and also improves your chances of fitting the “perfect” match for your body type. Therefore this type of algorithm could further be applied to other markets outside of the clothing industry, such as the automobile industry, the housing industry, or really any industry that has many product variations. This algorithm could help consumers find better-focused variations of a particular product that suit their needs and wants of that product.

    I don’t believe this e-commerce application will completely eliminate the traditional brick and mortar stores. I strongly believe that there is a certain tangible experience brick and mortar stores offer consumers that just cannot be achieved through an e-commerce application. Consumers, such as myself, still appreciate being able to physically go to a store, touch the product, try the product, etc. I definitely believe the e-commerce application with the algorithm such as True&Co’s is quite innovative and applicable and useful for many industries. I also believe that it will enhance the shopping experience for consumers if more retailers and industries provide such a ‘service’ for their consumers. Although ultimately I believe people will still want to be able to go to the physical brick and mortar stores to do the majority of their shopping, but possibly use the e-commerce application as possibly a pre-step they use before they go to a brick and mortar store to make their final purchase(s).

    Reply
  5. Rémi Cizeron

    This application could be use in many sectors. Even in the all the cloth sector. Because now a lot of companies are using Internet to sell much more products.
    We could also use this application for the car factory: If a person hesitates between different brands and kind of vehicle. You try to make an algorithm to find which ones are the best.
    It can also be used in bookstores. What kind of books do you read? You pass all the questions than you have different recommended books. It is a bit the same on Netflix, you don’t have to answer questions but you have recommendations link to the other movies that you watched.
    It also can be used for kitchen stuff. You answer questions on what you like to eat and on one what you have in your fridge, and they can advise you different recipes
    I don’t think that this application is going to replace real shops because some persons like to do real shopping, try and try again clothes. And some real advices from a real salesman/woman can more useful that the recommendations way out from an algorithm.
    It can also replace it if they are improving they costumer service, because if they can have someone on the phone, if they can try different kind of clothes at home without buying it, it is going to be very difficult for real shops. Because this is the real advantage that you have when you go to do shopping. But it will always depend the personality of the person.

    Reply
  6. Arlene Across The Mountain

    Algorithms are a pretty good idea when it comes to shopping online. True & Co, I believe, will continue to sell more bras than their physical store locations. For one, women are more self conscious when it come to their bodies. It is not a good experience when having to shop for bras. Like Michelle Lam, buying bras can feel intrusive. The quiz they do to determine what type of bra you like is also a good idea. I think, for the most part, they will chose the type of bras you are interested in. Physical stores only have a few selections anyways. For me personally, I don’t like it when retailers bother you at stores, so this will not take away from the retailer-customer relationship.

    Reply
  7. Janine Hawkins

    I believe that using algorithms in e-commerce is a great idea. It is hard to know exactly what products are going to fit your body shape without trying them on, so having an algorithm created by someone who knows the products is a great way to ease customer’s worries about the product not fitting. This method seems prefect for the lingerie industry. Most woman have had difficult experiences trying to find a bra that fits them right. Even if you are able to find the right fit, the bra usually doesn’t come in a style you like. Having a large online collection of bras will help women to find bras in the right fit that are also a cute style. Even though this e-commerce method for selling bras has proved to be successful, I don’t think it will take over regular lingerie shops. Many people would still prefer to go into a shop, get a personal fitting and be able to try on the bra before making a purchase. The e-commerce version of bra shopping is beneficial for people who don’t live near a bra shop or don’t enjoy the experience of having a stranger help you to find a bra.
    The use of algorithms in e-commerce isn’t only used by bra, shoe and eyeglasses retailers. I have also seen websites that use algorithms to help you find the dog breed that is best for your lifestyle. As the e-commerce industry continues to develop we see more and more retailers using algorithms to better serve their customers.

