Fits.me: The Virtual Dressing Room
Online clothes shopping is great. It allows you to browse thousands of different retailers to find the best price and style to fit your needs from the comfort of your own home. No need to cart your children through the mall only to have them hide in all the clothes racks at each store giving you a heart attack. Am I right? The major drawback to shopping online is not being able to try on the clothes in person. A new offering from Fits.me aims to solve this issue by introducing its virtual fitting rooms.
The company (which is still in beta development) markets towards online clothing retailers as a product that retailers can incorporate into their site to better their customer’s online shopping experience. After entering the Fits.me virtual fitting room, users are then asked to key in their body measurements including height, neck size, waist size, torso length, and arm length. These measurements are then used to create a mannequin which mimics your exact body size and structure. Clicking on a specific article of clothing will then place it on the mannequin, allowing you to see how it would fit on you.
Fits.me is currently only being used in London clothier Hawes & Curtis’ online store, but plans are in the works for expanding much further. The start-up recently secured an additional 1.75 million in financing to enable them to progress. Fits.me pitches that they will help online clothing retailers close the gap between brick & mortar store sales versus online store sales, a figure which favors brick & mortar to the tune of a 93% market share in the US. The virtual fitting room company also lobbies that their product will greatly reduce returns caused by clothing not fitting how the customer hoped, saving money for the retailer.
While I like the idea for Fits.me, I see it more as a gimmick than anything else. It seems a cool idea in theory, but I don’t know how much it will produce sales. Even though you are able to see how the clothing you are purchasing will fit on you, you are not able to feel it. It may look great, but may be a bit too snug or looser than you would like. These things are hard to tell from a virtual model. In addition, most people do not know the length of their “wrist to the back of your neck” off the top of their heads. This doesn’t take much time to figure out, but I see a lot of people losing interest before taking the time to record all of their bodily measurements. A main reason people shop online is to save time, and this does the opposite on the surface.
Playing around with the online virtual fitting room, I found that it lacked a major feature which could tremendously help the product. After your mannequin is created, you are given a couple size recommendations that you can try on, but get an error message when trying to click on sizes out of your range. For example, if I am around a size large, I would not be able to see how a size small fits. Originally, I thought Fits.me would be useful in seeing how my current clothes would fit on me after I go on a 6 month fast food bender, but alas it looks like I am in the dark.
Fits.me also has forgotten about the entire demographic of people that purposely wear clothing that doesn’t fit. Sorry Snooki. Looks like you will have to find another virtual dressing room to try on your size x-small clothing on your not size x-small figure.