Photos courtesy of Stitch Fix
Styling platform Stitch Fix just recently partnered with Venus Williams on a campaign to overcome gym anxiety, and fans of the tennis star and the brand are latching on. What Stitch Fix is calling their ‘Goodbye Gymtimidation’ campaign is an attempt to help women achieve their fitness goals via exclusive activations available through the platform.
According to research conducted by the brand, 67% of women experience qualms about returning to a fitness routine after having a baby, coping with the pandemic, or other major life events.
Furthermore, its concluded that 89% of women “are more likely to stick to their fitness goals if they have workout clothes that make them feel confident.”
Williams, who has spoken about her own experiences with ‘gymtimidation’, has agreed to share personal tips on overcoming gym anxiety while Stitch Fix promotes active and athleisure items in sizes XXS to 3X from nearly 30 brands including Nike, The North Face, Adidas, and more.
Before the campaign’s launch, Williams said:
“Playing tennis on a global stage doesn’t make me immune to anxieties. In fact, I’d say it’s just the opposite. I’ve experienced ‘gymtimidation’ in the past while working out and have developed my own set of techniques to keep it at bay throughout my career. That’s why I decided to join forces with Stitch Fix on this campaign – to create awareness of this issue and inspire women to stay confident in themselves throughout their wellness journey.”
Stitch Fix also claims that 89% of the women they surveyed admitted to skipping workouts because they lacked clothes that made them feel comfortable and confident. This statistic, and the effects ‘gymtimidation’ has on women across the country, led Stitch Fix to create more personalized athletic products fit for an individual’s needs.
In the collaborative release, Stitch Fix touted its ‘Fix apparel box service,’ where clothing items are curated for customers using algorithms and human stylists. The campaign is also a test for Stitch Fix’s Freestyle e-commerce site, which doesn’t let customers search for specific items or brands—rather, items are tailored using a style quiz and the individual’s purchase history.
“A shopper’s personal online shopping feeds refresh throughout the day as inventory updates, so there’s always something new to discover and try from more than 1,000 brands and styles consumers know and love,” according to a spokesperson from Stitch Fix spokesperson.
By using the inventory management software Freestyle, Stitch Fix is setting itself apart from more traditional clothing retailers like Target or Nordstrom that promote search-based shopping. And Stitch Fix isn’t the only DTC brand using this personalized strategy. Stylogic, Trunk Club, and Menlo Club use similar subscription boxes in order to curate clothing for their respective audiences.
Connected customer experiences
There is, however, reason to believe the subscription box model isn’t perfect. While services like thredUP and Frank & Oak threw in the towel, Stitch Fix continues to come to terms with potential limitations. According to DeAnna McIntosh, retail consultant at Retailing Evolved, Stitch Fix must find ways to incorporate human stylists into its Freestyle offerings.
Stitch Fix and other subscription box services have an opportunity to offer unparalleled styling services, but they run the risk of “diminishing their disruption factor and what their success was built on” should they fail to provide connected customer experiences via human support, argues McIntosh.
Nevertheless, styling services are more popular than ever among retailers and brands will need to decide which personalized experiences are best suited for their customers. Subscription box services are still relatively new to the market and we’ll have to see if companies like Stitch Fix have the tools to navigate changing consumer behavior.
Whether it’s influencer marketing in the case of Venus Williams or partnership with software companies like Freestyle, 2022 is already showing us what’s possible when personalities and algorithms come together.