In preparation for the release of our upcoming Future Of Retail report, PSFK reached out to Fits.me, a virtual fitting room for online clothing retailers that let shoppers try on clothes from their own computer. After inputting their measurements, users can adjust the size of the clothing item to see how it might fit according to their body shape. The innovation is made possible by a robotic mannequin that is able to adjust in shape and size, allowing the retailer to map out how an item would look on people of different measurements. The technology is used by online retailers like Otto, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gilt, and Barbour. We spoke to Heikki Haldre, the CEO of Fits.me.
Tell us a little about Fits.me Virtual Fitting Room. How does it work? Can you tell us a little about the decision to create the application?
Fits.me is the only commercially available technology that focuses on the “fit” in the “virtual fitting room.” It increases the sales, by removing the risk of getting a wrong size when buying clothing online; and it reduces garment returns that are due to wrong size received. It increases customer happiness and conversion to repeat purchases by making sure the garments that are bought online fit.
Fits.me is an advanced garment size visualization technology created by three universities across Europe. It lets customers try virtually, and see immediately, how different sizes of garments will fit their body and style.
“Fit isn’t a matter of what objectively fits you but what you like and are comfortable in,” says retail analyst Sucharita Mulpuru of Forrester Research. Fits.me addresses this by showing the customer a photo-quality replica of their own body in different sizes of clothing.
Fits.me suits best the brands that value their brand and customer service.
Are there any notable figures or statistics around customer engagement and usage?
Fits.me is the number one virtual fitting room, used by more retailers than any other technology. It is also the only commercially available size visualization technology. Clients include Thomas Pink (LVMH Group), Otto (world’s largest online apparel retailer), Ermenegildo Zegna, Gilt Groupe, Ghost, Barbour by Mail, and others.
While focusing on letting the customers buy the clothes that fit, its main competitor is “free return shipping.” The “free returns” designed to remove the risk of buying clothes online without the ability to try, has a high fixed costs, and high variable costs due to seasonality of fashion. While “free returns” help the sales, Fits.me results in more satisfied customers who do not want to buy a right to return, but desire to purchase clothes that fit. As the fit is the main reason for returns, Fits.me, on average, decreases returns by 22%, more among the higher priced and fitted garments.
Among retailers that use Fits.me, it has increased the sales by 57% among the new customers – a segment which is the costliest in terms of marketing expenditures. For retailers that focus on international expansion, Fits.me has helped increase the sales even more, as it reduces the risks when buying across borders and provides the essential customer service.
Vogue Magazine (vogue.co.uk) chose Fits.me among the Top 100 most influential names in digital fashion in 2012.
We have noticed that enhanced customer scanning software is offering unprecedented ways for retailers to remotely tailor products for their customers, ensuring consumers reach a new level of comfort and satisfaction in their online shopping experience. Do you see this trend manifesting on a wider scale? How?
Fits.me Virtual Fitting Room focuses entirely on helping the online retailers sell more, with fewer returns, and with higher customer satisfaction – doing all this by letting customers try first for size, and then buy, even when buying online. It does not, as of yet, cater for companies that provide made-to-measure garments.
Fits.me was created, in part, by one of the world’s largest 3D human body scanning and anthropometrics companies, Human Solutions GmbH.
What are the opportunities for retailers using the Fits.me Virtual Fitting Room? In what ways will consumers benefit from using this technology?
Most customers hesitate trying their luck when buying online. They know that 1-in-4 purchases they make have to be sent back to the online shop, mostly as the size received was wrong. Furthermore, many customers fail to return the garments due to missing the deadline. The rate of unhappiness among the online buyers is far higher than the rate of garment returns.
Fits.me has taken away the main risk when buying clothing online. It has let the customers not only see what size fits their body, but more importantly – what size fits their style. Those who prefer a fitted look, or those who prefer a roomier option, will simply choose the size they like.
Fits.me helps customers trust the brand, and trust that they will receive a size they love. It helps them buy items that are normally shied away when shopping online – more fitted or more expensive garments, and it encourages them to buy the garments in other fit categories they have never tried before.
Fashion is among the most emotional purchases and Fits.me helps the customers remain happy and satisfied with the purchase even when it arrives at their doorstep. Fits.me is an essential customer service.