As ecommerce platforms become more and more advanced and easy to use, the popularity of online shopping continues to grow. The most popular item that shoppers buy online? Clothes. Of course, clothes are also among the most frustrating items to buy online.
In 2010, Americans spent $186 billion in online shopping transactions—$13 billion of which was spent on clothing. However, as the popularity of online shopping increases, so does the number of returns. Currently, 30% of clothing bought online winds up being returned. This suggests a major flaw somewhere in the online apparel industry.
The Flaw: Fit
Among those who return their apparel purchases after buying clothes online, 70% of people cite “fit” as the reason for their return. Usually “fit” refers not to the actual measurements of a garment, but rather to the way an item looks and feels on the buyer—a problem that is managed at brick and mortar stores because shoppers are allowed to try on clothes before they purchase them. The inability to “try on” before buying has long been one of online shopping’s major drawbacks.
That’s where Fitting Room Social comes in. Fitting Room Social seeks to lessen the number of disappointed shoppers by enabling buyers to see how an item will fit them—or, more accurately, someone who looks like them—before making a purchase.
How it Works
Fitting Room Social allows users to search for specific items of clothing and see how other users have ranked that item based on how it fit them. For instance, a pair of jeans will have a number of different fit factors to consider—the hip, inseam, thigh, and waist—all of which can be rated by users using three possible rankings: Great fit, good fit, and poor fit. So when you look up a particular pair of jeans, you will see rankings such as:
- Hip: Great fit
- Inseam: Great fit
- Thigh: Good fit
- Waist: Poor fit
Users can also add their own personal notes if they have more to say about an item and can add pictures of themselves wearing the item so that other users can see how it really fits.
Development of the app began one year ago and won second place in the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge Community Track earlier in 2014. It was officially launched launch about four months ago, and now Fitting Room Social has already attracted over 2,500 users. Developer Brad Liff and his team hope that the ecommerce app will revolutionize retail by remedying the major longstanding problem inherent in online shopping—the question of fit.