    Reply
  8. Bailey Bruised head

    The algorithm used by True&Co to help consumers make easier decisions, is a great idea. I think the technique they use is something that would be very helpful in the marketplace. The algorithm collects very specific data, and then uses it to help the consumers, this application creates choices for shoppers and everyone likes choices, so that is one main thing that would be valuable in the marketplace, especially for online shoppers, also sending out choices to choose from in the beginning is great because you actually get to choose from them and then say what type of bra you like then order it, then from there, if there is any other bras that are made in the same type of style the consumer will know that they like that type of bra, the same thing could happen with any other type of product like shoes, shirts, jackets, if you know what size you are and the style that fits you the best then all you have to do is go online and choose it, with out leaving the comfort of your home to shop.
    I don’t think that this type of e-commerce application will replace brick and mortar stores anytime soon, because people like to go to stores to shop and spend time with friends, there is really nothing like going to a store and browsing everything they have and trying stuff on and maybe leaving with a few items. However, I do think that the algorithm takes away a great amount of shoppers that go into the stores but I dont believe it will replace them.

    Reply
  9. Melanie Scheffelmair

    An algorithm being used to help narrow down the selection of an item with numerous options would be very helpful and I believe that True&Co have used this to their advantage. This algorithm gathers detailed information about True&Co’s customers that can be used in many ways by the company. This can be seen as good or bad depending on the person, but in terms of a market place the more information the better. A positive of the algorithm for the consumer would be the number of choices it creates. Personally I love having choices when I am shopping. Like the article states most bras that are purchased come from the algorithm which suggests it is doing a good job of picking the correct bra for what the consumer wants. In general women enjoy the act of shopping so I do not believe eCommerce will replace brick and mortar stores. I do believe that eCommerce will take away a great percentage of sales from store. Some reasons would be the convenience of shopping online. For example if a store you shop at all the time offers an online store why not stay in the comfort of your home and shop, you already know your size. Also most online shopping is very easy to order and return items if they do not work. Another reason brick and mortar shops will stick around is the skeptics on the world. They may think they will be scammed by online shopping or something along those lines.

    Reply
  10. Jessica Larsen

    An algorithm like the one used by True&Co that uses a customer’s choices to help find other products that the customer will like, would be very valuable in the marketplace. Any place where customers shop online could use this type of algorithm to find other clothes, technologies etc. that a customer might also like. This is very similar to Netflix’s suggestions, and could show the customer other products that they would enjoy. It could also be very profitable for the company because the things the algorithm picks out are probably going to be liked by the customers and therefore the customers are likely to buy them.
    I don’t think that this e-commerce application will replace brick and mortar stores anytime soon. Even though True&Co have been able to use the algorithm very well, and their application of the algorithm, where someone is sent a certain number of bras to try on based on their previous choices, has worked out well for them, sometimes it is just easier for you to go to a store and try on things there. If there is an issue with how something fits, you wouldn’t just have the five bra’s that you were sent, there would be a whole store of bra’s that you could try on. There is also the problem of the customers who are extremely hard to fit that is described in the article. Since it is difficult to figure out why they are hard to fit, no algorithm can help them. They would need the help of someone not just over the phone, but in person. Therefore the brick and mortar stores are still needed for now.

    Reply
  11. Stacey Ridler

    To shop online is a tricky game for a woman because each one does have such different shapes. to have such an algorithm places this company right into the preferred marketplace. This company is creating quite a strategic plan to accommodate the new world “super woman” ie. business women/mothers who are extremely busy and don’t have time to spend finding a store, picking style, and sizes. The algorithm is beneficial in that it does the work for you resulting in different styles and sizes measured up to work at getting you what fits right and looks good dependent upon ones taste, and best of all is sent to your home. Personally I would not ridicule such a practice as being a single mother, living out of town, running a business, and going to school, these types of e-commerce business are so appealing to me. From personal experience in my younger days when the women, or shall I say girls helping to size you have less of a clue then the algorithm. In my opinion this practice of algorithm practices is genius!

    I wouldn’t say it would replace the brick and mortar stores because there will be the many that don’t trust the technology and like the actual conversation and human interaction of going into the store. E-commerce has been growing therefore I see a shift happening that the retail stores may become smaller if the technology is accepted by most.

