Fitting room solutions are taking off for two companies working in the area that have today announced expansion into new markets.Fits.me
today said that it now has 23 virtual fitting rooms operating in nine countries, while also announcing nine new signings with retailers including Crew Clothing , Savile Row Company and Austin Reed, who will use its robotic technology to show shoppers how clothes will look on their body shape (pictured)
At the start of September Fits.me opened a second north American sales office in California, and one in New Zealand to serve Australasia, adding to offices in Paris and Munich.
Meanwhile, Shoreditch and Cambridge-based Metail
, whose ecommerce fitting room technology enables users to try clothes on a 3D model of themselves, is expanding into Asia. It has appointed Kelvin Au as managing director of the new Metail Asia and is also announcing a partnership with Asian communications company SingTel that will begin with Metail’s interactive size advice plug-in used on the Shopify platform exclusively available to SingTel merchants.
Au said: “The partnership with SingTel establishes a firm foundation for further expansion in Asia, and having a local presence means we can have a more productive and meaningful relationship with our local clients. We have high hopes for the region, and my goal as head of Metail Asia, as well as bringing in significant revenues for the group, is that we will become a key strategic partner for retailers, technology providers and media owners in Asia over the next three to five years.”
The Metail technology is used by clients including Clothing at Tesco, Warehouse and the Shop Direct Group in the UK as well as European and Brazilian retailers.
Fits.me says that 2013 has been the year such solutions have gone mainstream.
“There is no doubt that virtual fitting rooms have rocketed during 2013, from ‘mmm-nice-to-have’ to being a vital weapon for retailers,” said Heikki Haldre, co-founder and chief executive of Fits.me, whose interactive, robotic solution was originally developed in Estonia but now has its headquarters in London. “As the proportion of online sales increases, so do retailers’ overall garment returns rate. That attracts attention – and pressure to deal with it – from across the business.”
Peter Rankin, VP sales at Fits.me, says that Fits.me’s potential to reduce garment returns is still the most visible benefit to ecommerce directors, but its ability to improve online conversion rates is becoming more widely understood.
“Our analytics results show that, across the board, shoppers who use the virtual fitting room are twice as likely to convert into a sale as those that don’t,” he said. “Concluding a sale, in the size that the shopper wants, there and then, reduces the likelihood of the shopper looking and purchasing elsewhere, and ecommerce directors in competitive clothing sectors are very aware of that.”