PI APPAREL SPOTLIGHTS: VIRTUAL FIT

Illustration of a seated figure agaiinst a window showing a city skyline while viewing a hologram of a person

Can virtual fit technology step up and replace the in-store fitting room experience?

(Key takeaways from Daina Burnes, CEO of Bold Metrics, at PI Apparel’s Virtual Fit panel talk on the 8th April 2021. Fellow panelists include: Mark Charlton , Technical Design Leader at Carhartt, Jamie Campbell, Manager of Sizing and Fitting at Human Solutions of NA, Steve Meaney, VP of Global Sales at Reactive Reality, Jill Schwartz-Cheng, VP of Global Sourcing LT Apparel and Sydney Otten, Managing Director straiqr.ai)

Daina Burnes, the co-founder of Bold Metrics, addressed the issue of data, its collection and how Bold Metrics technology is addressing the various challenges faced by brands when it comes to leveraging customer body data to create a better retail experience and reduce returns.

As the fashion industry moves deeper and deeper into digital product creation, and the consumer at home becomes more accustomed to using online tools to circumvent the need for physical try-ons, can virtual fit technology step up and replace the in-store fitting room experience?

How brands and companies need to ascertain the type, form and quality of their data first and foremost.

To lay the foundation for actionable insights that show results:

  1. Being able to gather accurate customer Body Data and purchase and return data are key. Having the data in a format that makes it actionable within the organization is also important.

The challenges today when it comes to data and unlocking individual fit preference

  • Limited data that goes into sizing specification design today: fit models, body forms, geographical body scan studies of broad (not brand specific) populations
  • Brands are missing the feedback loop of the actual body data of their customers, and how customers are wearing the clothing.

To address this, Bold Metrics provides this data to brands, often for the first time, allowing them to finally understand how their customers are wearing their clothes.

Illustration by Icons 8 from Ouch!

How can we better enable a data feedback loop between consumers and brands?

The missing link is a scalable approach to capturing body data about the customer that is both easy and convenient for the customer. From our studies, anything that takes the customer more than 20 seconds to complete sees a major drop off in use or adoption.

Looping in the purchase and return data to understand how body dimensions are related to the garment, while providing a cyclical feedback loop for brands to understand the fit of their garments using their actual customer body data.

The ability to unlock individual fit preference is powered by body data + purchase history data + product specification data, meaning that brands should begin by building a foundation to support this.

How?

  1. By capturing body data about the customer without requiring the customer to put in much effort.

For example, by deploying technology solutions like Bold Metrics that can make the data available to them. Also, it is usually the eCommerce team owns the decision to implement fit technology, but it would be better to have buy in from the product design side to realize the full value of fit technology.

Illustration by Icon 8 by Ouch!

How does Bold Metrics bridge the gap between data silos so that everyone is singing off of the same data hymn sheet across the value chain?

Bold Metrics has a strong partnership program within the industry to make the data we produce actionable as well as utilize data that other companies produce

For example, we work with a lot of fit tech companies that produce avatars for virtual try-on, and integrate our AI Body Scan technology to allow for accurate body data capture without requiring the customer to take photos, which can be a high-friction process.

Illustration by Victoria Chepkasova from Ouch!

How do brands leverage fit technology to improve sustainability efforts? 

It was brought up that we need to move away from consumers buying multiple sizes and returning those that don’t fit. This is not a sustainable practice, and brands need to de-emphasize supporting this practice, as the global carbon footprint of shipping bad fitting products is enormously bad for the environment. 

Having an accurate and easy-to-use virtual fitting tool in place helps to reduce returns and improve the customer shopping journey by elevating and personalizing the fit experience. 


Find out how your apparel brand can leverage virtual fit technology to improve conversions and reduce returns. Request a demo now at www.boldmetrics.com

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