The Fitting Room Revolutionized

Imagine never having to try on another article of clothing at a store again. Sounds crazy right? From online to offline, augmented and virtual reality is transforming the fitting room experience for consumers. Retail leaders are confident that virtual reality will change the way consumers interact with brands. One company in particular is revolutionizing the fitting room both online and in store. Fits.me’s technology helps online shoppers visualize how an item of clothing might look on them by taking into account their personal body measurements.

Shopping online is extremely convenient, but when it comes to trying on clothing and sending an unwanted item back, it can be a hassle. If a consumer knew that the piece of clothing they were buying would be a perfect fit, the more likely they would be to buy it. By allowing shoppers to ‘experience’ an item more personally, research suggests they are more likely to make a purchase. Many consumers are skeptical about the virtual fitting room. They are unsure if it will get the perfect fit.

Virtual fitting rooms requires the user to submit their own measurements to create a representation online. Websites like Fits.me and Metail are creating platforms for consumers to try on and buy clothing online. For example, Acustom Apparel is a US-based startup that offers ‘digital bespoke menswear’. Using an in-store scanner, it creates a digital profile of your entire body shape from 200,000 data points. The resulting 3D body model, combined with the customer’s choice of fit, materials and features, enables the company to produce entirely bespoke items of clothing. The entire process takes roughly 15 minutes.

At the end of 2014, Nordstrom adopted the tech-enabled fitting rooms by rolling out a full length mirror-cum-interactive screen in two of its stores. The “mirror” is designed by eBay, and allows the customer to browse through items and read product reviews, much like being online.  It also features a barcode scanner to check in-store availability and lets shoppers request items to be brought to the fitting room.  Shoppers don’t even need to go through the hassle of undressing. With the use of augmented reality, virtual clothing can be superimposed onto the shopper.

While the technology for this may seem to fall short of the real-life shopping experience of truly wearing an outfit, it enables faster turnaround times for busy shoppers.  The biggest benefit for retailers is an almost limitless inventory, unrestricted by the store’s actual stock. Virtual and augmented reality in fitting rooms still has a long way to go, but more and more retailers are adopting the idea. Soon malls and brick-and-mortar stores may all have VR fitting rooms.

6 Responses to The Fitting Room Revolutionized

  1. Joe Murdaco November 11, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    The idea of a virtual dressing room is fantastic. It would make the lives of husbands and boyfriends much easier. How? Well they will no longer have to listen to girls trying on clothes for hours only to put everything back and leave the store. I am kidding of course… This idea is actually an amazing idea if it can work out. It will bolster sales for online sales because the hesitance that shoppers face when online will no longer be there. If people can see themselves in the clothes without having to physically be there, they will certainly purchase things online more frequently. The hassle of ordering clothes online then having to return them is extremely annoying and it turns people off from ordering online far too often. The only problem with this tool is that the people need to upload their measurements to the website which can be difficult. If the people do not measure themselves correctly the website will not display accurate information and if will cause a lot of problems. Also, the fact that the companies need to upload the information can turn them away. This would be time consuming and the companies might not want to do it.
    One thing that definitely worries me is how much something like this will cost the consumers. It might be expensive to have this invention come out for public use. I hope these websites are free for use because that is the best way to get the most users. On the other hand, the other problem that can occur is the decrease in sales in stores. If people are able to order things online more confidently, they will be less likely to ever walk into a store again because it will be an inconvenience for them. There are a few problems with this invention but we would never know the results until we let everything play out. One hope I see for the physical stores is that skeptics of virtual reality will stay loyal to their stores. The older generations are very likely to be turned off by the idea of virtual reality and this dressing room because they are not comfortable with technology. I think that companies that have physical stores and online stores are extremely lucky to have something like this. It will ensure that people buy from their company. There will be little reason for someone not to buy clothes now with the availability of this new invention and the stores.
    I am excited to see how this works out in our society. I know plenty of people that will take advantage of this virtual dressing room in a heartbeat. I do not know if I would partake in this as much as they would want me too because I have always been skeptical of virtual reality. Of course, like anything, I will give it a chance and hopefully it grows on me. This is something that would definitely benefit me in my daily adventures.

