After years of trial runs and soft rollouts, fit technology gained traction within apparel circles at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic as retailers were forced to prioritize digital sales ahead of brick and mortar.
But as fashion retailers adjust to an environment where shoppers continue to buy more clothing online even as U.S. stores are back in full force, these technologies stand to become table stakes. Even Walmart has taken notice, with its acquisition of the Zeekit virtual fitting room platform, while Levi’s has already mitigated returns by as much as 47 percent with AI-driven sizing tech from MySize.
Recent adoptions from Tailored Brands and Wacoal, as well as a new product launch from 3DLook, show that while we are still in the early stages of fit technology adoption, opportunities to reinvent the fitting room continue to sprout.
Tailored Brands teams with Bold Metrics
Tailored Brands is expanding its five-year partnership with Bold Metrics, bringing the body measurement company’s Contactless Fit technology into more than 650 Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank stores.
Within the store, an associate can pull up a “Fit Evaluator” on an iPad so that shoppers can add inputs like height, weight, jean waist, jean length, jean fit preference and shoe size. From there, the Bold Metrics AI platform determines critical points of measure and body shape to create a unique 3D avatar, producing more than 50 accurate body measurements.
After almost a year in the field, Bold Metrics says that Contactless Fit has yielded size prediction accuracy above 92 percent, which helps customers get the right size the first time.
The Men’s Wearhouse banner was the first U.S. company to launch the in-store version of the technology, initially rolling it out in 2020 as part of a broader company initiative to remove the friction of in-person measurements and eliminating the need to step foot in a fitting room.
“At Men’s Wearhouse, we understand that digital innovation is essential to growing the business, and this partnership is part of how we’re putting our customers’ experience first,” Chaitanya Pallapothula, senior vice president, omnichannel technology at Tailored Brands, said in a statement.
Prior to the physical rollout, Tailored Brands leveraged the Bold Metrics measurement technology online. The tech provider says that most tuxedos rented online at Men’s Wearhouse use the AI-based fit tech, driving a 27.4 percent reduction in exchange rates.
The company compares its algorithms to those behind Tesla’s self-driving cars, and operates what it says is one of the largest proprietary body-data warehouses in the world. The warehouse contains millions of learned data points on body measurements and tuxedo fit designed to produce tailor-accurate size predictions for shoppers.
Wacoal taps Perficient and Sizer
Intimates brand Wacoal is launching a new digital fitting platform to give online bra shoppers an accurate, personalized fitting experience, while providing new product recommendations.
With the help of digital consultancy Perficient and digital body measuring solutions provider Sizer Technologies, the brand launched the mybraFit app to support the evolution of women’s apparel expectations as well as the continued shift to e-commerce spending, where shoppers are more likely to buy an errant size.
The brand highlighted that despite the change in expectations and shopping habits, the standards used to measure and size bras have largely remained the same. In a glaring example of how outdated the bra-fitting process currently is, Wacoal cited that the current bra measurement chart originally created in the 1930s derives its sizing standards from Victorian-era shirt sizes.
“At Wacoal, we pride ourselves on being trusted by women for fit, quality and comfort,” said Miryha Fantegrossi, vice president of merchandising and design, Wacoal America in a statement. “Without brick-and-mortar locations, we saw an opportunity to bring the traditional in-person fitting experience to the digital world. The mybraFit app is a transformative solution that brings ease to the fit experience, delivering a tailored size assessment within a matter of minutes.”
Perficient partnered with Wacoal to implement a digital innovation strategy that redesigned the product recommendation and purchasing processes. The digital consultancy incorporated customer experience, creative and technical strategies to engineer the fitting journey, in addition to branding exercises to determine the overall look and feel of the platform. Perficient also conducted in-depth customer research to ensure the overall experience was intuitive and made customers comfortable using a mobile app to fit themselves for intimate apparel.
Sizer Technologies engineered the back end of the experience, incorporating AI scanning technology within the app. After using the app’s scanner, consumers answer four questions about their composition and personal style preference.
A proprietary algorithm implemented by Perficient then assesses the data points and customer-submitted information and correlates them to create a personalized recommendation of Wacoal products that will best suit each individual user. The virtual imaging process is designed to be secure and ensure customer privacy, with Wacoal saying that the app does not save fit assessment scans.
Mobile body measuring technology provider 3DLook officially launched YourFit, a solution for apparel shoppers that offers photorealistic virtual try-on functionality combined with accurate, data-driven size recommendations.
3DLook says the two-in-one solution is built to answer the two primary questions that shoppers face when purchasing clothing online—”Will this fit me?” and “Will this look good on me?”
Additionally, the visual aspect of YourFit is built to look realistic in the resulting snapshots, while also faithfully reproducing the measurements of the shopper. Brands can either offer the solution’s complete capabilities or incorporate standalone try-on or size and fit recommendations.
To use YourFit, online shoppers choose an item of clothing and click on a widget on a product page, where a voice guides them through the scanning process using a smartphone camera. The solution then displays how the item would look on the individual and what size would fit best.
On the back end, the solution extracts important features of the user’s body, such as body contour, body shape and position, from the customer’s photos and creates a 3D avatar. The solution detects specific body parts such as the head, neck, shoulders, forearm and ankle and captures details of the user’s appearance, such as haircut and skin tone, which are superimposed on the avatar.
The technology then uses photos of clothes to imitate their 3D versions and fits them onto the 3D avatar, instantly displaying a resulting image to the consumer. Additionally, the shopper’s body data is matched with product data to generate size recommendations.
3DLook’s core tech relies on techniques adapted from computer vision and computer graphics trained on data sets consisting of images or scans of up to 100,000 real and simulated individuals. The company’s 3D avatar generation pipeline can even work for shoppers with older smartphones with any camera, the company says.
Additionally, the solution uses photos of clothing taken directly from brands’ product pages, which can make it easier for brands to scale the technology and save time and resources, since there is no need for them to create digital copies of their collections in 3D.
The YourFit launch is the latest growth step for 3DLook, which saw its business increase nearly sixfold over the past year. Tailored Brands and Dickies are among the brands and retailers that have partnered with the solution to accelerate their digitization efforts and offer a more personalized, contactless shopping experience.
Brands using 3DLook’s solutions have decreased return rates by up to 48 percent, while increasing conversion by four times year over year. Earlier this year, 3DLook announced that it raised $6.5 million in Series A funding.