On the up · 5 October 2016

EyeFitU: Providing UK consumers with a customised online shopping experience

online shopping
EyeFitU’s algorithms combine user data including body size, measurements, style preferences and feedback

Online shopping has opened up the retail world to a global audience. However, with designs, sizes and styles varying across regions and retailers, it is not always easy to shop with confidence online.

Business Advice met Isabelle Ohnemus, founder at EyeFitU – the app that collates consumer shopping data to get to know users, providing a unique, customised online retail experience. She told us more about her venture.

(1) Who are you and what’s your business?

EyeFitU is a self-styled ‘smart-shopper’ app that lets users find their size in seconds. We already partner up with hundreds of leading fashion brands and online stores worldwide including big UK names like Net-a-porter, River Island, Warehouse and Farfetch.

These affiliated brands work with us to match users’ profiles and measurements with their size charts so shoppers can be sure of always getting the right fit.

(2) How long have you been around for?

EyeFitU was founded in 2013, after my personal experiences with inconsistent sizing.

(3) How do you make money?

Users can use the platform free of charge. EyeFitU earns commission from the sales generated by its users with the online shops. As we are a context-sensitive fashion and lifestyle advertising channel, we plan to add advertising in the near future. With the growing number of users, the aggregated information about user preferences and sizing will be highly valuable for the fashion retailers.

In its last funding round in April 2015, EyeFitU raised £2.7 m.

(4) What makes you different and why should people take notice?

EyeFitU has the power of revolutionising online shopping, from both B2C and B2B perspectives. From a consumer point-of-view, it’s the first mobile app that helps you to buy with confidence that what you’re buying is in your ‘real’ size, saving time and avoiding the disappointment of receiving a wrong garment. From a retailers’ point-of-view, the app is a real game changer in terms of returns, which cost millions to brands.

EyeFitU’s sizing engine is the world’s first, combining statistical data, user body sizes, measurements, preferences and feedback with the sizing of the clothing. The result is a better shopping experience for the customer and, when they have the confidence that their purchase will fit perfectly, customers will be keen on going back to the same brands and outlets.

The multiple profiles feature is something people should take notice. It allows users to shop for their beloved ones simply adding their measurements and it is a chance for brands to gain new customers who haven’t dared before to shop for others, afraid of a wrong fit.

(5) What was key in terms of getting started?

Finding the right people to join me in this adventure.

(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date?

That our sizing algorithm works. We give the right sizing recommendations and therefore we have now more than 50 online stores on our platform.

(7) What setbacks have you had along the way?

Setbacks are a common denominator to any company. As a startup, you of course have to test a lot, be opened to question yourself very often, as well as be agile and resilient.

(8) In five years’ time, I will be…

As motivated and passionate as today!

(9) What one tip would you give to others starting out?

Never stop being passionate about what you do – be humble and do not take every criticism personally. Some are good.

(10) Who are your business heroes and why?

Diane von Fürstenberg is one of my favourite business heroes for her constant curiosity and for embracing digitalisation. She says things like: “Don’t waste your time! Be hard on yourself.”

Marie Curie is a true hero. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for her endless courage in the constant pursuit of learning, discovering, testing and applying her research in a (back then) men-only scientific world.

Finally, Elon Musk is my contemporary business hero, for his relentless inventions and visions, from Paypal of course to hyper speed trains, driverless cars, Space etc. His concerns about artificial intelligence (AI) and why it should be somehow monitored going forward is good food for thought.

Consumers are taking advantage of free returns policies – and small retailers are feeling the hit. Find out more about the threat of the “serial returner”.

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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