The 2020 online holiday shopping season got off to an earlier start than usual with Amazon’s pandemic-postponed, October Prime Days, and other large retailers like Walmart and Target following suit. As Covid-19 lingers, the early start is no doubt intended to ease the strain on e-commerce supply chains and fulfillment networks, and reduce crowding in stores.
The apparel industry has been particularly hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic with stores closed for months, headline-grabbing bankruptcies, and changing consumer buying habits. Brands like Levi’s and Tommy Hilfiger have deployed new online tactics, taking a page from the QVC Network, and holding influencer and celebrity-hosted online sales “events”. According to a WSJ article, one of the driving factors to try live events is to make it easier for online shoppers to figure out which items will look best on them and choose their correct size.
While live events are nice and do increase engagement, and maybe even sales, they do not address the real issue plaguing the online apparel industry – returns, returns, returns.
Is Free Shipping Worth the Cost?
Free shipping both ways has encouraged consumers to order multiple sizes of apparel items to ensure one fits them, and the others are returned. In addition, size charts vary from brand to brand, one user’s size “M” in one brand, may be an “S” in another brand, and it is this lack of clarity that clouds consumer confidence to choose a size that will fit them individually.
This practice is even encouraged by none other than the largest online retailer – Amazon. Amazon’s Prime Wardrobe service actively encourages shoppers to “try before you buy” and shop in three easy steps with “free and easy returns”. From the retailer’s side, this service forces brands to manufacture many more items than they actually sell in order to feed and satisfy customer’s wasteful shopping habits.
Personalize with MySizeID, Reduce Returns and Costs
MySizeID has pioneered a return-reducing technology solution for online apparel retailers that accurately matches a shopper’s personal measurements with the brand’s size chart and have been proven to reduce returns by as much as 50%.
During a two-month pilot with Boyish Jeans, a sustainable women’s denim line, MySizeID made size recommendations to the brand’s customers, resulting in a 31% reduction of returns. This pilot also successfully increased user engagement dramatically, with over 75% of the size recommendations provided to guest users. Turkey’s Penti brand reduced returns from online sales by 50% for apparel items where MySizeID made size recommendations.
Literally, any brand that today relies on traditional size charts to sell apparel online, is faced with a consumer base that is apprehensive and uncertain about size purchases online. This leads to return rates of 40%, increased operational costs related to shipping and restocking, inexact inventory ordering, and let’s not forget all of the waste that ends up in landfills.
Accurate Personalization: the secret to reducing returns & increasing sales
MySizeID aggregates and analyzes data from multiple sources: brand size charts, data from inventory software, a proprietary anthropometric database, and most importantly, a user’s own personalized size measurements, using Smartphone motion sensors, to create an accurate and unique user profile. An on-page widget recommends the best fitting apparel for each individual customer. AI, Big Data and Deep Learning algorithms drive the process from analysis to recommendation.
Shoppers and brands both want the same thing – for the shopper to have an exceptionally positive experience and to confidently shop for apparel that is their true size (reducing returns), which increases brand loyalty. At the same time, reduced returns for the retailer means reduced operational costs, less waste, and more importantly, higher revenue.
MySizeID can be deployed on any retailer’s online platform as well as on e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Woo-commerce , Lightspeed, and any other e-commerce platform.