FITTING VIRTUALLY: Next week, shoppers to Zalora’s sites will be able to get a better idea of how each item will fit them, with a new “virtual fitting room.”

The feature, created by Swedish technology company Virtusize, displays the exact measurements of an item, and allows users to overlay a silhouette of a piece over another, so they can get an idea of how the item will fit based on size and cut. Users can save items that they’ve bought in the past and compare other products against those.

The e-tailer operates in eight markets in Southeast Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand. It will start rolling out the feature in Southeast Asia before Australia and New Zealand “in the coming months,” said Michele Ferrario, regional managing director for Zalora.

Right now, Zalora has the measurements of popular brands like Mango and River Island in its database, but it will take between several weeks and months before all 20,000 SKUs per country will be covered fully, he said. He noted that the feature was rolled out in order to help raise conversion rates, by giving users more confidence that the item they are browsing will fit.

The return rate for Zalora stands at about 10 percent across its markets. Virtusize’s Asia-Pacific manager, Andreas Olausson, revealed that retailers in Europe such as see return rates in the range of 30 percent and upwards, and many of its Western clients have implemented the virtual fitting feature in a bid to reduce how many returns need to be processed.

This situation is quite different in Asia, where the relatively younger ecommerce scene needs encouragement, and demand is coming from e-tailers that are looking to raise conversion rates, he said. is Virtusize’s biggest customer in terms of traffic and purchases made through Virtusize’s feature. Other clients include Danish chain Magasin du Nord, U.K. store Monsoon and Spanish retail group Massimo Dutti. In Asia, Virtusize has signed Magaseek, Jabong and Rakuten, amongst others.

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