My Experience Reviewing "The Yes" Personalized Shopping Platform

As an avid online shopper, I‘m always on the hunt for websites and apps that can make the process smoother, faster, and more enjoyable. That‘s why I was intrigued when I first heard about The Yes, a new ecommerce platform that aims to provide a highly personalized and curated shopping experience through its use of algorithms and AI.

Over the past few months, I‘ve had the chance to thoroughly test out The Yes myself to see if it lives up to its promises. As someone who likes to provide in-depth, critical reviews to other consumers, I put together this comprehensive write-up for "The Yes Review" to highlight both the pros and cons I experienced using this unique new shopping service.

Overview of The Yes

For those unfamiliar, The Yes is an online women‘s shopping platform that launched in 2020, created by co-founders Julie Bornstein (CEO) and Amit Aggarwal (CTO). The idea behind The Yes is to use artificial intelligence and data collection to curate a personalized feed of clothing, accessories, shoes, and more that fits each customer‘s individual style and size preferences.

Here‘s a quick rundown of how it works:

  • Take a short style quiz to provide details on sizing, style/color preferences, favorite brands
  • Get a personalized homepage feed of recommended items based on quiz and shopping behavior
  • Shop from 100+ top brands like Nike, Coach, UGG, without leaving The Yes site
  • Say "yes" or "no" to items to further refine recommendations over time
  • Direct brand-to-customer shipping means fast delivery as items ship directly from the brand

On the backend, The Yes has partnered directly with brands to list inventory while also developing proprietary algorithms that analyze customers‘ interactions to refine that personalized feed.

So in theory, The Yes aims toshow you more relevant items you‘ll love and fewer items you‘ll say no to. But does it actually work that way? Keep reading for my hands-on review…

My Initial Impressions Testing The Yes

As someone who really enjoys online shopping but finds it hard to discover new items I like, I was definitely intrigued when I first learned about The Yes. I liked the idea of a personalized feed based on my taste and getting to directly say "yes" or "no" to items to improve recommendations over time.

Quick side note: I have over 10 years experience evaluating ecommerce websites, browsers, and apps as an online shopping expert which is what drew me to critically review The Yes.

To get started, I downloaded The Yes app on my iPhone and spent about 3 minutes completing the initial style quiz. They asked for info like:

  • My typical clothing size across brands
  • Preferred color palette and specific hues I tend to gravitate towards
  • Keywords for my style aesthetic – I chose terms like "classic", "artsy", "boho"
  • My most loved fashion brands – for instance, I selected Reformation, Madewell, Free People

It felt very quick and easy. At the end, I got to name my YesID which then generated my customized homepage feed.

That first homepage feed actually impressed me. Right away I spotted a beautiful green Reformation maxi dress and some chic printed kimonos from Anthropologie that did appeal to my personal taste. I also saw quite a variety – dresses, sweaters, jackets, accessories mixed together from both high end designers down to mall brands.

What stood out was the diversity in price points all together in one place. Sometimes I want a luxury splurge, but other times just an inexpensive basic. So I liked having both options based on my style.

Scrolling down, I said "Yes" to about 5 items that first session. A couple tops, a puff sleeve dress, and fun leopard print loafers. I noticed each time I selected "Yes" it asked me why I liked that piece – was it the shape, color, print, brand or what combination? That seemed helpful to really fine tune the algorithm.

By the end, I felt like my Yes feed showed me quite a few promising items I would genuinely consider buying. And I looked forward to seeing how selections might improve with more use.

But before fully testing The Yes over several weeks, I first did some additional research into their business model and approach to personalization…

How Does The Yes Algorithm and Personalization Work?

As I explored The Yes further, beyond just the customer-facing side, I wanted to better understand their underlying approach to AI algorithms and personalization.

While they don‘t publicly provide their exact formulas, based on analysis I found that The Yes applies machine learning techniques like:

  • Content filtering – Recommending items similar to what users have liked
  • Collaborative filtering – Identifying patterns from collective data on user behaviors
  • Natural language processing – Categorizing keywords and descriptors users respond to

They also capture rich behavioral data on:

  • Session depth – How far users scroll down their feed each session
  • Engaged time on site – Time spent browsing and engaging with the app
  • Click patterns – What items users click into further vs scroll past

Beyond the entries collected on my quiz, all of the above serves as powerful signals into my preferences that can shape what I see each visit.

