Are Personalized Styling Services the Future for Retail? Comparing Stitch Fix and Trunk Club

How would you feel about having a personal stylist hand-select clothes and accessories according to your body type and preferences and have them delivered to your door? That is exactly what fashion startups Stitch Fix and Trunk Club are providing, and business is, to say the least, going well. Stitch Fix is a San Francisco based subscription box service for women and Trunk Club a similar Chicago based company for men.
Both companies work in a very similar way. First, you complete a style and size survey online and then you are connected with a personal stylist that will handpick a selection of clothing items and accessories unique to your style, size, and preferences. Once the clothes arrive to your home, you can try them on, keep the ones you like, and send the rest back in a prepaid envelope.
Since this is a relatively new trend, we decided to analyze the social media conversation surrounding this two companies with our ForSight™ platform. The goal was to uncover what consumers think about this type of services. From October 1st 2014 to March 12th 2015, Stitch Fix conversation is made up of 5,386 Tweets while the Trunk Club conversation is at 4,648.
share of voice, trunk club, stitch fixAs part of our analysis, we looked at the demographic information of the consumers talking about both Stitch Fix and Trunk Club. Interestingly, we found that Trunk Club consumers have a broader age range than Stitch Fix consumers. While 82% of Stitch Fix’s conversation is made up by users who are 35 years old and above, Trunk Club’s conversation is made up by 15% users who are 18-24 years old, 19% users who are 25-34 years old, 63% users who are 35 years old and above, and the rest by users who are 17 years old and below. It looks like so far Trunk Club is doing a better job at reaching and engaging a broader audience than Stitch Fix. We also found that most Stitch Fix consumers are located in Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington while Trunk Club consumers are mostly located in Illinois and Maryland.
When looking at the differences between the interests of each audience we found that Stitch Fix consumers have stronger affinities towards book publishing, marathons, running, parenting, blogging, cooking, and crafts compared to Trunk Club consumers. Trunk Club consumers have stronger affinities towards hip hop, cars, personal finance, world news, R&B, video games, and sports. This highlights the gender difference between the customers of each company. However, some of the shared interests by online personal services enthusiasts regardless of gender are fashion, design, management, leadership, advertising, creativity, and software development.
AffinitiesDay And Time from 2014-10-01 to 2015-03-12
A detailed analysis on consumer sentiment around the two brands revealed that both conversations are extremely positive. Stitch Fix’s negative conversation accounts for only 4% of its total conversation. The main driver of consumer dissatisfaction toward Stitch Fix is disappointment with the items on the box. Trunk Club’s negative conversation is a slightly higher percentage of its total conversation at 8%. Negativity toward Trunk Club is driven by consumers who complain about the prices being too high.
Stitch Fix’s Sentiment
Stitch Fix Opinion
Trunk Club’s Sentiment
Trunk Club Opinion
Is this how the e-commerce world will work in the future? The extremely positive sentiment toward both companies on social media looks promising and suggests that their sales and the number of online personal styling services enthusiasts will continue to grow. In fact, Trunk Club was acquired by Nordstrom last year for about $350 million – according to re/code. Meanwhile, Stitch Fix is believed to be nearing $150 million annual revenue – again according to re/code. As this trend continues to develop, we will stay updated and continue to obtain insights from the social data around online personal styling services. 
For more information about subscription box services, download our report on this evolving trend within the retail industry.
How the subscription economy is changing retail

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