Will 3D body scanning be the future of the fashion industry?
Online clothes shopping can be a real headache at times, especially when it comes to finding the right size fit. In fact, research has shown the average British shopper returns almost half the clothes they buy online, often because they are the incorrect size. This of course results in many disgruntled customers and retailers out of pocket, but could 3D body scanning be the saviour in all of this?
The likes of New Look and Amazon certainly think so, as both have partnered with 3D body scanning companies over the past few years in a bid to help their customers find the ideal fit while saving costs and time. Next, Topshop and Ralph Lauren are further examples of high-profile fashion retailers that have too embraced 3D body scanning technology in recent times. Certainly, 3D body scanning is starting to make moves in the fashion industry but the technology that these retailers are using is still relatively new for mobile systems. As a result, reliability and accuracy is not yet at the satisfactory level required to be a success. The potential for success is there as this technology is will only improve in the coming years as developers continue to work on methods for a creating 3D body mesh on any device. The simple question that remains then is; will 3D body scanning be the future of the fashion industry?
As with any new type of technology, the answer to this question lies solely with how well it will it is received and understood by retailers and consumers. We have already seen a number of willing investors across the fashion industry even at this premature stage, and just recently six more UK retailers have signed up to a new nationwide sizing survey that aims to provide data to help produce better-fitting clothes and tackle the surge in online returns. The survey involves over 100 measurements for each person taking part, with the goal of the project to collect data from over 30,000 adults to help better understand those who have the same clothing size but differ in body size. From this, the aim is to create over three million body shape and sizing measurements that clothing retailers can use to improve their sizing specifications.
For consumers, we know that currently the technology used is unable to provide entirely accurate and reliable 3D body scans, and thus the user experience is lacking for those shopping online. Further investments and research are set to resolve these issues and fashion consumers are expected to embrace the use of 3D body scanning once this happens. Many within the industry are confident that this will indeed be the case after witnessing past technology-led buying experiences such as the instore-interactive mirror prove a success.
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