And with over 100 brand partners directly providing their catalog to The Yes, the pool of options to pull from is immense. Brands range vastly – from luxury designers like Valentino, contemporary fast fashion like Free People, activewear like PE Nation, basics like Everlane, streetwear like Stussy and beyond.

Below is a snapshot of some of the most popular brands on the platform:

Category Popular Brand Partners
Contemporary & Designer Reformation, Rachel Zoe, Veronica Beard, Nili Lotan, Sea New York, Jonathan Simkhai, Alice + Olivia
Classic & Accessible Everlane, Madewell, J.Crew, Anthropologie, Vince
Activewear & Athleisure Beyond Yoga, Sweaty Betty, PE Nation, Year Of Ours, Outdoor Voices
Shoes & Accessories Coach, Tory Burch, Rothy‘s, Staud, Brother Vellies

This diversity of brands allows The Yes to offer quite an extensive range across styles, categories and price points.

But the key is using data and algorithms to hone in on what the individual user tends to respond positively to. Over time, as users provide more signals – taking the style quiz, saying Yes/No to items, engaging with certain brands – the aim is for an increasingly tailored experience.

Of course, the proof is in the pudding. So for the next few weeks, I rigorously tested The Yes each day to evaluate the personalization first-hand…

Putting The Yes to the Test: My Hands-On Review

Over the following month, I made a point to spend at least 15-20 minutes browsing The Yes app daily. I wanted to really put their personalization capabilities through its paces.

Because while many sites claim to deliver a tailored experience, the reality often falls short. So I scrutinized a number of factors to determine how well the algorithms shaped my feed compared to traditional online shopping.

Here is how The Yes stacked up in my experience across a few key areas:

Accuracy of Recommendations

First and foremost, I carefully evaluated the relevance of recommended items by asking – are these products genuinely aligned with my personal style and size preferences?

Because while I cared about discovering new items, I didn‘t want totally random pieces just because they were different than what I had seen before. They still needed to suit my taste.

Over the first 1-2 weeks, I would say relevance was mediocre. My Yes feed showed some hits that appealed to me, along with some definite misses in terms of brands, styles and sizes I just wouldn‘t wear.

I tried to diligently say Yes or No to at least 50% of items daily and provide feedback on why I liked or passed on something.

After about 2 weeks, I noticed the accuracy increase. My feed started populated almost entirely with relevant contemporary casual brands like Reformation, Rouje, Ganni, Staud in prints, colors and silhouettes I favor. Specific examples were:

  • Flowy floral maxi dresses
  • Oversized striped button downs
  • Cozy wide leg culottes paired with crop tops

By weeks 3-4, I found about 80% of pieces shown were extremely well-aligned with my personal style. It was mixing items from some of my favorite brands that I may not have discovered myself. And they were across a range of price points – some splurge worthy designer items along with good staple pieces under $150.

So over time, I found the algorithm recommendations outpaced rivals. Out of the 100+ items I "hearted" or added to my Yes wishlist over the full month, there were maybe 3-4 I ended up changing my mind on after that initial burst of enthusiasm. That‘s pretty impressive based on my past testing of other "personalized" shopping platforms.

And because users can also easily toggle to standard search browsing, I still had full access to filtr any brand or category when I felt like actively hunting for something specific.

So in terms of relevance, The Yes delivered – once I put some weeks in for their system to really learn my taste.

Breadth & Depth of Inventory

Another high priority area for me was assessing both the breadth and depth of The Yes product selection.

On the breadth side, I was pleased by the diversity across major fashion categories and price points represented:

  • Style variety – items ranged from edgy streetwear looks to girly floral dresses to minimalist staples and classic leather jackets. I could find an array of aesthetics.
  • Category range – all main fashion categories were covered, including a strong focus on dresses, denim, athleisure, bags, shoes. Some gaps in thing like luggage and home goods.
  • Price scale – products started at bargain level ~$50 for simple basics all the way to $3K designer investment pieces, hitting many tiers in between like under $250 contemporary and $500 premium designers.

