The fewer the steps that customers take online to buy from you, the bigger your chances of making a lot of sales. This means fewer buttons to click, fewer words to type out (or maybe none at all, if it can be helped), and more intuitive touch managing to deal with, especially if the customer would be doing it from a smartphone or tablet. For retail businesses that largely rely on online or virtual sales transactions for their order taking chores, it would be truly necessary for them to develop the suitable software or apps.
This necessity becomes even bigger when the customer needs to try things out before purchasing like those often experienced with buying clothes. Buying clothes online where the fitting room scenario can never happen, for example, requires the retailer to develop some kind of technology to allow that experience to happen virtually. This tech idea might sound far-fetched to many but don’t speak so soon, someone has invented the software to let you do just that: Try clothes on for size online.
“What if” tech
Proof that breakthrough tech often comes as a result of a what if thinking could be found in UK developer Tom Adeyoola whose Metail software allows customers to try clothes on for size virtually. Customers could do this online by uploading their photo along with some information like body size, height, weight, hip, chest and waist sizes. The software then creates a three-dimensional avatar that is about 94 – 96% accurate.
The software is backed by digitized photos of clothing taken from variously angled shots from a mannequin. This then gets merged with the image in the avatar provided by the customer. So if you choose a pair of pants, for example, you could see where the rise and the hem fall, or whether the waist lines up properly, and even find out if the fabric drapes well over the body.
Custom-tailored for virtual business
The Metail example perfectly demonstrates how technology could be created to custom-fit online retail businesses via apps or software. With an ever-growing tech savvy population always seeking new and convenient ways of shopping that does not take too much of their time, companies need to address this retail industry development if they wish to compete more effectively online.
Online retail is becoming more and more the norm especially among the new working class also known as the mobile work commuter. This is a totally different consumer group that could never compare to consumers from say, 10 or 20 years ago. The mobile work commuter is a mobile device-driven consumer bloc with a strong bias for online and virtual buying processes. It is also one with a deep sense of entitlement to high-tech convenience that expects flawless web-based systems to be readily available anytime from anywhere.
If retail companies hope to keep themselves relevant to this new generation of mobile device-prone consumers (who will soon be taking over the whole global shopping scenario in a couple more years), it would be best for them to start developing the e-fit tech to match this sense of entitlement. UK’s Metail tech successfully launched last year via retail giant Tesco. Fashion-forward retailer Warehouse took this as a cue and recently added the Metail technology to its website. It’s written all over the web and you ought to make the next move: Develop tech that fits your buying process.