by Matthew Kish, Madeline Stone, Ellen Thomas, Alex Bitter, Ann Gehan, Anthony Medina, and Nancy Luna
The pandemic wasn't easy for retailers to navigate. But ultimately, investing in e-commerce became the playbook to boost sales as customers preferred shopping in the safety of their own homes over outlets and shopping malls.
Now, the industry is at yet another inflection point. E-commerce sales growth has slowed, inflation has grown, and a recession is looming, but customers seem to have held onto many of the shopping habits and expectations they developed during the height of the pandemic.
These new expectations mean retailers must offer the ease and speed of Amazon. They need to offer ways to shop online, pick-up in-store, and at least dip their toes in the metaverse. They need to be live selling on TikTok while looking for alternatives to pricey Facebook ads.
So where do retailers go from here?
With our inaugural list of retail-tech power players, Insider is highlighting the leaders best answering that question. These innovative industry executives are leading the way in areas like resale, artificial intelligence, the metaverse, customer marketing, and more.
Insider's retail team selected the recipients based on nominations and our deep reporting on players in retail tech.
FIT:MATCH helps users more accurately buy clothing in their size using AR and AI technology. The platform uses a patented algorithm to match users with someone who shares a similar body type in FIT:MATCH's database.
FIT:MATCH, led by Brown, specializes in lingerie, bras, and activewear — some of the more hard-to-fit categories in retail, the company said. Brown, a first-generation Jamaican immigrant, has spent almost a decade in the consumer-investment industry and has worked as an analyst for Credit Suisse and Freeman Spogli.
Brown's experiences helped him recognize a discrepancy in how retail businesses are able to match clothing items to all body shapes.
"Customers are craving elevated ways to shop through an extremely curated lens, and brands are seeking to learn more about their customers in order to serve them best-in-class commerce experiences and ultimately keep them loyal," Brown told Insider.
FIT:MATCH works with brands including Rihanna's Savage X Fenty and Fabletics. The company earned $750,000 from angel investors in December 2019 and followed that up with $2 million and $4 million seed rounds in September 2020 and May 2021, respectively.
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