According to the fashion-industry trade journal WWD, most women in the U.S. today are underserved by the fashion market. Part of the problem is the limited merchandise selection available in the most common women’s clothing sizes: 10–32. But companies such as Dia & Co are changing that, fueled by a passion for helping women find clothes they love. 

With millions of customers across all 50 states in the U.S., Dia & Co offers ecommerce and a personal-clothing styling service for plus-size women. The company differentiates itself by working closely with vendors to expand inclusive sizing, building its own private label, and offering a “try at home before you buy” option. 

In a recent webinar, Christa Stelzmuller, CTO of Dia & Co, who leads the Data Product and Technology teams, shared how the company uses data, including Snowflake Data Marketplace, to improve customer experiences.

“When it comes to fit, a lot of what we do with data is understanding it’s not just about size; it’s about how to design clothing for different body shapes,” Stelzmuller said. “We understand our customers through this lens, and it helps us make sure that every woman who is shopping with us finds something they like that fits them well.”

Market Challenges 

According to Stelzmuller, a large portion of plus retailers closed last year due to restructuring plans, which significantly reduced access to a market that was already deeply underserved. In addition to store closures, major brands pulled back on inclusive sizing, reducing the availability of plus-size options. 

Dia & Co’s try-at-home approach helps meet the needs of customers who shop online for clothes and want the same experiences that they liked to have in-store.  

“Ecommerce is great for many of us, but if, historically, customers can’t get a great fit and they want to be able to try clothes on, being a digital brand means you have to be innovative in doing that,” Stelzmuller said. 

Data Insights Improve Customer Experience 

Stelzmuller explains that before using Snowflake Data Marketplace, getting access to the actionable data her team needed for providing the best customer experience was challenging. The team had to bring in raw data sources, transform them, and spend a lot of time composing the data into useful information. 

“This meant that we were not bringing in as much rich detail as we would have liked about this particular market,” Stelzmuller said. “Snowflake Data Marketplace sources eliminated a lot of this headache for us because a lot of these shares are ready to use out of the box. We’re taking the data straight from the source and merging it right into our analytics systems, which puts it directly into the hands of the teams to consume.”

Now, in addition to easy-to-access and beneficial Snowflake Data Marketplace data, Stelzmuller and team use Stitch data, Simon Data, data transformation tool dbt, and Snowflake software partners such as Heap. 

“Our Heap integration is particularly valuable to us because this data is simple to integrate, and then we’re able to understand customer flows as they move through our system,” Stelzmuller said. (Read more about the Heap implementation with Snowflake.) 

The Dia & Co team takes advantage of audience and marketplace data sets, leveraging them in slightly different ways. For example, marketplace data sets help the team understand broader market trends, while audience data sets provide insight into campaign, channel, and landing page performance. 

Growing Market Opportunity

According to Stelzmuller, “Dia & Co isn’t focused on just competing for the same market share. We’re looking to expand spend in this market. To do that, we rely heavily on market surveys and align that against publicly available data to create a complete picture of what the market looks like.”  

According to Stelzmuller, there is a considerable gap between the addressable plus-size fashion market—67% of U.S. women—and the 27% of fashion spending in that market currently. Therefore, relying on purchase data isn’t very helpful because it provides insight only into the women who are already buying. 

“We’re committed to bringing a much broader selection to our customers. We continue to focus on further personalizing that experience, investing in our fit expertise, and evolving our styling service,” Stelzmuller said.

Check out our webinar to learn more about retail data trends.