    Reply
  12. Brendan Paiha

    Online shopping certainly has a place for certain markets. I don’t really have any experience with shopping for bras but e-commerce would definitely eliminate any uncomfortable part about buying them. Bra shopping is something that you would ideally do on your own which is what online shopping helps with. That and never having you leave your house to shop. It just comes with a certain level of uncertainty. No matter how advanced an algorithm is, you never know for sure until you open the package and see for yourself. Its hard to believe ordering online could ever completely replace instantly holding a product in your hands and walking out of the store knowing you purchased a product that fits.
    A similar algorithm could potentially be applied to any personalized product. Clothing preferences could be analyzed to come up with matches that align with the shoppers tastes. It doesn’t only have to be applied to size, but style, colour, anything really. In the article, users are shipped samples and their results are thrown into the formulas. The same principle can be applied to simply filling a survey to find the perfect fit for you. Golf club recommendations can be produced based on your strengths and weaknesses as a golfer. All of this strives to fill in the human discretion element when shopping for something that you don’t necessarily know a lot about. It almost acts as a expert shop employee. Though this way, you don’t have to deal with that pesky human element of shopping.

    Reply
  13. Kyle Dalton

    The algorithm would provide value to many customers in the market place – especially online shoppers. This program is something that could, and should, be used to accommodate both online shoppers and people who physically come to the store’s location. While it is more important to the online shoppers because of their inability to physically try out products, I imagine it would be just as important to people in the store. This algorithm would provide people with the opportunity to find exactly, or as close to, what they want. It would be heavily favoured by online shoppers because of the ability to not have to travel to get the product. This kind of algorithm could be adapted into other areas of commerce too, for example, other clothing lines, education, or food. I don’t think this application will replace brick and mortar stores… yet. I think that there are still many people from baby boomers and generation x that still favour a more traditional approach to consumerism by going to the store to find products. I think this comes from the generational technology gap that exists. I think as we progress and these generations become lessened, then we will see a big increase in this type of technology to better suit the needs and desires of the current younger generations. Technology will begin to increase in its complexity and ability even further than it already has. Even more complex algorithms will begin to be developed to handle more complex transactions.

    Reply
  14. Dani Rasmussen

    I think that application of this particular kind of algorithm is really appreciated by consumers who online shop because they are essentially trying to make the shopping experience a more enjoyable experience to buyers. They help you to find sizes that fit you better. Online shopping has become a massive marketplace and it just continues to expand substantially. As an online shopper, there is nothing more annoying then paying good money, waiting and waiting for your product to arrive and the excitement of finally receiving your package and it does not fit. These algorithms try to minimize these unwanted situations towards its customers and it excels in doing just that. Even though e-commerce has blown up and is one of the main channels people use to shop, I do not think that it will replace brick and mortar stores. Some people do not like relying on such uncertainties of there products. In a store consumer’s know exactly what they’re getting, the quality of it, the right fit, the right colour, and there are no uncertainties. Where as e-commerce retailers try there best to always get those correct as well, it is never guaranteed that is what you are going to get. As well, some consumers do not like waiting for their products. Some e-commerce retailers are very successful at getting their products delivered to their customers in a very timely manner. However, some take weeks or even months. Weather can affect this as well and if your waiting on a wedding dress for example, that could be problematic!

    Reply
  15. ornella cleone

    Online shopping to me appears as a trickish game where you would never be sure of its outcome. I never buy anything online for i am always unsure about the outcome. Many companies try to reassure customers that they have the right and exact sizes for all the shapes but we get to know that sizes varies depending on the online industry. Taking an example of someone in need to shop for a shoe online, there are many of such companies, but while your size could be 8 on one site, it could as well be 9 on another site.so the confusion gets in when you will have to get to know your exact shoe size corresponding to the various sites before making a purchase which is not always easy.one might even have to make a series of returns before putting a hand on his or her exact size which ends up being costly for it involves a certain amount of money dealing with the returns. Therefore, as for me, online shopping can in no way ever replace the traditional way of shopping, for this way is much more secured. First you have physical contact with the good you are to purchase and therefore can easily judge your good based on the quality of the material, its fineness , what you can’t possibly do when purchasing online. Moreover, we are sometimes fooled by the beautiful pictures displayed online which are sometimes different from what we actually receive, due to the exaggerated formatting of the pictures leading to disappointment

