Our latest Future Of Retail Report looks at the trend of Fit With A Click. One manifestation of this trend can be seen in DITTO, an online eyewear retailer that offers a 3D virtual fitting technology; with DITTO, shoppers can visualize how glasses will look on their face. After consumers record a short video of themselves with a webcam, a 3D model of their face is created, which they can then use to try on pairs of glasses with a scrollable, 180-degree view. Final selections are aided by a side-by-side snapshot feature. The snapshot feature is shareable on Facebook, allowing a shopper to solicit feedback from friends.We spoke to Emily Mulle of DITTO, to get her thoughts about how DITTO is helping consumers find the ‘perfect fit:’
Tell us a little about Ditto. How does it work? How do you curate the selection of glasses? Where does social play in?
DITTO.com is a beautifully designed e-commerce site selling a curated mix of designer glasses and sunglasses. Customers can also use their webcam to record a short video to create a 3D virtual self, or “DITTO” so they can virtually try on glasses in 180-degree views to see how a particular style looks and fits their face before they make a purchase. Our proprietary technology gathers detailed sizing information about the user’s head and facial features to allow for accurate scaling of the glasses onto the user’s head. DITTO’s patent-pending technology is the first technology that accurately sizes the products enabling customers to see which glasses fit their face before they buy them. We curate a selection of glasses and sunglasses from an array of designer brands that cover a range of price points and styles. Our designer roster includes such household names as Ray-Ban, Persol, Chloe, TAG Heuer, and Vera Wang, as well as niche fashion and boutique brands like Jason Wu, Selima Optique, Alain Mikli, Anglo American, and John Varvatos. Our merchandising team strives to provide an edited selection of stylish frames from the best brands, without overwhelming the user with endless options. DITTO.com also integrates social media features, allowing the user to post side-by-side snapshots of their DITTO wearing different glasses on Facebook to poll friends for opinions.
Are there any notable figures or statistics around customer engagement and usage?
Over 3000 unique users made DITTOs in the first 24 hours of our official launch on April 26, 2012.
We have 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 so?
Virtual fitting software is an increasingly popular tool for retailers to market to their customers. It’s novel and engaging for customers to visualize themselves virtually wearing the item — be it clothes, shoes, eyewear or jewelry. Yet to date, no was has been able to create a virtual fitting software that solves the fundamental problem of shopping online – “does it fit?” We have built the first technology to address this huge pain point, starting with eyewear. Clearly, the problem with fitting online extends beyond eyewear, so we foresee expanding into other verticals that incorporate our proprietary technology down the road and continuing to build DITTO as a shopping/lifestyle brand that people can rely on and trust.
How have customers responded to this level of personalization? Why do you think social elements of this service are important?
Before starting DITTO, we sought out and interviewed hundreds of people who were buying eyewear. Their message was clear: they wanted the broader selection and convenience of ecommerce, but they were too nervous to buy nice products online since they wanted to try them on. As it were, you’d be hard pressed to find a shopper not taking pictures of themselves with their smartphones to send off for approval, or bringing along a companion for second opinions and validation. DITTO not only offers the product assortment, convenience, and great customer service, but our technology addresses the need to try on for fit and look, and added sharing tools address the desire for validation. We have gotten a tremendous amount of feedback from hundreds of private beta testers, and thousands of real world users. They have validated that our technology is useful and fun. They have given us suggestions to make the process to create a DITTO simple and fast – which prospect we will continually work toward improving. They expressed a desire to see their DITTO side-by-side in multiple pairs of glasses so they can comparison shop – not just for price, but for look. We have subsequently added that feature and added the ability to poll friends on Facebook so customers can get validation from their friends and family before they buy. In the coming months, we will also be adding the options to refer to a stylist for feedback and assistance in selection, as well as the ability to text and email a friend. Ultimately, glasses are an accessory you’ll wear on your face, every day; we strive to do everything we can to instill confidence in the process of shopping for glasses.