I just heard a presentation on MyShape, a relatively new clothing retail site for women. Its secret sauce: It collects all the measurements of the clothing it carries and puts them into a database, and then asks its consumers to enter in their measurements, from which it builds individual profiles. Each profile gets a shape code, for example, shape S is "curvy front and side profiles." Users can also bypass the measurements and just pick their shape codes from the descriptions on the site.
Once a shopper has her profile in the system, the store only shows clothing that will flatter her shape type. Since it's based on measurements and proportions, not the quasi-arbitrary size label that designers put on their clothes, the return rate on purchases is lower: CEO Louise Wannier claims 10 percent to 12 percent customer returns vs. the industry average of 20 percent to 30 percent.
The site is designed for "women, who love to shop." Well, I'm a man, and I hate to shop, and want this service badly. Competitor Intellifit might work, but it requires I go to a physical location and get scanned. Women should also see Zafu, which focuses on jeans.
Found at the Web Ventures event.