Who’s Tackling The Fit Problem?
Although consumers choosing to purchase clothes online experience many benefits, they do not have the ability to try items on. This problem, known as the fit problem, has troubled digital fashion retailers since day one. Now, however, the problem appears as though it may be surmounted. So who are some of the most exciting companies looking to crack the fit problem?
triMirror is a virtual fitting room. Utilising accurate, real-time, 3D visualised animation technology, triMirror allows users to try on clothes via properly proportioned avatar bodies. This means that users can see where a garment is tight or loose as well as how it looks in motion. By eliminating buffering and downloading, and by being mobile- and desktop-friendly, triMirror aims to enhance the online shopping experience for brands and consumers alike.
As co-founder Jenny Tcharnaia puts it:
“We started this venture because, not only is shopping for apparel online so problematic, but even trying clothes on in-store can be extremely frustrating. Often customers spend hours in stores and yet come away with nothing. So we realised that we really had to invent a way to visualise the fit accurately, from all angles, in various animations, in real-time, and on various platforms.”
EyeFitU is a new iOS and Android mobile app that works with affiliated brands (including Net-a-porter, River Island, Warehouse, and Farfetch) to match users’ profiles and measurements with their size charts so that they can be sure that they are getting the right size. Using “smart” learning, EyeFitU analyses billions of data points in order to match clothes to specific measurements as well as typical global body shapes and style preferences. Using data in this way is a unique approach to the fit problem, and one that should also benefit consumers offline (where they can shop faster without the need to try things on).
As explained by Founder and CEO Isabelle Ohnemus:
“Whether you are a consumer or retailer, every stakeholder in the fashion industry is confronted by the same huge challenge of sizing. There is no standardisation for sizing in the fashion industry as each brand has a different size chart for each garment type. Plus there is the issue of country sizing. EyeFitU eliminates all these sizing challenges and lets designers size the way they desire with the EyeFitU smart sizing algorithms delivering the best possible recommendations for consumers.”
Fits Me takes a three-pronged approach to the fit problem, drawing on garment technology (the process of understanding what makes for a “good fit”), fit engineering (the development of “shape-shifting” mannequins capable of simulating thousands of different body types), and retail intelligence (the collecting of data pertaining to how specific shopper groups like to wear their clothes). These disciplines are combined to give digital retailers the opportunity to improve their consumers’ experience and the likelihood of getting items which fit properly.
Three companies. Three offerings. And all of them hoping to be the one that finally puts the fit problem to bed. The next few years will be crucial in determining which companies are able to succeed in conquering the fit problem. What’s certain, however, is that the company that manages to pull this off will be rewarded handsomely.
Do you think the fit problem will be solved in the near future — and who do you think will do it? Or do you think that this is one problem that technology just cannot overcome?
Let me know your thoughts
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maria Hvorostovsky is the founder of HVO Search, an executive search firm helping clients within digital, retail, fashion, consumer and technology industries find the best international talent.
The firm focuses on recruiting exceptional leaders as well as helping to build the senior management teams across all functions.