You need to buy a dress for an upcoming event, a suit for a business meeting, a jacket for the daunting winter. You know what you want and where you can find it, but your busy schedule doesn’t allow for a languid shopping trip downtown or to the nearest mall. Besides, conversing with salespeople gets tedious, changing room limits become frustrating, and there is a good chance you’ll leave the store with nothing but aggravation.
At this point, in the modern era where we find ourselves, online shopping may seem the obvious solution–yet it can be hard when you’re not quite sure how the clothes are going to fit, and the size chart provided online is neither informative nor helpful. Return shipping can be such a hassle so you don’t want to run the risk of buying something that won’t fit.
Enter: virtual fit websites. This new wave of fashion-tech is taking e-commerce by storm, with more and more sites being created day by day. The idea behind the emerging phenomenon is an online fitting room–a way to try on clothes with a click of your mouse. Customers are able to choose the most appropriate and flattering size before clicking purchase, lowering return rates for online stores. A two-hour shopping trip is transformed into a few minutes on your laptop, iPad, or Smartphone.
Keep an open mind as you read about these five fascinating virtual fit websites.
Companies have the opportunity to incorporate virtual fit into their online shopping websites. MimicMe digitizes a brand’s garments using existing images and subsequently allows for its customers to try on clothes, save their favorite items, and then provides them with further fashion tips online. The program runs without installation, on all computers.
A demo of MimicMe proves how successful it is. After changing the hair color, height, weight, hips, and waist of the online model, I “tried on” various dresses, discovering that a strapless dress is less flattering on my body than a higher-cut one. Citizens of Humanity, as well as several other brands, currently benefit from MimicMe.
Become a member of Fitiquette and gain access to an exclusive shopping boutique with the opportunity for online fitting rooms. The founders aimed to address “online purchase hesitation due to unknown fit” when creating the site.
Shoppers create an online model with identical features to their own to ensure a true fit when trying on. Various brands are hand-selected to be featured on the site. Sign-up is through Facebook or email, and is completely free.
We didn’t know it was possible, but Clothia takes virtual fit a step further. Instead of a still-life model replicating the user, the Clothia Fitting Room is powered by her webcam.
After selecting the desired product, the customer turns on her webcam and stands back, waving her hand over the “start button.” She can then move her hands over the + and – buttons to adjust the width of the item and the up and down arrows to alter the placement. After the desired look is achieved, the customer simply waves her hand over the camera button to snap a shot of the purchase possibility. The photograph is now her own and she can text or email friends for opinions and suggestions.
That’s not even the last of it. Members can build their own “virtual closets,” filling them with items they already own and then adding to them as they shop online. Another fun feature is the opportunity to create and share looks by building boards that represent various fashion trends. All of this at the touch of your fingers–Clothia is even available for iPads.
Eyeglass shopping often takes hours of mirror-gazing to find the perfect shape that flatters your face. If an eyeglass company chooses to incorporate FittingBox, its customers will have the ability to either view frames on an uploaded photo of themselves or try them on live using the FitLive webcam.
Available for regular glasses or sunglasses, FittingBox prevents customers from having to peer into tiny public mirrors and endure bothersome salespeople. The technology is truly incredible. The demo on their website allows you to virtually try on a few pairs of glasses–give it a try!
Virtual fit isn’t just for clothing and accessories; trying on makeup is often messy and difficult. How do you find the right shade of cover-up when you’re on the go? How do you know that the new shade of lipstick you want really flatters your skin tone?
The goal of EZface is to facilitate the shopper in makeup, hair color, and accessory shopping. The state-of-the-art technology is similar to looking in a mirror, creating a realistic simulation of makeup products. Marketing campaigns would be wise to check it out–they assert that the application dramatically impacts sales.
And then there’s…
Love That Fit
Love That Fit is TWF’s virtual fit “site to watch.” And we should know–LTF is our client! LoveThatFit is a virtual fitting room technology that retailers license and embed into their existing websites, allowing users to try clothes on prior to purchasing and see how they look and fit. The technology also addresses the social aspect of shopping, allowing users to share the fit of their potential purchases with their friends. LoveThatFit was created from founder Gina Mancuso’s own personal frustrations with shopping. The LTF technology is launching soon, and will be able to be accessed via computer, tablet, and smartphone.
It’s safe to say–whether it’s clothing, accessories, or makeup, the conventional e-commerce experience is most certainly transforming!
Danielle Filson is a Research & Editorial Intern at TWF.
Featured image via Kimchi Design.