Fashion fit technologies were catapulted into the spotlight by Covid as clothing suppliers of all types looked for ways to improve the online ordering experience and reduce garment returns, which surged during the pandemic.
These digital tools enable clothing suppliers to provide customers with instant, accurate size recommendations without the need to try on garments. Like people, they come in all shapes and sizes, from 3D or smartphone scanners to Big Data wearer comparisons or quick and simple question widgets, like our proprietary Size-Me solution, which is powered by AI and machine learning. At Bodi.Me we can integrate all the above technologies in any specific business model, thanks to our agreement with world-leading partners.
This touch-free sizing technology is hugely beneficial to the uniform industry, but it is often met with resistance from suppliers and their customers because of perceived barriers to adoption. Here are some of the most common misconceptions we have encountered, and why you should not let them stop you implementing a fit solution today.
1- We are happy with our current size range
Your current size range might be perfect. The problem is getting wearers into the right size, and that is notoriously difficult whether you are supplying uniforms or fashion. This is where fashion fit technology can help.
A common objection we hear from clients is that they either supply third-party garments, or they have used the same sizing and grading system for years and don’t want to change it. Well, the benefit of a size recommendation system is that it works with your existing size range. While you can, if you want to, use the insights it generates to refine your range, that is a secondary benefit of such systems.
Fashion fit technology like Size-Me provides a personalised fit recommendation for each wearer based on your existing collection. Not only do wearers receive their ideal size, but it also speeds up the collection of size data and eliminates the need for expensive sizing sets and in-person fit sessions. Size-Me works with any type of garment data, from size charts to production sheets, to match wearers to their perfect fit.
2- We do not have a high returns rate
While uniform suppliers do tend to have lower returns rates than fashion retailers (10-20% compared with 35-45% for online fashion), they also tend to have much smaller margins, which means that any returns that do happen quickly eat into profits. And if a collection is branded, returns cannot be resold. Size-Me has supported clients’ uniform rollouts around the world for several years and has consistently delivered a returns rate of less than 0.5%. Even if your returns are currently running at 10%, that’s a significant improvement, and it means perfectly good garments are not ending up in landfill or incineration.
“If sustainability is your goal, you need to tackle it across the entire garment life-cycle. Even sustainable garments are waste if they are thrown away because the wrong size was ordered.”
3- Our customers foot the bill for measurements and returns
But with fashion fit technology, they don’t have to, which means you can offer them a more cost-effective, convenient, and sustainable service.
Fitting wearers takes time. At the extreme end, a luxury hotel we worked with was spending up to four hours per wearer taking measurements. While most suppliers don’t go to such lengths, sizing wearers still adds time into contracts and can delay rollouts.
Rather than dedicating time and resources to wearer fit sessions, regardless of who pays for them, or simply trusting wearers to order the right size – let’s face it, most of us struggle with this when shopping online – fashion fit technology provides a simple, streamlined process of size allocation that saves everyone time and money.
Wearers access Size-Me via a dedicated online portal, answer a few basic questions, and receive an instant, accurate size recommendation to ensure they order the right size, first time.
4- Fashion fit technologies require obtrusive photos or body scans
This is a big one. There is an expectation among many uniform suppliers and clients that fashion fit technologies require the use of 3D body scanners, and most clients’ corporate policies preclude the use of this type of technology as it conflicts with employee safety and privacy as well as diversity and inclusion policies. Even questions about gender, age, or weight can be tricky. However, while it is true that there are systems out there that do require wearers to use a body scanner or take a photo of themselves in tight clothing, there are plenty that don’t.
Size-Me has been developed specifically to avoid these issues. Our sophisticated algorithm, vast database of sizing data, and cutting-edge AI and machine learning means we can generate an accurate size recommendation from as few as two non-intrusive questions. Far from requiring photos, we don’t even ask users to download an app.
5- We are already a sustainable business, and we use recycled fibres
That’s great, but if sustainability is your goal, you need to tackle it across the entire garment lifecycle. Even if a garment is made from sustainable materials, packaged and shipped sustainably, if it is thrown away unworn because the wrong size was ordered, it is still waste, and waste up and down the supply chain is a critical sustainability challenge for the garment industry.
Overproduction to accommodate uncertainty in size requirements is one of the major reasons that a staggering 98% of uniform returns end up in landfill or incineration. Size-Me enables you to optimise production to focus only on the sizes and volumes required, reducing waste and maximising your sustainability efforts.