Say goodbye to ill-fitting clothes: The future of online shopping sizing


Try before you buy! An age old slogan and method for sales that has served the retail industry well. But at what is the price retailers have to pay to keep pace with modern online shoppers?
Research conducted by Barclaycard unveiled that UK shoppers are annually returning purchases worth £7 billion, with 40% attributing their returns to ill-fitting clothing purchased online. This insight shines a spotlight on a dilemma for UK retailers— can they reduce the number of return items where they foot the bill or should they begin charging for returns.

Online shopping for clothes isn’t going anywhere, but the financial repercussions for retailers of funding a rising number of returns cannot continue. A key reason for shoppers returning clothing items bought online is the inconsistency in sizing (75%), with many reporting dissatisfaction with the fit of online purchases.
The pressing question for online retailers is how to mitigate these return costs whilst simultaneously enhancing the customer experience to ensure that online shoppers receive accurately fitting clothing on their initial purchase. Enter online sizing technology specialist, Makip, whose Unisize  virtual sizing technology allows online shoppers to ‘try on’ clothing before they make a purchase. 
Their recent study revealed that a significant majority of UK online shoppers (70%) place their trust in online sizing technology's ability to predict their body size accurately. Commenting on the results, President of Makip, Shingo Tsukamoto, said “To address the needs of UK retailers and customers, we present virtual sizing technology that not only acknowledges unique body size requirements but also offers precise sizing information for clothing items.

By gathering consumer information—such as age, weight, and height—we gain insights into body measurements. This data is then utilised to match the chosen clothing item with the customer's unique body size, providing a visualisation of how the garment will fit.”
However, some uncertainty remains amongst UK online shoppers as a quarter (26%) reported using online sizing technology only occasionally for accurate size prediction.
Makip's Unisize Technology has emerged as a substantial contributor in tackling the challenge of accurate virtual sizing The significance of Unisize lies in its ability to curtail clothing return rates, presenting an average reduction of 20% amongst its existing clients. 
Tsukamoto elaborates on the transformative potential of this approach, emphasising that the aim is not solely to streamline the shopping experience but to forge a deeper connection between consumers and the garments they select. He adds, "Our vision extends beyond mere accuracy; it encompasses the creation of a personalised and informed shopping journey. We envision a future where customers can confidently select clothing online knowing how each piece will conform to their body type.”
As the retail landscape evolves and online shopping continues to flourish, the importance of accurate sizing cannot be overstated. 

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