  2. Vannesa Martinez November 11, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

    Never having to try on another piece of clothing when you go to the store is everybody’s dream. The hassle and inconvenience that it sometimes presents itself when you want to try on apparel is something that people wish they would not have to deal with. The thought of virtual reality coming together and making something sound close to impossible to actually offer is astounding. Technology is truly immersing itself into our everyday lives as people are now figuring out ways to make the fitting room experience into a virtual reality. As the article stated, I did hear about how Nordstrom had integrated tech-enabled fitting rooms in which the mirror would allow the customer to look through store items and look at products and read online reviews. From 2014 to 2016, a lot has shifted to allow the opportunity now for customers to even thinking about having such a thing invented or having access to it.
    Websites that the article mentions like Fits.me and Metail are taking advantage of the opportunity to have their customers submit their measurements and from there digitally tailor the image 3-D shape to your body based on the measurements provided. This is a step in the right direction of the technologically innovation and outlook now that retailers look for to try to revamp the industry. This is a feature that is not present anywhere else in any other industry and this new asset will attract more customers because of the ease and quickness that it seems to provide. Another benefit to this feature is the fact that you can tailor it to your own measurements, you can automatically know which size looks to fit you the best without going through the hassle of trying on three sizes before finding the perfect fit. With an array of body types it does help the consumer on the time management aspects that they can pick and choose and pair up whatever items and clothing they want at their own pace.
    Personally, I am the type of person who has to spend a while trying on clothing apparel. I will always prefer the comfort and feel of it rather than how it looks visually on me. I have had an instance or two where I have bought online and did not like the item when I tried it on. Via the screen, the item, which was a pair of black heels, looked incredible and figured that since I know my size in heels, I had no doubt that they were not going to fit me. However, I was wrong because while they looked great, they did not feel great. Thus, the same experience I faced is what also worries others as well when they think about this feature as well. The reliability of it to see if the fit will match your comfort level. Because it is one thing to see it on you than to actually feel the article of clothing on you and wearing it in real life. For me there lies that issue, that there are some people who do feel the same way. Although websites like Fits.me and Metail allow online shoppers to give their actual measurements so the computer can customize the clothing tailored to your body measurements, it still does not take into account how we might feel in them. I do not discredit that these companies have come up with an ingenious way to truly revolutionize how we shop and how we try on clothing, but there will always be that downside to the technological aspect of virtual fitting rooms. Overall, I thinking that this invention could greatly improve the outlook of retailers, as it will make the fitting room experience efficient and more expansive as it will allow stores to offer almost an array of inventory.

  3. Edward Vestergaard November 18, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

    Let’s face it, shopping for clothes can be a hassle. With hundreds of different options spanning every conceivable clothing-category, finding the perfect style can be intimidating. Sure, you may have a sense of your preferences, but even if you find something you like there’s still the process of trying it on and seeing if it “fits.” And I don’t mean the literal fitting, like if it’s too small, too big or just right, I mean does the article fit your personality? Are the colors/pattern/overall design an accurate representation of who you are? What would wearing this say to others? By taking all these rhetorical questions into account, trying on clothes is obviously a stressful experience…but what if it didn’t have to be that way? Instead of traveling to a brick-and-motor and judging yourself in front of a mirror, Fits.me has created a software enabling “online shoppers [to visualize] how an item of clothing might look on them by [offering] personal body measurements” (Yashay). Personally, I think this is a cool idea since it caters toward fashion-forward individuals and those too busy to travel to an actual store. Although it’s still in its infancy, I hope that virtual fitting rooms are more extensively utilized in the near future.

    After finishing the article, I wondered how much time an online consumer would spend using the virtual fitting room. I think for a quick purchase of a single item, the fitting room would be a great tool; however, if one plans to purchase several items, say more than 5, would he/she reasonably spend an hour or more searching for clothes and putting them through the fitting room? At that point it would be easier to go to a brick-and-mortar where clothes are neatly arranged and easily accessible as opposed to scanning page after page looking for an appealing t-shirt. Although street-clothes may not be worth the additional effort, fancier clothing is certainly worth it. Whereas one may spend $200 on many affordable items, that $200 may only buy a blazer or a pair of slacks. When big money is being spent, every effort should be taken to ensure that it fits properly. I was surprised to read that bespoke menswear company, Accustom Apparel, “creates a digital profile of your entire body shape using 200,000 data points” (Yashay). Such attention to detail means that any guy can rock clothing specifically contouring to their shape, allowing them to look their best at all times. The entire process doesn’t take long either, in fifteen minutes, the in-store scanner can determine the exact size that person should wear, so a little wait goes a long way. Furthermore, Nordstrom adopted a similar approach by introducing a full-length mirror that “allows the customer to browse through items and read product reviews” which gives this virtual fitting room and more hands-on experience. To author Allison Yashay’s point, a consumer is definitely more likely to purchase an item if they were engaged in personal interaction. Couple that with knowledge regarding an item’s exact fit relative to the consumer, then that would seem an ideal scenario for a purchase. In conclusion, VR fitting rooms could be cost effective if a large quantity of clothing is being sold, otherwise, it seems like a pointless expense to me.

