Returns due to poor fit is one of the major challenges for the e-commerce players causing them huge losses. Returning ill-fitting clothes received after a few days of waiting is a disappointing experience for the customer too. Not only the sizing but also the actual fall, drape and look of the garment remains another matter of concern in online shopping. Today technologies such as 3D and AR are helping the customers and e-commerce players in overcoming the challenge through the amalgamation of technologies forming a solution catering to this particular need. The article talks about the e-commerce 3D solution transforming the retail industry.
A lot of people are still sceptical when it comes to online shopping, for reasons like look, actual colour and size which a person considers while investing in a product online. Various styles reveal that around 20 to 30 per cent of online returns are due to sizing issue. This return results in putting forth a huge amount upon the retailers as free shipping and easy return also involve an amount of money that retailers have to invest for providing the customers a seamless experience.
Technology has reshaped a lot of areas in retail from AI-based online recommendations to easy payment, and all of these assist in making the customer’s shopping journey a seamless one. Technologies like 3D and AR are today helping the retailers conquer the challenge of sizing issues through online virtual trial rooms.
Virtual trial rooms are something that will soon be a must-have tool for the e-commerce players, where the customers will be able to try the clothes virtually thus making better buying decisions. A recent example is Biba, the womens’ ethnic brand which has introduced a tool that re-creates the dressing room experience virtually on its website. The solution allows customers to try clothes virtually on the 3D models helping them to see the size and look of the garment. This article will be a further guide for our esteemed readers to know about technologies that help retailers with solutions like online virtual trial rooms where their customers can be benefited with better sizing decisions and retailers will be able to better tackle the return issue due to bad fit.
AstraFit’s visual fitting room
AstraFit is a USA-based provider of virtual fitting room solutions. The company provides a tool that can be installed in the online shop of the retailer, and helps the customers get the right fit dress. The technology made smart with the company’s ‘Fit Analysis’ algorithm, can demonstrate the fit to the customers. It includes a Visual Fit Experience and an adaptive human-language description for a brief review of the product tried by the customers.
Visualisation is based on the individual body parameter of each customer, and customers are able to see a 2D body model of their ownselves. “AstraFit is helping e-commerce players to have high rate of satisfied buyers. After one successful experience, buyer will come back to make the second purchase, then the third and so on. Overall, buyers get used to online fitting room and can’t even imagine opting for online shopping without this service. This way, AstraFit sets the pace of the existing market of digital fitting technologies,” said Nikita Dobrynin, Co-founder, AstraFit.
The technology features a user-friendly interface where the customers get an icon to visually fit check the product. On clicking the button, customers are asked to enter their body measurements which includes chest, waist, hips, arm and height. For entering these details, there is a slider button which allows them to set the numbers about their exact measurement. Based on the measurement, the software creates a digital avatar of the body, which then displays how a particular product will fit that body type.
The customers can also check the fit details with each of the measuring points that they filled the details for. The fit accuracy is determined through each and every measuring point being scaled out of 10. It also gives an overall fit score that shows the fit accuracy of the garment by scaling it out of 10 which means that 10 is an accurate fit and 9 is an almost accurate fit.
The customers are also allowed to compare the dress size by checking the other fits like M, L or XL. “AstraFit is a technology based on garment and body measurements. We take real measurements of each piece of clothing and body measurement (chest, waist, hip measurement and height). Only by having this data, we can advise people on what clothing to choose. As we take accurate data, our advices are super accurate as well. Additionally, we, at AstraFit, have more than 7 years of experience interacting and communicating with AstraFit end-users and now have a clear understanding of the very essence of their need,”explained Nikita.
The easy interface of the software is the reason that the retailers are willing to invest in the technology as the customers can easily process the virtual fit tool. The software allows the customers to better understand the product and therefore reduces the return rate of the garments due to sizing problem which causes not only disappointment to the customers but also incurs a huge loss for the retailers. “Online stores that use AstraFit’s Online Fitting Room may finally achieve the sales target that they’ve never won before. Literally, by using AstraFit, e-commerce players solve not only the sizing problem, but also give shoppers the unique opportunity to try garments online before buying the most personalised experience on the web,” explained Nikita.
She then went on to add,“Users no more need anybody to explain them about everything. They can do all by themselves right from one second of using the widget, starting from measuring clothes, to customising the widget and ending even with deploying a widget code. With only about 30 minutes of the time invested, one can get the working fitting room right on their website. AstraFit is a single service that has free lifetime value (free package). Our service has clear and honest packages that grow as clients grow and everybody can start with a free package anytime.”
Talking about the digital fitting revolution in retail, Nikita commented that, “Digital fitting revolution is here and now! New Gen Z makes about 60 per cent of purchases through their phones. They like to interact with useful engaging services like we do. In the nearest future, they will be making 99 per cent of purchases online. Very soon e-commerce players, without fitting technologies available with them, will be left with no demand. The coming generations will wonder why their ancestors resisted online shopping and fitting rooms will become a usual affair just as Google Analytics is used for online stores.”
