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Innovation

Virtual fitting room tech takes aim at personalisation trend

As rising consumer expectations reshape the online shopping experience, retailers are under increased pressure to deliver personalised shopping capabilities.

The trend can be seen in various forms, from showing customers relevant product recommendations and ads, to letting them monogram or design their own products.

Now, it also means shoppers can search for pieces of clothing that match their own style and body size, thanks to Fit Match, a new tool released by Japanese e-commerce giant, Rakuten, this week.

Fit Match lets retailers recommend and display fashion that directly matches a shopper’s unique style and individual body size.

It’s the latest enhancement to Rakuten fit recommendation technology, Fit Origin, which uses global consumer data from over 30 million profiles, garment type data, attribute mapping and data science algorithms to provide accurate sizing information.

Once a consumer establishes a Fit Origin profile with a retailer, the Fit Match search tool leverages technology to make garment recommendations. As shoppers search they are shown in-stock products sized according to their unique Fit Origin profile.

The tool allows users to toggle between product sizes to assess fit impact across different body areas, allowing for self-tailoring and complete control over personal fit preferences. The tool also features refined search filters that narrow down recommended products by product type, brand and color.

According to Rakuten, the search tool increases sales conversion, reduces product returns and increases bottom line profits.

“Shopping is the biggest performance driver for retailers, and specific to fashion and apparel, the ability to deliver products with accurate fit – which reduces return costs – sits as the most critical revenue driver,” Rakuten Fits Me CEO Vicky Zadeh said.

The rise of virtual fitting room tech

An increasing number of e-commerce companies have embraced virtual fitting room technology to improve the online shopping experience and their own businesses.

Asos, the North Face and Calvin Klein are among the major global fashion retailers using FitAnalytics to help customers order the right size online.

The Berlin-based tech company has a millions-strong database of customer height, weight and fit preferences, which it uses to match shoppers with a ‘body double’ and recommend sizes.

Closer to home, Australian retailer Princess Polly has partnered with UK-based tech company MeTail, which allows customers to create a virtual model of their own body to ‘try on’ clothes online.

Other retailers, like Amazon, are leaning into the consumer trend of over-buying, then returning what doesn’t fit.

The e-commerce giant in June announced it was testing Prime Wardrobe, a new service that lets Amazon Prime members order three or more items of clothing, shoes and accessories online, without paying for them up-front.

Australian online fashion retailer Birdsnest launched a similar service, called Changeroom, earlier this year.

Customers can pay $9.95 at checkout and order up to $1,000 worth of merchandise without any upfront cost. They can try on everything at home and return what they don’t like in a pre-paid bag, paying only for what they keep.

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