Try before you buy is one way to grasp consumers who are concerned about getting the perfect fit when shopping online. But even then, the returning of those goods can feel like a strikeout, or breakup.
Instead of returning their online buys, parting ways and being sorry things didn’t work out, consumers may want to get it right the first go around with product fit of apparel and footwear.
It’s not them, it’s the retailers — and while inconsistency in sizing is one challenge, a universal sizing standard is unlikely to solve it, as today’s consumers are vocal in their unique sizing needs and quick to use technology to remedy everything in their increasingly digital worlds.
In effort to better understand the greater challenge of sizing as it relates to e-commerce, WWD spoke with Ronen Luzon, founder and chief executive officer of My Size Inc., developer of the MySizeID technology – which began with one founder’s poor fit experience while shopping online and has since been patented across continents.
WWD: How did the idea of online shopping and fragmented “hit or miss” sizing inspire the inception of MySizeID?
Ronen Luzon: The idea actually came from my own personal experience when shopping for apparel while living in Israel. I was buying clothing for myself and my family, and a lot of the items would arrive and not fit. At that time in Israel, there were no free returns, so you had to pay to return your items that didn’t fit. No one wants to pay more money to return items that didn’t fit because the brand’s sizing chart was inconsistent. So that’s why we started MySize — to empower consumers to shop better and ensure a correct fit every time.
WWD: What challenges exist in apparel e-commerce today?
R.L.: One of the greatest challenges is a lack of universal sizing system across all brands. A consumer might be a size medium in one brand but a small in a different brand, leading to buyer frustration and confusion. This usually results in the consumer buying an item they are likely to return, or buying multiple sizes knowing they will return the ones that don’t fit. This [trial and error] costs the retailers money. Consumers want a more personalized online shopping experience where they are more than just a small, medium or large. They want to feel like apparel items are being made specifically for them, not just that fit into a size category.
WWD: How does MySizeID solve size discrepancies for customers?
R.L.: MySizeID solves the sizing issue by allowing consumers to quickly and easily record their body measurements with just a few swipes of a mobile phone. Once you have your measurements, you can get size recommendations for specific brands so you always buy the correct sized item. This eliminates guessing because the size recommendation is given based on your specific body measurements and how they fall in to a retailer’s specific sizing chart.
WWD: What technology empowers it, and where is it patented?
R.L.: We have developed an innovative algorithm that uses the internal sensors of a mobile phone to record a person’s measurements. Unlike other technologies, we aren’t using the phone’s camera and asking you to submit photos of yourself in some state of undress; you can literally build your personal fit profile just by moving the mobile phone over your body to record measurements like waist, chest, shoulders and more. We have four patents on the technology — two already granted — in different continents.
WWD: Who can create a profile with MySizeID?
R.L.: Anyone can create a profile with MySizeID. It is available for iOS devices, and an Android app is also in development.
WWD: From a retailer’s perspective, what value does MySizeID provide at both the backend and front-end of the supply chain?
R.L.: On the front-end, we’re building customer loyalty and increasing its confident by eliminating frustrations over sizing. If a consumer has a couple of bad experiences ordering online from a brand due to size that leads to returns, they will likely stop shopping with the brand. MySizeID eliminates that by ensuring they are buying the right size, every time. From the backend, we’re helping to eliminate costs associated with unnecessary returns while also increasing sales. Based on MySize’s estimates, the MySizeID app can increase average order values by approximately 20 percent and can reduce return rates by approximately 30 percent.
WWD: What is the user adoption to-date of MySizeID, and what retail partners are you servicing currently?
R.L.: MySizeID has received tremendous user feedback since the consumer app was launched in September. A recent survey of users stated 97 percent thought it was easy to use; 97 percent said the body measurements they received from MySizeID were correct; 95 percent said the size recommended was accurate, and 100 percent said they could see themselves using an app like MySizeID while shopping online. There are dozens of retail brands listed in the MySizeID app for consumers to receive size recommendations from, including Nike, Forever 21 and Levis.
WWD: How did joining the International Apparel Federation advance the mission of the MySize company?
R.L.: Joining the IAF connected us to leading apparel associations — and companies across the world — and gave us access to like-minded retailers and brands who are interested in using technological advancements like MySizeID to optimize apparel industry operations.
WWD: Showcasing at Première Vision as well as Copenhagen Fashion Summit, what future events do you anticipate for gaining market share?
R.L.: We will be at NRF 2019 in January in the Startup Zone. We’ll also continue to attend relevant industry events that will connect us with key decision makers in the retail, apparel and e-commerce space.