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How Zalando is using tech to reduce returns

“Helping customers find the right fit is an important part of deepening customer relationships,” Zalando vice president of size & fit, Stacia Carr explains as the German ecommerce giant launches a new body measurement feature which assists customers in finding the right size, with just a click of a photo.

An expansion of its 3D avatars and virtual fitting rooms, by taking two pictures of themselves with their devices in tight clothing, Zalando claims it can predict the customer’s body measurements to help them find the right fit for their fashion purchases, reducing returns in the process.

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“It’s frustrating to wait for an item to then discover it does not fit. With the introduction of size advice with body measurements we continue to leverage our innovations to help our customers with one of the main problems of the fashion industry,” Carr adds.

“We can also continue supporting our brand partners since this feature can provide further insights on their customers’ size and fit requirements”.

Currently, consumers in Austria, Germany and Switzerland can already use the tool to get personalised sizing advice across womenswear, However, the tool will expand to more categories and markets in the future, the company states.

The move comes as the 2023 DeliveryX Returns report revealed that compared to bricks-and-mortar purchases returns are more frequent among online purchases.

The research added that clothing retailers have the highest returns rate, with around 45% of clothing items being returned to the retailers in question, this is likely driven by sizing issues but can also be a result of vague product descriptions, items not resembling the website images and the highly personal nature of style.

The report also stated that the figures could also be impacted by retailers offering free returns, resulting in customers purchasing a sheer number of items to try on before being sent back at no cost to them.

This comes as the data also claimed retailers which offer free returns are “paying the price” for such customer experience, as the UK fashion industry lost £7 billion in returns last year.

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Download the DeliveryX Returns Report to discover how Covid played its part with shoppers not physically able to visit stores and try items on in fitting rooms, their homes became the safe space for this, resulting in a rise in returns costing the industry £7 billion.

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