Personalised shopping – How data is changing the way men shop online

By Christopher How | Business

Aug 01

It all started when my journalist friends wrote an article about a new local startup called Tate & Tonic and their personalised styling service. Tate & Tonic’s personalised styling service is a different approach to the usual online shopping that we use today.

What is personalised styling service?

Personalised styling is nothing new. A decade ago, we have Personal Shoppers (yes, it’s a real job) who work with their client to build a wardrobe for them. By understanding their preferences, identifying trends and gauging fit, Personal Shoppers help to develop an overall look that works for each client. This service is often linked to the rich and famous. These days, the use of Personal Shoppers are getting more common and with technology, comes personalised styling service where you work with an online Personal Stylist to get the job done.

My experience with Tate & Tonic’s personalised styling service

I’m one of those guys who don’t really like window shopping. I usually know what I need to buy when I visit the store and I won’t bother to browse for other purchases. As a result, my wardrobe is what my sister would call, safe (a better word for boring).

Through Tate & Tonic’s sign-up process, I provide them with details about my fashion preferences, budget for clothes. This allows their Personal Stylist (the Personal Stylist in charge of my account is called Melody) to understand my needs and send me follow-up emails to understand me better.

Here’s where the fun begins. Melody selects clothes and shoes that she think would fit my style, packs everything in a nice box and have a courier send them to me (did I mention that delivery is free?). I must admit, receiving a box of surprise at my doorstep is pretty exciting. I would try everything on, select the items that I would keep and what I don’t want. Through an online return process, Tate & Tonic would arranges for a courier to pick up the items that I want to return and charge my credit card for the items that I’m keeping.


The first Tate & Tonic box that I received has a mix of clothes and shoes that Melody has specially picked for me. There’s even a nice little note from Melody telling me about the clothes she has selected for me and why she selected them (this is such a nice touch!). What I like about having a personalised styling service is that I get to try clothes that are a little more edgy than what I usually wear, and expose me to different brands that I never consider before. After trying everything, I eventually decided on three shirts that I would keep and returned the rest.

I also opted for them to send me a new box next month (I love surprises!).

Why does this excite me as a Digital Marketer?

From a digital marketing point of view, it’s all about you as a consumer giving your personal data and preferences to the online store, and the online store helps to pick out clothes that suit you (and shoes to go along with them). As a digital marketer, this interests me because this e-commerce model is data-driven, and every stage of the purchase cycle can be measured and improved accordingly.

Because of the data that Tate & Tonic has about each customer, it allows them to:

  • Identify clothes that work for each customer
  • Know what each customer has already purchased previously
  • Tailor the next personalised styling experience based on clothes that are kept or returned
  • Build rapport with each customer to increase customer retention
  • Increase their customer base through referrals

Tate & Tonic is a proven success story of how businesses can make use of customer information to build a personalised service that meets the needs of each customer.

What I’d love to see them do in future is to cross-selling beyond clothes. For example, if they know a customer has been buying their socks for the past few boxes, maybe add a sock rack in the next box.

Give Tate & Tonic’s Personalised Styling Service a try and I’ll love to hear your thoughts on their service.

Please note that I am a Tate & Tonic customer and this post contain referral links from their website allowing a small commission to be contributed to when you receive your first Tate & Tonic box. As usual, all opinions and thoughts about Tate & Tonic are solely mine and unbiased. Thanks for supporting at no additional cost to you.

About the Author

Christopher How is a digital marketing specialist helping organisations complement their business strategies with digital marketing techniques since 2006. Currently working in Philips Lighting as Senior Digital Marketing Manager (ASEAN Pacific), Christopher manages the end to end digital marketing from generating leads to converting them into contacts for the sales team. He is also involved in proposing and implementing digital marketing solutions that improve marketing efforts and processes for businesses.