    Reply
  16. mina omidian

    online shopping has become a huge market for all kinds of products and algorithms will be important in making a customer that goes to an online site that is unable to physically feel and see the items they want to purchase . these types of algorithms are essential to the online markets but not so much in stores. being an online shopper can be quite difficult if you keep ordering products that are the wrong size or colour and if online markets have certain algorithms in place that can prevent me from constantly having to return my items due to the wrong size or colour then it will be worth while not only for the consumer but also for the store.
    At the same time when you go to a store it is much easier to see what they have and you can physically try things on and see how it looks on you. because looking at it when it is in a picture on a model does not always appear that way when you are wearing it.
    I think that E-commerce is now a huge part of retail, and I usually don’t like online shopping because I don’t like waiting to get what I ordered considering I can just go to the store and buy it. but in some instances it is nice because everything that is on sale and very cheap which is nice because you save money in a sense and make online shopping sometimes worth the wait

    Reply
  17. Donggu Kang

    The algorithm that True&Co is using is very valuable in the market place. In the article Ms. Lam said “We have an algorithm that defines 2,000 body types”. This algorithm is interesting and useful for both customers and marketers. By buying shoes or clothes thorough on-line was not imaginable back in the days but with True&Co’s 2,000 body types algorithm made possible for women to buy bras on-line where they do not have to spend so much time trying on many bras.
    I do not think the e-commerce application will replace brick and mortar stores. Even though, people save a lot of time purchasing thought the Internet, they value more towards to off-line shopping and there are several reasons for that. I have many experiences shopping through the Internet. Shopping on-line was convenient as I did not have to go out to malls but I prefer to go to shops and buy products even though shopping on-line is convenient. This is because when I purchased through the Internet, there were many questions that I wanted to ask, whether the size will fit me or the product is popular or not. There are many things that you want to and have to know in real life when you purchase a product such as size, durability, texture, colour, weight, reliability of the website and many more. These important things that leads to purchase cannot be known when you shop on-line. Therefore, I think, e-commerce will replace off-line shops, even though, it is convenient and save time

    Reply
  18. Paul Hruby

    1.) I think these algorithms are good for any kind of custom preference based on both size and personality. They’re useful in any marketplace, look at the success of netflix’s algorithms. I think we often don’t spend enough time trying to computerize everything because at the end of the day, an algorithm will always come up with a good answer based on facts and statistical analysis. This is means to an unbiased, unemotional decision which will always decide consistently. Humans (well most) aren’t like that, we always have thousands of other factors which aid/prevent us from making our decisions. Another benefit of these formulas is that they take away from the whole “analysis paralysis” thing because the computer picked the best ones for you, and the computer is pretty good at knowing what the best one is, so easy decision. With so many options in the marketplaces now, it’s nice when things are narrowed down to a select (in this case 5) few for you.

    2.) Wow, good question. I honestly don’t know. I want to say there will always be a need for stores for us to physically go out and purchase, feel, try on items. But what if in the future all merchandising is just really efficient supply chain systems delivering directly to your door with options which are chosen based on your habits and personality? Even groceries could be delivered this way, and that really scares me because I don’t know when people will be able to socialize in the future. Interesting stuff.

    Reply
  19. Jericka Versikaitis

    The algorithm can have potential in helping a number of different online companies as a having some sort of system that will help the shoppers experience significantly easier. However, working in a bra store for 4 years I know how the different sizes work and as with anything even if the bra is actually your size it still may not fit like another bra of a different collection would fit so having that option to actually try it on would be a huge benefit. Also having a sales person there with experience to know what item may suit you better and eliminate you trying all the other styles and having to return them because you do not like them. With clothing this is also true and can actually say that I have came across 2 occasions in the last month of ordering things on the internet and getting the wrong size. I have given my custom dimensions to have a bridesmaids dress made and it arrived almost twice the size it should be an not the fabric or colour we were expecting. I have also ordered a shirt according to the dimensions on a website and it came being about 2 sizes too small. I can agree that e-commerce has become a huge part of retail and given people the access to purchase items from other countries for much less than they would pay in their own country. Personally, I do not think it will ever completely replace brick and mortar stores as the ability to try things on and see how it fits rather than hoping something is going to fit right when you order is way better especially the hassle of returning the item.

