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The bane of every online Clothing retailer’s life is RETURNS.
On average, the return rate is 11% for t-shirts; 25-35% for casual wear; and over 40% for fitted fashions. The return rate is higher for more expensive items. In countries like Germany, the average return rate for clothing is even higher – around 60 %. Most of the returns are due to bad fit (stats from fits.me.)
The returns bear a very high cost for retailers, as the average time for the item to be placed back into the sales cycle is 1-2 months. Summer apparel, sold in August, and returned in October, is difficult to be resold at any price.
This is just the nature of things – however good clothes look on screen they sometimes just don’t look so good once on one’s own weirdly shaped body!
However, it’s crucial for online retailers to minimise return rates and some have gone the extra mile in developing online dressing rooms. Online dressing rooms have come and gone over the years, most of them having promised a lot more than they ever delivered – it’s not exactly an easy conundrum to solve.
So I have been looking into current technology. There does not seem to be a whole lot around but here’s what I found. If you know or any others please let me know.
I hope they give you inspiration.
Hot off the press is youth fashion retailer Seventeen’s virtual dressing room
Online shoppers can now try on clothes in a virtual dressing room using a pioneering new augmented reality application that’s being pioneered by a US magazine publisher.
The application detects users’ image through their computer webcam. Then shoppers choose the piece of clothing they want to try on and see what it looks like on them by laying the clothing image over their own image on their computer screen.
So I gave it a go…….
Well this was fun, and after a bit of trial and error I began to get the idea. It’s good to be able to try on women’s clothes in the name of research though I couldn’t get the clothes to fit me though but then maybe that’s because I’m not a Seventeen year old girl.
Hmmm, couldn’t quite get my laptop angled correctly…
Not really sure if this is going to catch on….
2. Fits me:
Next up is technology being produced by Fits me http://fits.me/. This technology takes the old formula of the user putting in their size and the computer doing its best to recreate your build and to render the product on your body. But this time it looks much more impressive. I gave it a go and it does a nice job as far as I can tell.
First you get your shape
Then try something on
You can see it in action on http://www.hawesandcurtis.com, though they hardly mention it on their site which surprises me. Click on the tiny “change my size” icon.
This is an old favourite and has been around now for a couple of years. This is a sort of online fitting room in that it helps you imagine how a product might look on your type of body, but it’s not attempting anything clever by way of personalising it to your actual shape.
The killer app?
Whilst serving a useful function as an online fitting guide it also doubles up as a sort of online Spearmint Rhino and has become popular with men the world over achieving viral status, which is why if you type in “knickers” in Google and this site comes number one as so many people are now linking to it. Call me cynical but I can’t help feeling that this may have been as much the objective in the first place as helping out on the fitting issue. It’s due for an update quite soon.
This is just a glorified (or not even that) mood board. I can’t believe anyone is really using this in any serious way. Even the demo doesn’t look very interesting. There is a laborious sign up process and you can’t even get the individual items to move around. So you have shoes pointing one way and handbags the other. Nil points I’m afraid.
Virtual Sunglasses from Brille
This site worked nicely. A bit clunky and slow and really unless you live 100 miles from an optician you’re probably going to have more fun and less waiting going into shop.
A few more editing tools might have been good so that I could rotate my head inline with the horizontalness of the glasses. There’s nothing technologically amazing about this site but hopefully returns are reduced by giving the user the opportunity to see how they might look once on.
The separate 360 view of each pair of glasses is useful and makes up for the fact that the site can’t quite display the arms of the glasses on my head. I guess we need some sort of 3D version here.
Anyway, I think I look good with glasses. Any opinions?
And some more just sent in bya reader
Not exactly a fitting room but more a style guide
OK I just saw this so thought I would add it to the mix: It’s an ad by Google. Not sure it’s the future but cant be ignored.
Please let me know on email@example.com if you find any other good example of online dressing rooms.