Zalando Introduces Body Measurement Tool to Reduce Returns 

To recoup costs for returns, retailers have traditionally relied on tactics such as high restocking fees or charging for returns. However, a new trend is emerging to promote informed and deliberate purchases to reduce returns. Zalando is the latest retailer to join this trend. 

Zalando has introduced a body measurement tool to help customers easily determine their ideal size using just two photographs of themselves.  

Initially, the tool will be accessible to customers in the DACH region, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Women can use the feature for tops and dresses, as Zalando says these are the most demanding areas for customers to determine the correct size. 

Zalando envisions that this tool will contribute to a reduction in size-related returns and a decrease in textile waste over time. By providing insights into their customers’ sizes, Zalando aims to educate brands about their target audience’s preferences. The company has plans to extend the feature to additional categories and markets in the future. 

 “Helping customers find the right fit is an important part of deepening customer relationships. It’s frustrating to wait for an item to then discover it does not fit,” said Stacia Carr, vice president of size and fit at Zalando, in a statement. “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. We can also continue supporting our brand partners, since this feature can provide further insights on their customers’ size and fit requirements.” 

The tool combines the expertise of Zalando and Fision, a Swiss mobile body measurement app developer that Zalando acquired in 2020.  

Brands Turn to Augmented Reality for Virtual Try-On   

In today’s market, various providers, including Perfect Corp., Snap and Google, are striving not only to introduce solutions but also to enhance accessibility for merchants. 

In an interview with PYMNTS, Wayne Liu, chief growth officer and president of the Americas at Perfect, said, “We’re going very deep to go very broad.”  

What that means is that Perfect is emphasizing advancing and incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) technology into its offerings. Announcements regarding AI products are anticipated at its event later this month. 

In addition, Perfect has plans to expand its reach into the fashion industry. The company aims to venture into accessories, jewelry, and apparel sectors. 

Acknowledging the increasing importance of this domain, Google has also made its foray by unveiling an AI-powered Virtual Try-On (VTO) feature. 

Read more: Google Uses Gen AI to Power Virtual Try-On Tool 

AI and AR Interests Luxury Sector  

After Farfetch CEO José Neves expressed optimism about AI in the luxury retailer’s Q1 2023 earnings report, Maison Valentino is gearing up to launch a VTO feature for its ready-to-wear collection. 

FashionUnited reported that the feature will be powered by Wanna, an augmented reality (AR) technology company owned by Farfetch. 

By using this technology, customers will be able to explore and purchase a range of men’s items from Maison Valentino’s Urban Flows Autumn 2023 collection. They can virtually try on the ValenTie, an accessory from the brand’s autumn collection, which is available exclusively for preorder on Valentino’s website. 

“The ValenTie is a special item that enriches the VTO to experience the sartorial accessory in a new punk and contemporary connotation,” said Valentino. 

“Wanna’s clothing VTO not only enables brands to showcase the apparel with the utmost realism but also provides users with a novel experience of trying on clothing items before making a purchase online,” said Wanna CEO Sergey Arkhangelskiy. “It is a second-generation VTO experience designed exclusively for eCommerce use, which is highly realistic and targeted at luxury brands. With the launch of the new virtual try-on category, we want to continue to help customers to make informed shopping decisions and increase customer confidence to purchase.” 

Easier Returns for Customer and Retailer  

In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Dasya Katz and Daphna Englard, founders and co-CEOs of ReturnQueen, shared insights into their strategy for tackling the challenges associated with returns. Their approach focuses on not only streamlining the return process for consumers but also minimizing its adverse effects on a retailer’s financial performance. 

How ReturnQueen works: ReturnQueen offers a hassle-free pickup service for packaged returns at a flat rate of $7 per pickup, regardless of the number of packages or the retailer involved. Their service is designed to cater specifically to prepackaged boxes with attached labels, ensuring a convenient and effortless experience for customers. 

In addition to their standard pickup service, ReturnQueen provides a premium option called Full Circle Premium Service for $9. 

ReturnQueen also offers a membership program where customers can choose to pay a monthly subscription fee of $19 or $99 a year. By becoming a member, they gain access to unlimited pickups from a range of participating retailers.  

Read more: ReturnQueen Founders Are on a Mission to Make Returns a Brand-Building Experience