30. April 2013–
A Virtusize-powered "Fit Visualiser" button now appears next to 2000 of ASOS' own-brand products when shopping on its website. Enter the measurements of a garment you already own and the tool will overlay it to show how it compares to the different sizes of the garment you're trying to buy.
According to Virtusize, using this kind of tool is proven to reduce fit-related returns – in some cases, by up to 50 per cent.
It's easy to see the appeal for retailers, especially those like ASOS that offer free shipping for returns. According to a Wall Street Journal article last year, merchants in the US report a return rate of between 20 and 40 per cent for online sales – with poor fit cited as the number one reason.
Other companies are trying to solve the same problem in different ways. TrueFit (US) and Clothes Horse (US) ask users about body size and their favourite garments; UPcload (Germany) and Poikos (UK) use a webcam shot and high-tech image analysis.
London-based Estonian tech company Fits.me, which just finished raising a €5.5m Series A funding round, offers one 2D measurement solution similar to Virtusize and another, more expensive 3D "virtual fitting room" solution.
Peder Stubert, who co-founded Virtusize in 2011, is confident in their relatively simple (and therefore inexpensive) approach: "Our positive results from the ASOS trial signal that there is a bright future ahead for our 2D garment comparison method.”
It's not just the number of players that will make this market competitive: For retailers, offering an online fitting tool is probably good business; unless customer loyalty to particular tools starts to develop, offering more than one is probably not.
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