Check it Out: Will Fits.me Fit Me?
Last time I was shopping at Nordstrom's, I was a little annoyed by the assistance I received from the personnel.
I was in the fitting room, getting ready to try on a sweater and a pair of jeans, when I heard a knock on the door. The salesperson asked if I wanted any help or needed any of the items I had in different sizes. I know the salesperson was just trying to do her job and help me out, but when I have no clothes on isn't the time to ask me if I need anything.
Now comes a solution that might better fit me: virtual fitting rooms.
Fits.me is a virtual fitting room for online clothing retailers. Fits.me is different from other virtual fitting rooms in that it doesn't require a webcam. All it needs is your measurements. Don't know your measurements? Fits.me provides you with a downloadable paper measuring tape you can print out and use. Also, Fits.me offers a revolutionary breakthrough in the virtual fitting room field, something the other virtual fitting rooms don't offer: a moving mannequin that adjusts to your precise shape and size. Tobi's version, for example, which is used by Fashionista, requires users to wave their hands to to get the options they want. What's more, users can only see the item they're trying on from a few angles, which they then need to reimpose themselves on. With Fits.me, you can see the item from every angle, and it may be a little easier to click than waving your arms to choose your options.
With Fits.me you can also see how tight or loose an item might be, or if the sleeves need to be longer, and so on. You might not be able to see your own face in the garment like you can with Tobi's version, but you'll have a better feel for how the item will fit because it's based on your actual size.
Returns are a big issue for any retailer, and virtual fitting rooms are likely to decrease returns. In fact, Quelle, an online retailer in Germany, did a trial run with Fits.me and saw its returns decrease by 28 percent — on top of the increase it saw in sales. Retailers that use virtual fitting rooms will most likely see their return rates improve during the upcoming holiday season as well. With measurements in hand, for example, Mom can pick out a shirt for you and know it fits. (Chances are, Mom knows your measurements.) One thing you still can't measure with a virtual fitting room, unfortunately, is good taste. Or the quality of the material being purchased. I bought a bathing suit online last September, and it fit me fine without using a virtual fitting room. The lining, however, wasn't what I expected. Differences in product materials and other details like that can and probably will be overlooked with virtual fitting rooms.
The other problem with Fits.me is that it's still relatively new. I was at the National Retail Federation's BIG Show in January, and I saw quite a few companies touting augmented reality tools. The buzz was that while virtual fitting rooms are a great idea, they aren't yet ready for mass adoption. And that's kind of true. Fits.me currently has only one version of its product, and it's targeted to men (a women's version is being tested). I have a suspicious feeling that mostly women will be using a service like this.
There are still a lot of kinks to work out with virtual fitting rooms in general. Having exact measurements, for example, doesn't necessarily mean a perfect fit. But it does equal a better one. Hey, once the kinks in virtual fitting rooms get worked out, I may never be bothered in a real fitting room ever again!