Becoco – using human centred design to reduce waste in online shopping returns

Posted on: 25/04/2019

Innovate UK Design Foundations programme helping businesses work with designers to identify innovation opportunities and find viable routes to market.


Through the Innovate UK Design Foundations programme in 2017 £4 million of funding was awarded to 93 businesses of varying sizes. The objective was helping businesses work with designers to identify innovation opportunities and find viable routes to market.


This insight series selects several of those projects to highlight a variety of design approaches.  Becoco was the brainchild of Katharina Vandamme-Eybesfeld who spotted an opportunity to reduce the staggering £20billion online returns market.  Online shopping results in a high proportion of people who buy online often returning a significant proportion of their purchase due to ill fitting garments. Becoco provides a personalised fashion styling service that retailers can integrate into their platform. With the help of Design Foundations funding Becoco teamed up with Untapped Innovation to explore how human-centred design strategy could help to bring her data-driven styling technology to market.


“It was a highly interesting and very beneficial process. We discovered our interface has to be adjusted to the personality of the shopper. We didn’t just need one interface, but we needed to segment them into four different shopping personalities.” They didn’t get it right the first time. “We went through the iteration process 3 times to build the minimum viable product, then we could translate the information into a functioning interface. Then, finally, we could demonstrate to retailers through considerate design that consumers would be happy to give them more data and this may lead to more informed decision making in the design of collections. We could tell them, for example, ‘did you know that 23% of your range only suits 2% of your customers?’” Imagine how information like that might improve retail for everyone so fashion design can become more human-centred too.  Katharina Vandamme-Eybesfeld, Founder Becoco


Find out how Becoco used human centred design to create a highly effective business model in their case study here.



If your business is facing customer experience challenges and want to talk to someone about using design thinking to tackle that challenge, talk to Jake from the Design in Innovation team at KTN.

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