One out of every three apparel purchases made online is returned. Businesses with those return rates would never be able to survive in other sectors. Imagine if one out of every three restaurant customers sent their food back? Or one out of every three travelers canceled their flight tickets? The 33 percent return rate would be untenable.
However, online retail is a different beast than brick-and-mortar, especially when it comes to apparel. Online shoppers are unable to try on items, figure out the right size, touch and feel the product, and only have a limited ability to see intricate details. Sizing and fit top the list of reasons why consumers make returns. By integrating tools to help shoppers make smarter fit decisions, online retailers can dramatically reduce their return rates.
Here are some great examples of online retailers leveraging sizing apps to keep their return rates down.
Fit is Everything
Leading online fashion retailer ASOS sells over 60,000 products and offers a hassle-free returns policy with free shipping worldwide and free returns with no restocking fees. More importantly, ASOS integrated a fitting application called Virtusize that helps shoppers find clothes with the right fit. Virtusize works across a wide range of online retailers, enabling shoppers to compare the fit of a garment from a store they're currently shopping in with a garment they previously purchased from another retailer. Virtusize has helped ASOS reduce its return rate by an impressive 50 percent. Furthermore, the app has helped improve customer loyalty and retention as well, because shoppers feel more satisfied when they receive clothing that fits properly.
Designer jean retailer Sojeans has a great strategy for helping online shoppers find their perfect size. Jeans are one of the most notoriously difficult items of clothing to buy, even when you're in-store to try them on. Sojeans addresses this challenge with a fitting app called Soselect that requires just five clicks to find jeans that fit. The first two steps ask for information about your height and weight; the next three steps inquire about about your body type, behind and thighs. Shoppers can get even more nuanced by entering the type of shoes they plan to wear with the jeans. Once this information is entered, Soselect suggests different jeans based on an “affinity” rating that ranges from 1 percent to 99 percent. Oh, and returns are free if made within 30 days, so customers
have a chance to try their jeans on before they buy.
Related story: Why Product Returns Don't Have to Be a Nightmare