One online plus size women’s clothing brand believes fitting technology is key to driving customer engagement and ultimately increasing conversion and decreasing gives back† To Act Brand, which sells dresses, jumpsuits, pants, tops, skirts and blazers between sizes 42-54, has integrated a virtual and augmented reality-driven fitting room solution justly in his e-commerce experience.
To Act Brand, which operates out of the UK and Germany, started the soft launch of the platform on June 1, according to Perfitly CEO and co-founder Dave Sharma. With the trial, the merchant was the first plus-size brand to use the virtual fitting room technology.
Perfitly’s solutions are designed to help consumers shop on the To Act Brand website. Once on the homepage, customers can create a digital avatar of themselves by submitting two photos of their front and side profile, or by entering individual measurements and completing a short questionnaire.
The technology vendor says it can create the avatar on more than 97 percent accuracy, and can “e-sew” a garment with an even higher accuracy of 99 percent based on digital assets the brand sends to Perfitly. Based on the clothing data, including grading and sizing, the digital SKU can take into account fabric properties, including density, weight, stiffness, stretch and friction. Sharma said these data points allow the “e-garment” to display drapes, stretches and folds, which are usually not communicated online.
“We faithfully reproduce what you give us,” Sharma told Sourcing Journal. “We will not imbue our own ideas or our own design logic. We reproduce faithfully, and this can be whether you are LV, Gucci, Gap or Boot Barn.”
In addition to the avatars, To Act Brand also includes Perfect size recommendations and visualizations in its e-commerce channel. When shoppers click the “Try It” button on a fashion item in To Act Brand’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection, they can see and interact with their avatar in the Perfitly recommended size. Within the feature, shoppers can then personalize their 3D avatar by resizing it up and down, zooming in and out, or rotating the avatar 360 degrees.
“By partnering with Perfitly, our brand can offer shoppers beautiful plus-size apparel through an interactive shopping experience that mimics brick-and-mortar retail stores,” said Anna-Carlotta Theis, CEO and co-founder of To Act Brand in a statement. † “We look forward to surprising our shoppers with a fun way to interact with our collections, while seeing higher conversion rates and lower returns thanks to the virtual fitting room technology we now have access to. In addition, we are proud that we can now offer a solution to shoppers that will also increase our sustainability efforts in the fashion industry.”
On average, brand return rates prior to Perfitly implementation were 28 percent. But Sharma claims that percentage drops to 10 percent after testing with the platform – a 64 percent improvement. Such a drop would be significant across the fashion industry. Across all sales channels, clothing had the second highest return rates in retail after auto parts, up 12.2 percent in 2021, according to a report by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and returns management software Appriss Retail.
“We’re saying if you don’t cut the return by a third, you’re not paying us,” Sharma said. “If we don’t increase your conversion by 30 percent, don’t pay us.”
By reducing returns, merchants like To Act Brand are in a better position to prioritize sustainable practices.
“If you can reduce returns, the dead stock fueling the return cycle will decrease,” Sharma said. “If you reduce that inventory by 10 percent, you produce 10 percent less. What you will see is that the resources needed in the in-kind supply chain will decrease: 10 percent less cotton, 10 percent less insecticide, 10 percent less transportation, 10 percent less production, 10 percent less zippers and buttons, or dyes and chemicals used in the process.”
Perfitly’s partnership with To Act Brand also comes because clothing labels seem to have a hard time incorporating size inclusivity without it backfired. For example, just months after Old Navy integrated all sizes under the same pricing structure, the retailer has Soil quality due to unbalanced demand and a shortage of medium sizes.
Sharma and his team believe their virtual solution could alleviate the current problems plaguing Old Navy by generating more data to determine how many SKU brands should manufacture and order in each size. Ideally, this would help a retailer like To Act Brand not only avoid returns, but also streamline inventory movements.
justly is currently in advanced A/B deployment with a total of seven brands, Sharma said, indicating they are “on average half the size of Target,” with one being larger.
The company says it will continue to expand its business globally by partnering with retailers of all sizes. In particular, Sharma expects expansion efforts to flourish in the coming months, particularly in Europe, where adoption of the technology surpasses the US.
Additionally, Perfitly expects an influx of traffic to its core businesses and metaverse applications in 2022, with upcoming releases on its roadmap including suggested sales, avatars with custom poses, as well as curated personal styles based on past purchases.