Jené Etheridge

Student, Amateur Blogger, Expert Burrito Builder

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Vastrm Leading Strategy Questions

* Research is primarily focused on US market 

Vastrm is… an online apparel company that offers a home try on program that allows the consumer to determine their own custom measurements - "warby parker for shirts"

The home try on program process: select several fit types, define adjustment points on shirt, save size info online 

Business Problem: Consumers are unaware that Vastrm exists 

Business Goal: Drive 100,00 people to the Vastrm site to find out more about the product by June 2013

Strategy: ?

Solution: ?

Goal to Strategy: How can we increase the number of (unique) site visitors?

Leading Strategy Questions:

Q1: What is the consumer's background?

Q2: What is the competitor's background?

Q3: What is the decision Process for online consumers?

Q4: What is the environment for home try on programs?

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Q1: Who/When/Where/How of Consumer

WHO

From Google Ad Planner (In the market for Men's Clothing, Athletic Clothing)…

- Highest demographic is age 25-34 at 39%, also high for age 18-24 at 26%

- Women actually hold a higher market share for Men's/Athletic Clothing at 53% (In Men's Clothing they hold an even higher market share at 58%) 

- Other topics of interest include: Men's Clothing, Athletic Shoes, Suits and Business Attire, Gymnastics Equipment, Skirts (reflect buying power of women) 

- Other websites of interest: dappered.com, valetmag.com, fashionbeans.com, fanzz.com, niketalk.com

Insights

- All mens fashion websites/blogs (some are sports-focused)

- Sites are focused on online endorsements, magazine features

- Customers and readers are mostly upper middle class and have higher education, value personal look/style and sports 

 

WHERE

From Google Ad Planner (in the market for Men's Clothing, Athletic Clothing)…

- Cali, Colorado, East coast states (NY, Connecticut, Vermont, etc.)

- For the market of general men's clothing: most popular in colorado, upper midwest)

From Google Search Trends (search term "custom polos")...

- Popular search term in southern/eastern states (warmer climate) 

 

From Google Search Trends (search term "custom shirts")… 

- Higher interest on east coast: Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, NY, Massachusetts 

WHEN

From Google Trends (search term "custom polos")…

- Lower search frequency in late Fall, early Winter (Nov-Feb)

- Highest search frequency in early spring, summer 

From Google Trends (search term "custom shirts")…

- High points most common in April, August/September 

 

HOW

From Topsy…

- Mention of Vastrm in past 60 days: highest on Nov. 19, 21 

- Featured on Reddit on Nov. 21 for Black Friday in FRUGALMALEFASHION (2 upvotes)

 

 

Q2: What does the competition have to offer?

Competing websites: Ledbury, Blank Label, J. HIlburn, BleuFlamme, ProperCloth, ShirtsMyWay

Common themes of these websites that Vastrm doesn't have:

- Easy-to-follow videos that offer step-by-step instructions

- J. Hilburn focuses on their "direct-to-consumer" manufacturing

- Some offer in-home or in-office appointments for personal measurements, in-person samples of swaths of fabric, style advising, etc. 

- Most priced around $99 (and they're dress shirts, not polos) 

- J. Hilburn, Blank Label offer limited collections for holiday season

- J. Hilburn, Blank Label focus on gifting (reach large women's market)

- Offer extensive help online or by phone, helpful FAQ pages 

- Detailed About Us pages

- Easy-to-navigate websites 

Q3: What is decision process for (avid) online consumers?

From Think with Google...

2008 study: The online apparel shopping process

- The internet is the primary source of info for apparel shoppers

- Online is key throughout the apparel shopping cycle: apparel shoppers are multi-channel and they rely on online research to make online and in-store purchase 

- Online apparel shoppers prefer to purchase from online-only retailers (42%) and online auctions (29%). in-store apparel shoppers prefer mass merchandise and department stores

2012 study: The role of mobile and video in the apparel shopper digital path to purchase 

Shopping Digital 

- Digital is core to apparel shopping and consumers are shopping across devices: 57% of apparel sales will be online-influenced by end of 2012

- Mens category shows 123% growth (dresses category is highest at 131%) 

- Apparel shoppers prioritizeFIT (89%) and AVAILABILITY (in stock-85%) over other features 

- Online purchasers are motivated by CONVENIENCE, DEALS & INVENTORY AVAILABILITY (50% purchased online because it's convenient) 

- Apparel purchasers window shop online: 1/4 purchases are impulsive (73% because of a good deal)

Mobile Shopping

- Mobile devices aid discovery: 50+% of mobile apparel shoppers discover new brands on mobile devices 

- Mobile devices used most while at home (69%)

- Mobile researchers purchase more often and spend more average order - 1/4 purchased apparel 6+ times in the past 6 months 

Shopping through Video

- Video drives apparel sales: 4 in 10 visited in store or retailer website as a result of watching apparel videos 

- Video researchers purchase more and spend more 

- Video is key for young shoppers - millenials are avid online video viewers and use video to determine purchase behavior 

Q4: What is the environment for home try on programs?

- Glasses are the most successful market (Warby Parker, Tortoise & Blonde show up when searching "home try on")

- If searching "home try on clothing" lots of digital try on programs show up --  "virtual fitting room"

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Conclusions and Insights

- Most competitors focus on dress shirts, which means there is a big potential for early market entrance into the custom athletic/men's wear market for men's polos with an emphasis on golf and tennis clothing 

- Vastrm could put more emphasis on relationship with distributor. A popular aspect of Warby Parker was the "buy a pair give a pair" aspect. Customers like the emphasis of personal relationships, intimacy, knowledge of where products are coming from. 

- Focusing on videos is an easy way to promote the Vastrm brand, while giving an easy how-to guide. 

- Vastrm receivd the most traffic recently when online promos and sales were offered through Reddit

- Emphasis on the convenience of home try on programs will set Vastrm apart from competitors.  Customers who don't work in a traditional office setting, who want to avoid teh hassel of trying clohtes in-store, and who don't have the time to meet with a pesronal style consultant are the primary target consumers 

- Female consumers hold a large part of the men's clothing market. Focusing on gifting and highlighting the ease and convenience of ordering a custom polo can increase visibility.

- Using deals, the latest fashions, and free shipping as incentives for impulsive online window shoppers can also increase invisibility

- Focusing on mobile shopping will help reach consumers who browse through mobile devices

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