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Style and fit customization: a web content mining approach to evaluate online mass customization experiences

Chunmin Lang (Department of Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)
Sibei Xia (Department of Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)
Chuanlan Liu (Department of Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 24 July 2020

Issue publication date: 9 April 2021

655

Abstract

Purpose

This study intends to examine consumers' fashion customization experiences through a web content mining (WCM) approach. By applying the theory of customer value, this study explores the benefits and costs of two levels of mass customization (MC) to identify the values derived from style (i.e. shoe customization) and fit customization experiences (i.e. apparel customization) and further to compare the dominating dimensions of value derived across style and fit customization.

Design/methodology/approach

A WCM approach was applied. Also, two case studies were conducted with one focusing on style customization and the other focusing on fit customization. The brand Vans was selected to examine style customization in study 1. The brand Sumissura was selected to examine fit customization in study 2. Consumers' comments on customization experiences from these two brands were collected through social networks, respectively. After data cleaning, 394 reviews for Vans and 510 reviews for Sumissura were included in the final data analysis. Co-occurrence plots, feature extraction and grouping were used for the data analysis.

Findings

The emotional value was found to be the major benefit for style customization, while the functional value was indicated as the major benefit for fit customization, followed by ease of use and emotional value. In addition, three major themes of costs, including unsatisfied service, disappointing product performance and financial risk, were revealed by excavating and evaluating consumers' feedback of their actual clothing customization experiences with Sumissura.

Originality/value

This study initiates the effort to use web mining, specifically, the WCM approach to thoroughly investigate the benefits and costs of MC through real consumers' feedback of two different types of fashion products. The analysis of this study also reflects the levels of customization: style and fit. It provides an in-depth text analysis of online MC consumers' feedback through the use of feature extraction analysis and word co-occurrence networks.

Keywords

Citation

Lang, C., Xia, S. and Liu, C. (2021), "Style and fit customization: a web content mining approach to evaluate online mass customization experiences", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 224-241. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-12-2019-0288

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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