"Size and fit are two of the biggest pain points for customers. Therefore, we wanted to challenge ourselves and see if we could produce products that are made to a unique size and fit preference with the help of emerging tech. This was one of the focus areas for H&M Group’s innovation hub The Laboratory, when developing the custom-made jeans pilot with Weekday. The result of the pilot outperformed the expectations," H&M Group said in a media statement.
"We constantly push ourselves to become more inclusive and do better today than we did yesterday. What better way to celebrate this than offering a service that provides customers with a size-free offer, making?a?product uniquely for them at an affordable price. This is one of many sustainable business models H&M Group are exploring, where we see a great advantage for our business in the long term by reducing returns and excess products and only produce just what our customers want," the statement added.
"We always have our customers at the heart of everything we do, so the purpose of this pilot was both to understand what they want from a custom-made denim product, what they think about the new experience and to test the readiness of the technologies. The pilot enabled us to gain invaluable insights that we simply couldn’t get from just testing internally," said Laura Coppen, sustainable and circular business developer, The Laboratory.
Weekday and The Laboratory invited 100 customers to trial the technology in order to gather important insights before launching on a bigger scale. Customers were body-scanned and offered a selection of customisation options to design their perfect pair of jeans.
To achieve this, H&M Group partnered with Unspun, a previous Global Change Award Early Bird winner, which has created an algorithm for a perfect fit. The algorithm converts the body scan into a paper pattern and measurement list that is production ready. Over the last 18 months The Laboratory has been developing the algorithm on Weekday denim products alongside Unspun to ensure it becomes increasingly accurate over time.
"The jeans are then produced as unique items in our partner factories, which takes ten days from customer scan and customising to delivery. Customers then came back for a fitting, where they could try on their customized jeans and give feedback on the end result. Did they like the fit? Were the jeans comfortable? Would they buy the jeans and for what price? Another essential research point in this pilot was the readiness of all the stages for a wider launch. The goal of the pilot was to achieve a customer satisfaction rate of 65 per cent, but at the end of the trial 80 per cent were very pleased with their customised jeans," H&M Group said.
"I’m an optimist but I had some skepticism on how all the pieces of the puzzle of this model would fit together as we go live. Therefore, I’m really happy to see that the result outperformed our expectations. Due to the positive result we will scale the pilot to an in-store experience. We will likely have more styles and other features based on the customers feedback," Coppen said.
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