Fashion Face-Off: Virtual Stylists vs. GPT AI Stylist

What's the difference?

Jess Erdman, August 2023

Virtual stylists are rising in popularity as a way to get personalized fashion advice without leaving the house.


Fashion favorites like Nordstrom, Revolve, and other typical virtual stylist services now allow you to access a personal stylist online and receive styling advice over a video chat.


Typically, shoppers fill out a quiz and are matched, one on one, with a stylist. 


We believe that personal stylists will always have a place in the fashion world, but for busy, high-volume eCommerce retailers looking to maximize efficiency, accuracy, and scalability, GPT Stylist offers a more comprehensive solution that better fits the specific needs of retailers


But, are virtual stylists a good fit for retailers looking for scalable, speedy iterative recommendations?


Virtual stylists versus AI stylists and why AI styling is better


The Scalability Challenge for Virtual Styling Services


Revolves virtual styling quiz against a pink gradient background




Nordstrom or typical virtual stylist services rely solely on limited stylist availability, constrained by human realities like bandwidth, costs, and number of hours in a day. In short, with the limited number of hours available for shoppers, there are only so many shoppers that can be served at once.


One review noted that Nordstrom stylists weren’t available on the weekends–a peak time for styling services, leaving shoppers outside the service with limited options.


YesPlz ChatGPT Stylist is always available for shoppers, 24 hours a day, whenever they need virtual styling services. 


Labor Costs:


Nordstrom virtual styling services example with pink gradient background


YesPlz AI-powered technology can handle serving personalized recommendations to an unlimited number of shoppers simultaneously, making it easier to scale without needing to add more stylists.


AI can scan through the entire catalog in a short time, for every request from a shopper, this is a big advantage of AI.


Human stylists typically take 3-4 hours to have one complete the lookbook. Normally, it would take a number of iterations between a stylist and a client to refine the styling. 


Growing Product Catalogs:


Scalability also applies to growing product catalogs–as retailers scale their product offerings, it’s impossible for virtual stylists to keep up with every new product (and rightfully so). But, that means that as product catalogs grow, virtual stylists will struggle to keep up with them, limiting the conversion rate on new products


However, with AI, we can automate recommended promotions based on new products (or seasonal, or any preferences the retailers have).


The Power of Collective Data Insights In AI Styling


5 Reasons why AI Styling is stronger than virtual styling with different colors for each reason


Nordstrom stylists are limited in their recommendations by their own personal experiences and knowledge–as are all humans. But, that can lead to inconsistent recommendations


Our ever-evolving AI draws on an exponentially larger pool of data points and sources of inspiration compared to any one person–and we can leverage data insights from shoppers to serve curated, personalized recommendations to every shopper


AI is a strong pattern detector–and GPT Stylist can put together all of the pieces and nuances that lead to the reasons why a shopper might like a specific item but not another.


For example, perhaps there’s a specific vibe or combination of design attributes that the shopper likes 


YesPlz’s AI gets smarter every second by continuously optimizing its recommendations and style knowledge through machine learning. Users can like or dislike products they see, leading to even stronger recommendations in the future


Streamlining the Product Discovery Experience


Getting Started


Services like Nordstrom require customers to schedule an appointment in advance and coordinate schedules with a stylist. This adds friction and wait times.


Shoppers are then tasked with another step–sitting on a video phone call.


Then, the virtual stylist sends the products to the shoppers


Then, shoppers need to click the links to see the items. Then, finally, they can checkout.


But, that’s too many steps–especially when we know that the more steps in the discovery process, the less likely a shopper is to complete it.


On the other hand, YesPlz’s GPT Stylist is instantly ready to start the conversation and start styling. Shoppers are never confused about what to write because there are AI-generated prompts to get them started or they simply start typing, leaving shoppers with no delay in starting the initial product discovery journey.



The Styling Journey


With a virtual stylist, shoppers see a limited number of outfit curations based on the pre-survey completed.


But, what if shoppers want to see more outfit ideas? The shopper needs to ask for more outfit ideas, but that may not be realistic in the time-constrained time of a phone call.


And, shoppers see a limited view of the product because it’s a video call. 


What if shoppers want to see more options? It can be difficult to tell another person “next” all the time–but with YesPlz GPT Stylist, we empower shoppers to be as picky as they want.


With endless outfit remixes and infinite product refreshes, shoppers can click “no” (or “yes”) as many times as they want to find the perfect outfit combination.


Shoppers can be shy in making requests and asking for more outfit ideas. But, with GPT Stylist, they can ask for outfit ideas as many times as they want–or ask uncomfortable questions, like how to hide or flaunt a certain body part.


The AI styling process is much more beneficial for retailers–we offer retailers the possibility to see shopper behavior, and to better understand which products are doing well, and which aren’t–this isn’t possible with a virtual stylist.


Compared to humans, AI can reiterate repeatedly & faster, making it more cost-efficient for retailers


Delivering an Immersive Journey


Nordstrom has focused its virtual styling services more narrowly on manually assembling complete outfits.


YesPlz GPT Stylist aims to provide an engaging, end-to-end discovery experience beyond just outfit assembly- from curated closets to thumbs up/thumbs down functionality, we’re keeping shoppers engaged during the journey while providing valuable information to retailers


Shoppers can actively customize recommendations, explore alternative products, and interact throughout the process.


Shoppers rarely only have 1 styling request–or they have a ton of follow-up questions. But, with virtual styling services, shoppers are limited to their initial request (or else the stylist would need to start over). In AI styling, shoppers can make as many different unrelated requests as they want.


With retailer product integration, shoppers only need to click to purchase. In virtual styling, shoppers need to wait to receive a message, then take the extra steps to purchase, creating more barriers to conversion. 



AI Styling Offers More Scalable and Data-Driven Solution for Retailers


In conclusion, while personal stylists will always hold a place in the fashion world, the YesPlz GPT Stylist powered by AI offers a more scalable, efficient, and data-driven solution for busy eCommerce retailers. 


It surpasses human stylists in handling an unlimited number of shoppers, keeping up with growing product catalogs, and providing consistent and accurate recommendations. 


The AI-driven process streamlines the product discovery experience, empowering shoppers to explore endless outfit options and interact freely. 


By delivering an immersive journey and valuable data insights, the YesPlz GPT Stylist maximizes efficiency, accuracy, and engagement, making it a smart choice for retailers looking to enhance the fashion advice experience for their customers.


 Learn more about AI Styling solutions 

by Jess Erdman Jess Erdman
Content Marketing Lead

I'm passionate about creating cool content. The best part? I get to learn new things about fashion tech and ecommerce everyday. Have an idea or opinion about this article? Reach out at

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