If you’ve read much into Netflix’s rise to success much is attributed to their algorithm that was able to tap into the value of the long tail of entertainment.
Big blockbuster movies were expensive to license compared to less popular films. But less popular films do not have same broad appeal. In an attempt to do more with less, Netflix attracted customers with a few blockbusters, but then mostly (successfully) recommended them to other movies they thought they might like. As the algorithm got smarter, so did the recommendations. This allowed them to deliver a product (of entertainment) at lower costs and therefore higher profits.
Today there are millions of “influencers” worldwide – some reports are up to 37 million. It’s easy to think of the macro and celebrity influencers with millions of followers and objectively mass appeal, but power is shifting to the micro and nano influencers who are more relatable, authentic, and engaging. But, like the movies, their value is in their relevance and personal appeal. In a world of 37 million influencers, how can people discover the ones best fitted for them?
Apply this to the world of fashion, where unsurprisingly, our physical characteristics such as size, height, shape, age, and coloring affect how clothes fit. It makes sense that when it comes to which fashion influencers to follow, that discovery should focus on a body match.
The fashion industry is by design exclusive, and not designed to fit (most women). It is famous for the size 0 model and notorious for NOT representing diversity. The results are amplified by social media, with filters and apps allowing women to distort themselves to fit the fashion mold, reinforcing the false notion that women who don’t look like this aren’t normal or desirable.
Enter Mys Tyler, a community of more than 200,000 women around the world sharing outfits with each other. Similar to an Instagram post captioned #ootd, they show how things fit, how they are styled, and where items can be purchased. As part of onboarding, each woman completes a short body quiz entering information such as height, shape and size. The app’s FIT Algorithm then matches them with creators who look most similar. This enhanced layer of discovery allows users to connect with the creators most relevant to them with creators’ value to that user increasing with fit match.
By creating a fashion experience that puts each user at the center, serving up a curated experience where the inspiration they see is body relevant and the clothes they are seeing fit, Mys Tyler has been able to uniquely do to fashion what Netflix did for entertainment and tap into the value of the micro and nano influencers. This helps women find clothes that will fit their body, but also to find women who are confident, stylish and fashionable with their same dimensions. Women feel included and more body confident as a result.
We’re living in the information age, in the past two decades the emergence of platforms like Shopify and Etsy have made it possible for anyone to spin up an online shop, while platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram, Snap have made it possible for anyone to become a creator and find an audience. Even with apps like Hinge, Tinder & Bumble – suddenly there are more single people than you can swipe continuously at. And there are many more categories like this, where there is so much choice, so much content, that what we need now, is not quantity but quality. Consumers are looking for ways to sift through the clutter to find what is relevant to them.
Long term, we believe the key to platform success will be the algorithms powering discovery, allowing users to uncover the value in the long-tail based on their personal attributes and preferences – there is sure to be a lot of innovation in this space and we’re excited to see what comes next.