In order to maximize revenue opportunities online, many apparel and footwear brands are attempting to close the “fit gap.” This refers to the uncertainty many consumers feel shopping for fashion items as they try to determine which size is best for them. Depending on the brand, materials and how items are cut, they can either be true to size or require consumers to size up or down. That’s a lot of room for error.
Return rates for items bought online are 3X higher than in-store purchases, and lack of context into fit is a big reason why. With consumers spending more time and money online, the issue has become harder to ignore. Take 1822 Denim as an example. The NYC-based women’s denim brand has experienced 200% growth in sales over the past year, according to Tanya Zrebiec, VP of Strategy and Innovation at A3 Apparel Group, parent of 1822 Denim. Zrebiec attributes this success to the company’s focus on “redefining how the customer shops for denim online.”
A significant investment for 1822 Denim is 3DLOOK, an AI-first, mobile body measuring and fit solution. The 3DLOOK fit-finding experience perfectly complements the brand’s approach to site personalization, which allows visitors to tailor their experience by body type and see a variety of different models that better reflect cuts. Together, these efforts “enhance the customer experience by removing friction and driving personalization through product offerings,” Zrebiec said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.
Implementing 3DLOOK alone has paid dividends: the brand saw a 4X increase in conversion rates and 48% fewer returns between January 2020 and February 2021. In Q1 2021, 1822 Denim also found that average order values increased by 23%. As a result, 1822 Denim has made it an integral part of everything the brand does — from product planning and design, to customer experience, and even in engagement content that helps “tell our story of inclusivity and representation through fit.” Zrebiec explained that 3DLOOK helps address a fundamental need to drive trust among online shoppers: “trust that they will find the perfect fit, every time.”
Creating an Inclusive Shopping Space
The benefits of fit tech go far beyond the numbers, according to Zrebiec. 3DLOOK has not only helped increase consumer confidence and reduce returns, it also has helped reduce the unavoidable waste that comes with high return rates and create an inclusive space for consumers of all body types. “For 1822 Denim, it was an easy decision to invest in fit tech, because it aligned with our brand core values of product inclusivity, sustainability and accessibility,” she explained.
“During this past year, we saw a shift in consumer behavior where customers are looking for brands that align with their values and a place where they feel represented,” added Zrebiec. “At 1822 Denim, we wanted to create an inclusive space where women feel comfortable in their own skin, comfortable with their body and their size. For too long, the fashion industry has been telling women what size they should be, what trend they should wear, etc. We at 1822 Denim want to break the narrative and give our customers the choice to find well-made products that fit their bodies at accessible prices.”
While integrating the fit tech into the 1822 Denim ecommerce site, 3DLOOK worked closely with the team to understand 1822 Denim’s core values and mission to offer denim for every body. This mission influenced how the fit experience would be embedded, and promoted, across the site.
“We work very closely with our clients to ensure that the solution is set up correctly, and the team is on hand to ensure that it is well-received by the shoppers and helps achieve business goals,” said Whitney Cathcart, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-founder at 3DLOOK in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We are happy to customize the widget and the user journey if needed, according to the requirements of each brand. We track all key ecommerce metrics including widget funnel, conversions, AOV lift, purchase and returns, etc., and our customer success teams work closely with the brands, studying body data metrics of their actual customers.”
For example, 1822 Denim rolled out an education page that explains how the widget works, as well as the benefits of using it. It also discusses the importance of lowering returns to decrease carbon footprint, which Zrebiec said is an essential part of 1822 Denim’s mission. In fact, the brand has recently canceled free returns for all purchases made without using the widget. Cathcart explained that this strategy “encourages people to use the technology and have confidence in its claim, knowing the size they get will be the size that fits them best.”
A Seamless Cross-Platform Experience Builds AOV
Having a clear and seamless fit experience is the key to the feature’s success. In addition to the onboarding page, every product page has a clear, colorful call-to-action, asking: “What’s my size?” When clicked, the 3DLOOK experience activates, walking consumers through a series of prompts, asking them to submit their height and weight. Shoppers then scan a QR code (or can enter their phone number) to get access to the fit camera. After they take front-facing and sideways pictures, the system combines these image scans with the data to spit out a recommendation.
Cathcart noted that although mobile plays a big role in many consumer journeys, the widget is accessible via desktop, as well. All they need to do is scan a QR code that appears on their laptops after they choose a garment, and from there, they follow a two-photo flow on their smartphone and instantly receive their size and fit recommendations.
“We’ve found that around 75% of all purchases happen on mobile devices, which isn’t surprising considering the growth of mobile commerce,” Cathcart noted. “However, at the same time, we discovered that AOV for desktop purchases is higher. We believe that this happens because many people are still spending a big part of their time at home, and it’s easy to shop on your desktop.
Zrebiec shared that consumer feedback of the 3DLOOK experience has been “overwhelming”: “Our customers love that they can get a size and product recommendation before, during and after they shop.”