Made To Measure Benefits But Without The Travelling.
In my grandfather’s time, if you wanted a made-to-measure suit, or other garment, then the tailor was probably just along the high street. Visiting him in order to get “measured up” and again for a fitting or two was no problem as it could be done with just a short walk.
Moving along one generation, things began to change – but not too much. More options became available. Department stores and high street outlets began offering a much better range of “off the peg” alternatives to the made-to-measure garment. Although this option was not new as such, the variety and choice was. Also, sizing and variations of fit became much more varied such that those who were not of average height, size and shape could also be accommodated.
With convenience and mass marketing came reductions in cost. It would be unfair to say that quality suffered as a result of this however, instead people’s perception of quality changed somewhat.
If a garment was supplied ready to wear, off the peg, then the consumer began to expect that, whilst it should be of good quality and fit acceptably well, it would not be quite the same in these respects as something that was made-to-measure.
Obviously, off the peg garments vary tremendously in terms of price and quality. Cheap and cheerful is probably fine for something you wear casually, such as a T shirt or sweater, but definitely not OK for the suit you wear to work. Special occasions such as weddings and the like also tend to demand a higher standard in terms of fabric, style and fit.
Worldwide Shopping On The Worldwide Web.
Just as the department stores and high street fashion retailers thought they had it all their own way, along came the Internet to change their minds. Within a few short years the world of commerce had changed to such an extent that many traditional high street stores began to close, or scale down their “bricks and mortar” operations.
The ones who were savvy enough adapted their sales model to encompass online activities and incorporate them into a new online/offline offering. Others, however, sprung up from nowhere on an online only basis and we can all think of many examples of that. The world of commerce had changed dramatically and the pace of that change was ever on the increase. People were ordering more and more online and the choice was growing daily.
The Winds Of Change Were Blowing But Not Everyone Was Flying A Kite.
With change, however, came problems too. It wasn’t all plain sailing, not by any means.
One of the principle barriers to e-commerce was in the “touch and feel” activity that made high street shopping such a pleasure for many people. If you order something online you can’t touch it, or feel it, before you buy it. True, most online retailers would let you sent it back if you didn’t like it and that solved the problem for many.
There was, however, one notable exception – the made to measure suit.
A made to measure suit is, by definition, made for the person for whom it is intended. The customer cannot expect to be able to change his mind once the garment is made because the retailer would be highly unlikely to be able to sell the garment to anyone else. It was made for one person and one person only.
Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention and Mother Came up With The Goods Once More
Realising that the touch and feel factors were likely to be a barrier to online sales, a tailoring company in China realised that they had to overcome that hurdle or fall off the online horse.
They had a first class product; they made mens suits and other garments on a made to measure basis, yet they were unable to penetrate the market as extensively as they would like. The solution to this problem was inspirational but, ultimately, very simple and it transformed them into a business that could operate globally without the need to ever meet any of their bespoke clients.
Enter The “Testing Suit” – A Made To Measure Problem Solver.
The concept of a “testing suit” is very simple. First of all the customer would take a set of measurements using an online guide and enter those measurements into the web-based application provided.
The manufacturer then uses those dimensions to produce a suit made from a plain material, i.e. not the fabric that will bill used for the final version, and ships it out to the client.
The client tries on this testing suit and makes a note of any necessary last minute adjustments, relaying those back to the manufacturer.
The final suit is then produced and shipped to the customer. A perfect fit and ready to wear.
So there you have it, a simple but effective solution to one of the many problems that may form a barrier to online sales in the future. Let’s hope that they can all be solved so effectively.