As e-commerce sales continue to surge, there are inevitable repercussions that retailers must face, returns being the most costly. “In the next several years, as e-commerce grows globally, the amount of returns is going to be over a trillion dollars a year” says Tobin Moore, CEO and co-founder of reverse logistics technology company Optoro. Research shows, however, that while 15-40% of online sales are being returned (with apparel and footwear merchandise being the most prevalent), only 3-10% of physical store orders are returned. Undoubtedly, inability to see and feel the product in-person accounts for that rise in returns, but also constraints from trying on the merchandise provokes shoppers to order more than one size option and return those that did not fit. This pricey frustration is almost entirely avoided when shoppers are able to try on merchandise and determine what their best options are before finalizing the sale.
With much uncertainty around the lifespan of COVID-19 on clothing, retailers face a barrier when it comes to re-opening their fitting rooms. Furthermore, according to Huffington Post, “A survey by First Insight concluded that 65% of women and 54% of men are not comfortable using a dressing room right now.”
Today, retailers facing the new post-covid landscape are testing the previously slow-to-adopt retail innovation in locations around the globe. Israel-based industry leader Zeetik has begun to partner with brands such as Macy’s, Addidas, and Modcloth to help shoppers virtually try on clothes on the Zeetik app. According to the Israeli fashion technology firm, early data has shown that “the service has helped reduce return rates for partners by 36%”. As retailers and consumers continue to navigate the liminal space that is covid-19, experts predict that this innovation will be among the ones to stick with millennial and Gen Z consumers.
A big thank you to the lovely people at @burberry for fitting me out with the new #digital #pufferjacket – it looks awesome!! This is what #digitalfashion should look like
Trying out new specs… #VirtualTryOn #glasses
Trying Gucci’s new augmented reality app. You can try any model from the ACE sneakers line without stepping into a shop.