    Reply
  20. Ryan Parks

    This type of algorithm is useful in many situations in which customers want a product that fits them personally. It could be used with all kinds of apparel: sporty, sleek, or otherwise. Shoes are also such products that could be benefited by such an algorithm. As useful as it is, I do not believe it will completely replace physical locations. There are still many people who are not very internet-savvy or who do not place their trust in products they see online. For some, the experience of testing a product to find the one that is perfect is something important. Also, one poor experience with online shopping can easily ruin that possibility for someone forever, which can happen all too easily.

    Reply
  21. Jonathan Linowski

    This type of algorithm is interesting, and may be useful for other apparel e-commerce sites. Certain specialty shoes and sports apparel where fitting can be tricky, and either requires the attention of trained specialist, or in this case, an algorithm. Being able to deliver a unique service like this to anyone with an internet connection could be extremely beneficial for consumers, as such human specialists may not be geographically available.

    When I read this article I couldn’t help but consider the similarities to what Netflix uses to analyze users taste preferences and make recommendations based on what it learns. Amazon is another company that uses an algorithm like this to make purchase recommendations based on past transactions. This algorithm seems to be the logical progression of this idea, and deals with a sizable number of additional variables in its analysis. I’m interested to see where this type of technology moves in the future. Where targeted marketing focuses on getting the right people to your store/site, algorithms like this are working on getting the right products into the hands of the person who is the most likely to buy them.

    I don’t think e-commerce stores with algorithms like this pose a serious threat to brick and mortar stores. If anything, a smart brick and mortar operation would adopt such customer sensitive algorithms for themselves, and deliver similar (or better service) without the delay (and expense to the customer) of shipping the goods. Additionally, what an e-commerce site lacks in face to face contact, personal attention, and tactile experience, a brick and mortar store makes up for.

    Reply
  22. Julie Anderson

    This algorithm could be used to bring even more unconventional retailers to the online marketplace. As these algorithms are developed, more successful shopping will be able to occur online with a variety of products. Essentially, this algorithm is mimicking what experienced sale associates already do in stores. They will ask questions about a customer’s current product and which aspects work for them, then help them choose a few options. Based on those choices, the sales associate can also choose additional products to supplement the customer’s needs. Bringing this process online enables more retailers to successfully sell their products. I can think of a number of products I have spent hours shopping for in order to find the right fit; footwear, jeans, and jackets to name a few. Any of these products could benefit from using this algorithm.
    It would take much better algorithm in order to replace bricks and mortar stores, though. The human element of shopping can make a shopping experience more enjoyable. An experienced sales associate knows their product well, and knows how it can fulfill certain customer’s needs. Often they can relate to your problem themselves. Certainly there can be human error with careless sales associates who do not care about the customers needs and are only focused on making a sale. This issue could be avoided by shopping solely online, but there is a benefit to touching and trying a product before you purchase it. Ultimately, customers would be better off visiting a store to have an experienced sales associate help them to select the appropriate product to meet their needs.

    Reply
  23. yuxuan.hou

    no matter how development of online commerce , e-commerce application would not replace brick and mortar stores. brick and mortar stores is the foundation for most of products . there are many competitive advantages for brick and mortar stores. people would like going to brick and mortar stores because of accuracy. people would check the products which they want to get, people would easily find whether or not the product is fit for the requirement of customer’s.
    for example. if people want to going shopping clothes on brick and mortar store. they can try it to find the real size that fit to them. moreover, their is a huge negative aspect of online shopping. people could not recognize the quality of products

