Product fit is another way to appeal to ethnic shoppers beyond language.
Recently, I wrote about Hispanic initiatives needing to go beyond the translation of marketing messages and how a retailer might adapt its merchandising for jeans to appeal to the cultural beauty values of Latina and African-American women. Today, I’d like to talk about product fit.
When apparel retailers ignore ethnic shoppers as a distinct market segment for product assortment purposes, they will see increased levels of clearance merchandise in certain areas, for example, in the L.A. market where Hispanics represent close to half of the population.
This happens because Asian and Hispanic adults are more likely to be petite, Latinas have mostly “pear-shape” bodies with smaller-than-average waist and bigger-than-average hip measurements, and African-American men are more likely to be “big & tall” while Black women skew toward plus sizes.
Here are 3 ideas for retailers to optimize their product offering for ethnic shoppers and decrease markdowns:
- Analyze sales per store in ethnic versus non-ethnic stores to determine which brands and sizes appeal most to ethnic shoppers. Download my “5 Ways to Calculate Your Multicultural Opportunity” ebook to see how to do it (pages 5 and 6).
- Partner with a 3D Body Scan Measurement provider to determine the fit deviations between ethnic and mainstream shoppers and your fit model – with technology such as Intellifit (used by Levi’s®, Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug Stores).
- Leverage the fit expertise of apparel vendors that are popular among ethnic shoppers, such as Apple Bottoms, and include their assortment in your store.