New avatar technology allows you to try on clothes to see how they’d realistically look on you, and it even clearly shows different textures.
Clothing returns were an issue long before the pandemic.
In 2019, ASOS changed their returns policy to crack down on ‘serial’ returners.
Given how drastically the pandemic changed the way we shop, the issue has intensified.
At extended periods over 2020 people were been only able to shop online, without seeing purchases in true form until they arrive, and were having to guess or order multiple size options.
Thus, making returns over the pandemic has become an all too common experience.
To help ease this problem, a technology company focused on fashion e-commerce has created 3D avatar software to allow consumers to make better informed shopping decisions.
The ‘hyper accurate’ avatar has your dimensions and those of the clothes so you can see an accurate fit and how the fabric looks against your skin, all thanks to artificial intelligence and augmented reality.
So far, it’s reduced returns at the high end stores who support the tech (YOOX Net-A-Porter Group and Grosier, among others) by up to 70%, which has financial and environmental gains.
In the near future the company plans to expand the service to habitually difficult to shop items, such as swimwear and underwear.
Stefan Hauswiesner, CEO of Reactive Reality, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘The traditional model of retail will not completely return.
‘Bricks and mortar stores need to find new ways to attract consumers, as many have discovered the convenience of online shopping during the pandemic and will be reluctant to switch back.
‘Online shopping has become essential during lockdown.
‘However, a failure to recreate the in-store shopping experience of trying on clothes prior to purchase means that consumers order more clothes than required, with the intention of returning some (if not all).’
In 2020 it was estimated by returns processor Returnado that there was £25billion worth of digital returns, with around £6.9billion worth of online purchases returned after Christmas.
This avatar offering is one of many recent developments in the digital retail space that’s focused on personalising the shopping experience to make it more accurate and suitable for the user.
In the beauty world, a number of brands have created apps so you can try products on before buying them for example.
We’re spoilt for choice when we shop, but lack personal steer.
‘We wanted to remove the guesswork of buying online, and make the experience personalised and fun at the same time,’ says Stefan.
‘Many retailers have varying sizes, and this has only become harder for users to navigate with an international marketplace.
‘Therefore the end user can often find the “correct” size is actually the wrong size for them.’
Personalised technology also bridges a gap for people who prior to the pandemic couldn’t get to physical shops, whether it be for health, location or accessibility issues.
Stefan says ‘they deserve to have a personalised experience in retail too’.
To create an avatar you need the free Yoox app, which has all clothes from participating stores on it.
And if you need help deciding on garments, Reactive Reality partnered with Microsoft and the London College of Fashion to created an AI-powered stylist, which makes personal recommendations to you based on your taste, style and fitting.
The future of shopping is looking smarter.
Original article published here.