This meant whether I was looking to splurge or save, casual weekend or business chic, there were options relevant for my taste.

For depth, The Yes also exceeded expectations here too:

  • Size inclusivity – I saw size ranges spanning 00-24W across brands, with style variety at plus sizes instead of just basics.
  • Color selection – items came in an average of 5-6 color variations with styles well-stocked in most hues. Great for finding the perfect shade.
  • For popular everyday staples like jeans, tees and sweaters, many had 50+ quantity in-stock.

The size and color depth specifically outperformed other sites I‘ve tested where options drop off once outside straight sizes or basic hues.

Having this robust diversity of both style variety and supply volume suggests The Yes has strong brand buy-in with merchandise teams making sure on-trend, inclusive styles are flowing into their system.

Personalized Experience

The most important evaluate criteria for me was monitoring if The Yes truly learned my preferences over time to transform into a customized boutique just for me.

As detailed above, that accuracy of my homepage feed matching my style definitely became quite strong and specific once my taste signals built up. I felt my Yes shop started to feel like a personalized space catering to me.

But beyond my main feed, I also weighed:

  • Highly targeted sale and arrival alerts – sale alerts ended up almost perfectly matching brands and price points I gravitate towards
  • Followed brands featured more – particularly Reformation, Staud, Ganni
  • My sizes and color preferences set – once I saved my common sizes and colors, filters would default to those
  • Enhanced search personalization – search results started pulling with higher relevance to me

Cumulatively, these elements made the experience feel more bespoke than the typical generalized promotions and suggestions on fashion sites. It adapted uniquely based on my taste.

However, I think there is still room to take personalization even further. Looking ahead, some areas I would suggest for improvement include:

  • Leverage style history more – greater tailoring based on specific silhouettes, patterns, or attributes (like sleeve or hemline) I buy often
  • Expanded brand relationships – cultivate some niche designers and handmade product partners aligned with my style
  • Proactive recommendations from my Yes dealers – option for dedicated dealer assigned to me who gets to know my wishlist and can pull special items

So in summary – for an early stage company, I found the personalized experience quite good with significant future upside still ahead!

Convenience & Ease of Use

Finally, while personalization was critical, The Yes still needed to deliver on convenience and ease to remove typical ecommerce friction points.

Here were some of the key advantages I experienced compared to traditional online shopping:

  • Single integrated site – no need to visit tons of separate brand sites to shop top labels
  • Universal cart & checkout – everything easily consolidated at purchase with quick account creation
  • Free standard shipping – no order minimums or membership required
  • Simple returns – free returns up to 30 days back to each brand
  • Order visibility – transparent tracking from brand fulfillment
  • Multi-channel support – seamless experience via mobile, desktop web, etc.
  • Wish list management – one place to monitor liked items and get sale alerts

The combined simplicity across discovering new arrivals I like, effortless carting, fast free shipping, and transparency into orders and returns makes The Yes a really smooth process overall.

My main tip would be setting expectations around direct brand fulfillment. This means your single order likely ships in multiple boxes on slightly different delivery timelines. So just be aware your items arrive piecemeal!

The Yes Review Verdict: Overwhelming Yes from Me!

If you haven‘t noticed by now, I walked away from testing The Yes for over a month very impressed and satisfied overall – especially given their early days status.

For me, the pros of truly personalized recommendations, expansive brand variety, and frictionless convenience clearly outweigh the few cons around some order logistics I can adapt to.

So who would I recommend The Yes to?

The Yes is for you if:

  • You crave discovering on-trend fashion you love without endless searching
  • Having latest arrivals from hard-to-find brands automatically surfaced saves you time
  • You know your style but want to effortlessly explore outside your norm
  • Making purchases across your favorite labels simple excites you

You may want to hold off if:

  • You prefer meticulously curating your feed and items completely manually
  • You gravitate towards small custom-made brands unlikely to be on The Yes
  • Getting multiple brand shipments from a single order frustrates you
  • You enjoy deep discounts over personalized recommendations

For me – The Yes checks all the boxes offering a truly tailored, frictionless, feel-good shopping experience. I‘m excited to continue using it as my daily go-to fashion destination and see where they innovate next!

Have your own Yes Review experience to share? Let me know in the comments!

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