    Reply
  24. Kerri Ross

    I don’t think that e-commerce applications will ever completely replace brick and mortar stores. People enjoy going to the store and doing their shopping more for the experience than anything. Well, okay, that could just be me. Getting together with my friends and shopping at the mall is about socializing and the positive experience I have when trying on cloths. For example, I always buy this one pair of jeans from Gap and I know my size which means I could easily purchase them online, however I won’t. There is not positive experience that I can associate with my new jeans that I purchases online. I’d much rather go in in person. Also, purchases some items just must be done in person. Just because I know what size of bra I am does not mean every bra is going to fit comfortably. Just like with any cloths, one companies size does not mean that same to a different company. Now, the article talked about an algorithm that they use to make sure every women is getting the perfect bra for her. Do I believe this? No, but so what? If it works for this company then all the power to them. In this market, companies needs to stand out just a little and if this tools allows them that extra edge then go ahead.

    Reply
  25. Adam Houtekamer

    See here’s the thing. I’m a guy an unfortunately I cannot relate to the adversities of finding a bra that I love. However, the ideas illustrated by this article show that formulas are able to help individuals find what is right for them. There is actually an algorithm for a hit pop song believe it or not. It was developed through analysis of the billboard top hits. This works much in the same way that this algorithm pairs girls with the bra of their dreams. The algorithm eliminates the process that often comes up short with the person to retailer relationship. As the article illustrates some chick couldn’t find a bra that fit for over a few hours! Once again I can’t relate to the issue at hand as much as I would like to. However does this exceed the experience of person to retailer when it goes well? I would argue that it does not. This is because I believe that unless an individual wants to approach the problem in the same way as everyone else, this is because you need to approach it in the way the algorithm requires. For example, I don’t like pop music and the algorithm that is showing me what I would like wouldn’t apply to me. This is because it doesn’t apply to me and therefore it fails. Whereas if I would have gone to a music store the experience is flexible and I would be able to find something I like. Or maybe not, however this is a risk I will run because the algorithm process is not all encompassing as the article suggests.

    Reply
  26. Simone Olmstead

    I’m not 100% convinced this e-commerce application will replace brick and mortar stores because I personally wouldn’t buy a bra online. I do think that it is convenient for some people. From the article it also sounds like a person would probably get better service from shopping online. My impression was that they are very customer service orientated by having a survey/questionnaire as well as having someone on the phone waiting to help you. The shopping experiences in the stores can be very frustrating but I’m not sure doing your own measurement, filling out a survey, talking to someone on the phone for who knows how long then waiting for your package to come in the mail is any better. Personally I like to see what I am buying and trying things on first. Also for myself it is kind of about the experience of going shopping and the trying things on, it’s about the feeling. Then you come home with a new purchase and your excited and happy. So no I don’t think that it will replace the brick and mortar stores, but that’s just my two cents!!

    Reply
  27. Jaden Evanson

    I do not believe that this technology will replace brick and mortar stores. While it does make it easy to shop for personal products online, it is, as mentioned in the article, love at first “touch and try.” Due to this nature with many products, clothing at the forefront, it will be impossible to fully replace brick and mortar stores. I also believe that for many people, spending a day at a store is an enjoyable experience, while driving to the post office to ship back the unwanted products may be seen as a burden

    Reply
  28. Jodi Berry

    As online shopping has become a huge market open to all sorts of ventures, a algorithm of this kind may be helpful to any online site to help consumers who are unable to physically touch and try on the items they are buying. I believe that this algorithm and others similar to it are ONLY valuable and usable in the online market. But they are valuable at that. I would rather get the correct products that work for me and fit me the first time instead of having to return the items over and over again because that becomes expensive and time consuming. If a website is able to provide me with information to help make this transaction easy and helps me buy the products that work for me I think it is worthwhile. However I would never walk into a retail store and fill one of these out so sales associates could find a product that works for me, because I can just look myself.
    I think that e-commerce has become a huge part of the retail experience, however, for me personally, nothing beats going to the actual store to pick up my items there. It is faster, I have the ability to try things on, and see if the product works for me. There is also less of a chance that I have to return an item. Although e-commerce is a market that is not going away I don’t think algorithms like these will make the physical stores go away either.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s