WAIR Launches to Future-Proof Fashion Retail with Fit TechnologyPosted Nov 19, 2020
AI brings the fit precision of a dressing room to the online shopping experience; new data detailing the state of apparel sizing underscores the industry’s need
SAN MATEO, Calif., November, 19, 2020 -- WAIR, the AI-driven modern solution for personalized fit, today emerges from stealth, unveils its new size and fit solution, and announces partnerships with Cuts Clothing, Rhone and Superdry. The company’s recently commissioned report reveals the majority of fashion and retail brands feel the pain of poor fit in both brand and bottom line, and are seeking new technologies to solve the age old problem of accurate sizing, in addition to becoming more resilient and sustainable in today’s new retail era.
The events of 2020 - from the converging forces of changing lifestyles during COVID-19, to the inability to try on clothes in-person as stores shutter, and the surge of direct-to-consumer brands - have made business transformation imperative for longevity. Now more than ever, shoppers are reliant on e-commerce. A recent McKinsey report found ecommerce penetration experienced a 10-year growth in just 90 days. Additionally, there is a changing shopper allegiance. Seventy-five percent of shoppers have tried different stores or brands during the pandemic and 46 percent have switched brands or retailers all together.
These concerns are now compounding the pre-existing issues already faced by an industry barely squeaking by. Apparel design strategies are flawed: 90 percent of shoppers do not fit apparel as designed. As a result, half of online shoppers expect to return merchandise because of fit. These trends have led to 40 percent of apparel being discounted or destroyed. Overall, incorrect sizing and overproduction have led to over $300 billion in lost profits for fashion and retail brands each year.
Using proprietary AI technology, WAIR works with the world’s largest and fastest-growing network of body dimension data to help apparel brands and retailers put shoppers’ bodies and preferred fit at the center of their business - from design and planning to marketing, sales and customer experience. WAIR’s intelligent fit solution increases shoppers’ confidence that a garment will provide the fit they want, which in turn reduces cart abandonment and returns while increasing conversions. The result is deeper brand loyalty and a healthier bottom line.
“WAIR has been an incredibly powerful technology tool for us, and has been instrumental to the success of our brand,” said Steven Borrelli, founder and CEO of men’s fashion brand Cuts Clothing. “Our customers simply type in their size, weight and desired fit and WAIR produces the most accurate size. We’ve seen a decrease in returns, have been more accurate in our ordering and are increasing our revenue.”
“Putting shoppers’ bodies at the center of things is key to unlocking a more sustainable and profitable business, and it doesn’t have to be hard,” said Greg Moore, CEO of WAIR. “The first and most crucial step is understanding shoppers’ dimensions and matching their individual bodies with the right product size from what you offer. WAIR makes that easy with rich technology that seamlessly plugs into any online or physical store to personalize size recommendations with the highest degree of accuracy.”
Here’s How it Works
It all starts with Fit Advisor, WAIR’s ecommerce recommendation solution that matches products to a shopper’s individual body measurements and fit preferences. Using this plug-in, brands can help shoppers purchase the best fitting clothes without size sampling and returns. The data created with each use then powers the rest of the WAIR platform, which retailers and brands can opt into to get the full value.
--Fit Advisor: Give shoppers personalized and accurate size recommendations, validated by WAIR body data and patented AI, while capturing enriched shopper intelligence.
--Analytics Dashboard: Track optimized performance metrics and integrate personalized shopper insights throughout planning and sales cycles.
The complete product suite creates a flywheel of value, where each integration of body-based intelligence creates both immediate value and feeds back invaluable information that further enhances intelligence; solution add-ons include:
--Fit Optimization: Generate updated size specifications for optimized fit coverage for a target audience.
--Inventory Forecasting: Predict inventory needs and size runs - down to the store level.
--Ad Campaign Contribution: Optimize ad targeting for inventory full value sell-through and adjust ad spend based on the body data of shoppers.