TryNDBuy, Bangalore, a virtual trial room solutions provider based in India, provides a patented software that can be easily uploaded on the online retailers’ app, thus helping the customers easily try the outfit to check for the size and look of the garment. “Try & Buy Fashion is aiming to make offline fashion (which is 95 per cent now) online (which at present is 5 per cent of the total size of US $ 633 billion worldwide),” quoted Nitin Vats, Founder, TryNDBuy.
The technology not only allows the user to try clothes, but the AI capabilities of the software also act as a virtual stylist suggesting the customers not just on dresses but also on their complete look based on the overall appeal and measurement. “We have made a Photo Realistic Virtual Trial Room in which the user can generate a photorealistic model by just uploading any photo of any person and by input of his/her basic data such as height and weight.” The software converts the catalogue images of the e-commerce portal into 3D clothes automatically. No photoshoot is required. This is how user can make body model instantly and try any cloth for mix and match, fitting (not only size suggestions but also how tight clothes/loose clothes will look on him/her) based on recommendation by AI-based virtual fashion designer after which the video of user in dress is generated,” explained Nitin.
The software allows customers to create a 3D avatar by entering body measurement details including height, weight, bust, waist and hips. The customers are also allowed to select body shapes that resemble their body shape for the creation of a realistic avatar. This is followed by choosing a similar hairstyle and skin tone finally creating a 3D lookalike of the customer’s body. They are also allowed to change the background of the virtual trial room where they want to try the garment. Then the customers can select the garment to see how well it fits and look on that 3D virtual avatar. “We have developed a 3D engine which uses a lot of AI, deep learning and computer vision for making realistic 3D clothes and 3D realistic model instantly. It is capable of even generating realistic video of a person with dress and looks like almost a real video,” asserted Nitin.
Elaborating on the nature of working of TryNDBuy, Nitin briefed, “We license the trial room to fashion portals. We charge license fees from them. Every month, almost 6 million new clothes are uploaded around the world. The potential is very big. In future, we not only will serve the fitting and look but the full style, a personalised wardrobe for every one with lot of AI. We aim to make virtual trial to be an essential feature of every fashion portal and user. This tech is patent-protected internationally and will evolve as users will use it. It considers more than 4,00,000 types of body shapes, sizes, skin tones and other features.”
WearFits, a company based in Poland, is another fitting room solutions provider for the e-commerce players. The company’s product is an amalgamation of modern innovative technology supported by scientific research. The technology not only reproduces silhouettes with 99 per cent accuracy, but also allows the customers to see the physical simulation of the fabric’s behaviour with photorealistic quality of visualisation and animation. “At WearFits, we provide the e-retailers with a tool which gives their clients an opportunity to more closely inspect the product without being in physical contact with it. We are tackling the two biggest sources of customer dissatisfaction (and also the main reason for product returns) which are mismatch in size and products not matching the online description. Our solutions include both size/fit matching and also high quality, full 3D, in-browser presentation. Now you can not only find your size, but at the same time, you can trust that you’ll be getting exactly the quality you’ve ordered,” said Tomek Runowicz, Chief Technology Officer, WearFits.
The technology works when the customer enters the key information about the customer figure like height, shoulder, waist and hip width. Based on the data, an accurate 3D model of man is created. Then, while browsing the store’s assortment for each product in real time, a short, high-quality animation is generated, presenting the given clothes in a form that reflects the silhouette of the buyer. This allows the customer to see exactly how a specific product of the selected size will look on his/her figure, also taking into account the type and stress of the material. WearFits provides accurate, physical representation of the cut of the clothes and the material it is made of. “Our technology is modular and every solution is custom-tailored to the particular client’s requirements. We select a suitable method of digitalisation and size matching the character of the merchandise and the volume processed. The visualisation takes place on any device and is 100 per cent platform-agnostic. All parts of the process are designed to be future-proof and take into account current and future technological developments both in software and hardware. If a new, better way of doing something emerges, we can accomodate for it by simply updating a module, without a need to rebuild the whole e-store. So as the tech progresses, so does the retailer’s business,” explained Tomek.
The technology is built to support both the web and mobile version of the online store. “Most of the shopping takes place on a personal mobile device and the physical space in which it happens will be of less and less importance. All of the biggest tech companies have some sort of ‘digital user avatar’ research in place. We believe that, at some relatively close point in time, most of the social-media users will have a photorealistic, digital version of their own bodies made and hosted online. At the same time, the production process of clothes themselves is increasingly becoming more and more digital. Both of these trends will ultimately lead to the wide availability of data for companies like WearFits to make use of. Such a critical mass should allow solutions like ours to make a huge impact. It just makes sense – in terms of economy and sustainability – it is a win-win for us all,” concluded Tomek.