  4. Matthew Multer December 9, 2016 at 10:43 pm #

    I hate trying on clothes, I hate shopping I don’t find it enjoyable at all. Not having to try clothes on sounds like the greatest thing ever. I also never enjoyed when my mom would buy me something to wear and then come home and I have to try it on only to find out that it just doesn’t fit me. Not having to try clothes on in a fitting room sounds fantastic. If virtual reality could transform my shopping experience it could save so much time and effort. Fits.me technology helping people visualize what things look like on them is insane. I honestly can’t comprehend that. Being online and shopping and now I can even try something on and not worry about it being shipped to me and not fitting. Just as Allison says “Shopping online is extremely convenient, but when it comes to trying on clothing and sending an unwanted item back, it can be a hassle. If a consumer knew that the piece of clothing they were buying would be a perfect fit, the more likely they would be to buy it.” That describes my life. I have bought countless of hats online and I hate when they come and they don’t fit the way that I want them to fit.
    I am definitely one of the consumers who is skeptical about this. I want to be sure that it’ll be the perfect fit. I don’t know if I entering my own measurements to create representation online would be enough for me to be sold on the idea of it working. Half the time I don’t even know what my own measurements are. On top of that not every store am I the same size in shirts, shorts, shoes etc. I love the idea of a more personally enriching shopping experience but if a medium at Nike isn’t the same as a medium at Under Armour, I’m assuming virtual reality will be able to account for something like that.
    The only other reason I would not be a fan of this is because sure you can look at it, but you can’t feel the clothing. I mean look good feel play good right? If you don’t feel good in the clothing who would want to buy it? Not me. This is the biggest issue I have because I wouldn’t buy something if it bothered me the way that it felt then I would never buy it.

  5. Cameron Collier January 25, 2017 at 5:47 pm #

    The idea of a virtual dressing room is fantastic. It would make the lives of husbands and boyfriends much easier. How? Well they will no longer have to listen to girls trying on clothes for hours only to put everything back and leave the store. I am kidding of course… This idea is actually an amazing idea if it can work out. It will bolster sales for online sales because the hesitance that shoppers face when online will no longer be there. If people can see themselves in the clothes without having to physically be there, they will certainly purchase things online more frequently. The hassle of ordering clothes online then having to return them is extremely annoying and it turns people off from ordering online far too often. Websites that the article mentions like Fits.me and Metail are taking advantage of the opportunity to have their customers submit their measurements and from there digitally tailor the image 3-D shape to your body based on the measurements provided.
    This is a step in the right direction of the technologically innovation and outlook now that retailers look for to try to revamp the industry. This is a feature that is not present anywhere else in any other industry and this new asset will attract more customers because of the ease and quickness that it seems to provide. Another benefit to this feature is the fact that you can tailor it to your own measurements, you can automatically know which size looks to fit you the best without going through the hassle of trying on three sizes before finding the perfect fit. After finishing the article, I wondered how much time an online consumer would spend using the virtual fitting room. I think for a quick purchase of a single item, the fitting room would be a great tool; however, if one plans to purchase several items, say more than 5, would he/she reasonably spend an hour or more searching for clothes and putting them through the fitting room? At that point it would be easier to go to a brick-and-mortar where clothes are neatly arranged and easily accessible as opposed to scanning page after page looking for an appealing t-shirt.
    Although street-clothes may not be worth the additional effort, fancier clothing is certainly worth it. I am definitely one of the consumers who is skeptical about this. I want to be sure that it’ll be the perfect fit. I don’t know if I entering my own measurements to create representation online would be enough for me to be sold on the idea of it working. Half the time I don’t even know what my own measurements are. On top of that not every store am I the same size in shirts, shorts, shoes etc. I love the idea of a more personally enriching shopping experience but if a medium at Nike isn’t the same as a medium at Under Armour, I’m assuming virtual reality will be able to account for something like that.

  6. Thomas Batelli February 10, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    Understanding the needs of the consumer is the most important aspect of business strategy. The overall goal is to always satisfy the consumer, of course, without any or little cost to you. Going the extra mile with a guest or client is not only effective for the personnel, but the overall business. However, people are often discouraged by these means, as they can be challenging to meet. The simplicity of the buyer to seller relationship is no more personal than achieving satisfaction within your consumer basis.

    After reading this article, I found that the innovators of this idea are adjusting their strategies to accommodate more than one specific type of clientele. For example, me as a man, do not spend much time in my online shopping experience, as my sizes are a more generic fit and do not seek to accolade certain body structures. With this being said, my sister may have less success with her online shopping experience not only for herself, but for other people she would wish to buy products for. At the end of the day, my sister would find it easier to drive to the mall and walk around and see the products in person, rather than having to visualize how the products would work for the different people she intended to give them to.

    Visual fitting rooms are creating a better understanding on how clothing and products really fit, going beyond the model and the description. This allows women or individuals with specific body types to confidently purchase clothing that suits them and others in a matter of less than twenty minutes. Although this method can be looked at to be more personalized (as you need to have the exact body measurements in order to truly see how the clothing or products look on the client), it still provides a very close replication and gives the consumer a better idea, as well as better certainty in the products they are purchasing.

    This innovation of virtual fitting rooms creates a portal into greater innovation and expansion of a service or product like this. In order to obtain a successful business, the consumer market needs to be addressed. By provided a service like this, you are guaranteeing a sale to be made. If they were to in difference go to the mall, you can not guarantee the product will be purchased. Obviously, with the intention the product purchased will be liked, there is also something about a “sure thing”. People would be curious to see how services like this really work, which would therefore also stimulate sales.

    In conclusion, there is only room for expansion within the world of virtual reality. However, I do think it’s interesting how the market is already looking to utilize this new-to-consumer product in a way, which benefits their sales. I think that we will experience a strong shift in the sales market in regards to virtual reality within the next few years, as it adds simplicity and confidence to the consumer creating a happy buyer to seller market.

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