“We chose WAIR to develop our global sizing strategy because they had the most recent 3D body data by magnitudes, and they were able to help us align our product design with the bodies of our shoppers,” said Deborah Painting, Head of Quality & Technical at Superdry. “Given the success of the relationship, we are now planning to integrate their solutions into the full stack, from design and sourcing to planning and merchandising.”
As brands build shoppers’ confidence in accurate and personalized sizing experiences, they produce a gold mine of intelligence. WAIR delivers insight into shoppers' unique bodies, new versus repeat consumers, products viewed versus those purchased, and helps uncover factors that influence customers’ buying decisions and more; each of these metrics is valuable for helping manage and grow a business. Taken together, the information helps future-proof a brand in a highly competitive and uncertain market.
While each brand’s bottom line is positively impacted, the extent of WAIR’s impact is far larger. By helping brands better align to the body dimensions of their shoppers, WAIR helps ensure clothes are produced to meet market demand, reducing waste along the entire supply chain from production to returns. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world responsible for 10 percent of global carbon emissions and 20 percent of all industrial water pollution. By reducing overproduction and increasing sell-through and customer satisfaction, WAIR is helping reduce industry carbon footprint.
“WAIR has increased consumer confidence in our sizes, produced significant lift in our checkouts, and helped us become body-first,” said Adam Bridegan, CMO of Rhone. “Knowing our shoppers’ body dimensions helps us evaluate grade rules, plan size runs for next season, and increase full value sell-through.”
Brands that have adopted WAIR’s solution have experienced an average 50 percent increase in conversions, an 11 percent increase in cart value, and a 30 percent reduction in returns. From the shoppers’ point of view, the data shows an 89 percent increase in their confidence around selecting the right size.
The State of Sizing in Apparel
WAIR, in partnership with Modern Retail, surveyed 50 apparel brands and retailers and uncovered the fashion industry has a poor grasp of customer sizes, particularly when it comes to delivering a great fit to online shoppers.
--Slow Adoption: Nearly 80 percent of brands and retailers are not using size and fit recommendation technology, despite the majority (53 percent) stating that determining fit and size was a challenge their customers face when shopping on their site. A quarter of those surveyed said their ecommerce platform was not at all effective and accurate when it comes to predicting size and fit for their customers.
--Sizing Impacts Experience: Failing to provide accurate sizes results in a slew of negative consequences, including lower conversation rates (55 percent), diminished brand loyalty (49 percent), cart abandonment (45 percent), and increased returns (41 percent).
--Sell-Through Struggles: Only 30 percent of brands and retailers said their current sell-through rates are satisfactory -- with 66 percent of respondents pegging their full value sell-through at 60 percent or less (including 38 percent who say it's 40 percent or less). Meanwhile, respondents stated that lack of insight into customer sizes (36 percent) and overall preference (53 percent) negatively affects sell-through.
--Ridding of Returns: Nearly 40 percent of respondents stated that 20–60 percent of orders are returned due to sizing issues, and 64 percent said a better understanding of customers’ body measurement and size is key to reducing returns.
--Path to Sustainability: The majority of respondents (53 percent) said it's critical to become more sustainable over the next one to three years; only 4 percent said sustainability wasn't on their roadmap at all. As things stand, nearly half (49 percent) said they're sometimes or frequently producing or purchasing too much inventory.
Read the full report here.
WAIR AI-driven fit solutions provide personalized size recommendations that bring the precision of a dressing room try-on to the online shopping experience. WAIR solutions are powered by the world’s largest and fastest-growing platform of 3D body data that helps apparel brands and retailers put shoppers’ bodies at the center of their business, optimizing everything from design and planning, to marketing, sales and customer experience. WAIR size and fit solutions have proven to reduce returns and increase conversion, cart value, and shopper confidence. WAIR partners include Rhone, Cuts Clothing, Superdry, The Warehouse and ACTA, among others. For more information please visit getwair.com or follow us on Twitter (@getwair).