More often than not, size 8 models don't accurately represent the average Australian shopper, which is why ASOS is implementing 'virtual fit' technology in the hopes it will decrease preventable returns and improve the experience of everyday shoppers.
The idea is that AR technology will be able to digitally map each piece of clothing that’s available for purchase online, by showing items on models of various sizes.
“We’re experimenting with AR to show products on different size models, so customers can get a better sense of how something might fit their body shape,” ASOS explained in a statement that was released to announce its partnership with Israeli tech start-up, Zeekit.
ASOS has been working with Zeekit to make its ‘virtual fit’ technology possible, with the programming taking existing photos of each piece of clothing, and models of different shapes and sizes to give buyers a better idea of what the item will look like on their specific body shape.
ASOS increases body diversity in online fashion by implementing ‘virtual fit’ technology.
The British fashion retailer will be rolling out these updates across its shopping app over the coming months, with some users already noticing changes in how clothes are displayed to shoppers.
According to industry insiders, online fashion retailers still largely rely on size 8 models, which isn’t always beneficial for both pureplay and multichannel fashion brands, as the average Australian woman is closer to a size 14. This leaves consumers guessing what a particular piece of clothing will look like on them.
ASOS believes this ‘virtual fit’ technology will not only help increase sales but also decrease the prevalence of preventable returns. According to global research firm, IHL, retailers, on average, have to deal with up to US$642.6 billion in both online and in-store returns each year. Analysts believe an estimated 17-25 percent of this figure can be attributed to refunded online purchases.
Like most e-commerce retailers, ASOS offers free shipping to a large portion of its customers – a service that can impact the retailer’s ROI if there are too many returns.
This is the second deal the company has made with a third-party tech supplier, after the business struck a deal with Virtusize back in 2013. By using this technology, shoppers can compare the measurements of the garment they are interested in purchasing with an item of clothing they already own. The main pitfall of Virtusize’s solution is that it lacks a ‘visual’ component.
By using Zeekit’s solution as well, it’s believed ASOS will be able to improve its user experience, reduce the number of preventable returns it’s processing, and saving the amount of money it spends photographing clothing on multiple models.
Similar technology is also available from the likes of Fit.me and Metail, where users can create 3D models of themselves to ‘virtually’ try on clothes.