Consumers went through a purchase and return spree during the pandemic, according to the National Retail Federation earlier this year. Reliance on online purchases and the lack of in-person shopping made it difficult for consumers to make purchasing decisions they were satisfied with. For example, when shopping for clothing online, there are too many variables which make it nearly impossible to accurately judge size and fit.
Enter size and fit technology. “Try-on” technology isn’t necessarily new, but companies specializing in fashion technology are casually stepping into view. With major brands like Walmart and high-end fashion labels like Dior experimenting with fashion tech, it’s not a matter of if new tech is coming but how soon it will be here.
CivicScience polled more than 4,000 U.S. consumers on two different digital fashion services and here’s what they said.
More than half of U.S. adults said they were at least somewhat likely to use a size calculator to help determine their unique size at a store.
Virtual fit was a little less popular. Half of respondents were not likely to use virtual try-on to judge how an outfit would look before purchasing. Thirty-eight percent said they were at least somewhat likely to try it.
Virtual fit implies the shopper isn’t actually in a store. When lining up potential virtual shoppers with data on the impact of the pandemic, it’s clear where the appeal of a virtual fitting room exists. Not only are potential users of virtual fitting tools significantly more likely to be concerned about public spaces, they are also doing more online shopping than usual.
Elevated return rates during the pandemic shed light on previously existing pain points for online clothing shoppers which gave major brands more reason to devote time and energy into helping their customers assess products online before they checkout. But will any of these digital tools have staying power when the coronavirus pandemic is officially a part of the past?