A Study of Virtual Trial Room

A Study of Virtual Trial Room

Safa Albadri (IBM, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9894-9.ch019
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Abstract

In todays' Ecommerce websites, the user just picks up apparels and accessories that look good in the images. Once the goods are delivered, they might not be satisfied with the color, size and looks. This results in the return of the apparel. This chapter talks about Virtual trial room as a facility for the online users. This will help the customer to virtually try the apparels for the size. The customers' can also share their trailed clothes on the social media, so that they can get suggestions on it from family, friends, designers, and fashion experts. As the technology advances, the customer can also print out a small piece of the cloth to have a look and feel of the material.
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Introduction

Online shopping is growing faster than the bricks and mortar stores. Buying apparels online are quite difficult than buying electronics or books online. Most of the customer prefers trying out the apparel before buying it. So, the shoppers order multiple sizes and return the ones that don’t fit. But then there were others who would not go online to buy apparels. Virtual trial rooms concept which became reality in 2010 helps to reduce return, increase conversion rate and also increase sales by attracting those buyers who prefer to take a trial before purchasing. The virtual trial rooms have become so popular that now even brick and mortar stores use them to save time and improve customer satisfaction level (Ehara, & Saito, 2006).

Multi-sensor body scanners combined with new algorithms and social media technologies have started a revolution in creating a fashionable and user friendly virtual trial room. This study presents an example of Virtual Fitting Rooms (VFRs) and supporting technologies which facilitate the shopping experience by letting customers to try-on apparel and/or mix- and-match accessories without being physically present in the retail shop. These platforms are not only powerful decision tools for the on-line shopper, but also contribute to the fun factor in both offline and online shopping experiences (Kubota, Koudu, & Kamijima, 2006). Using depth scanning techniques, VFRs can create accurate 3D models of shoppers and meaningfully query retail digital catalogs, filter out non-fitting items and allow customers assess the styling and matching aspects in real time. In addition, omnipresent social networking features allow sending photos or videos of the shopper wearing the apparel for quick feedback (Rigby, 2013). The quality of service provided by current VFRs is sufficiently high to boost sales and also minimize returns due to improper fit.

Traditional Shopping

Before the era of Ecommerce, shoppers used to visit physical stores. The retailers used to rent a piece of land and setup the apparel shop. The customers would visit the shop and would select the apparels they like and then proceed towards the trial room to try out the selected apparel. If there are many customers in the store, they would end up standing in the queue for the trial room. But then we had other challenges. Indian Union Minister Smriti Irani was in news in 2015 for spotted a hidden camera in a changing room in a Fabindia store in Goa. Then again, it was the turn of a 23-year-old MNC executive to find a mobile phone on video-recording mode kept inside the gap of the trial room door of Van Heusen’s showroom at Lajpat Nagar in Delhi, India. The trail rooms in the physical stores not only consumes lot of time of shoppers but also can lead to embarrassments as we have seen in the above two examples.

Traditional Ecommerce

Ecommerce is buying and selling of goods online. There are millions of people who shop online for apparels, accessories, etc. As per the PwC study, 50% of the people worldwide buy apparels online. A study by Accel Partners has indicated that the online fashion will increase by 400% by 2016 compared to 2013. In todays’ Ecommerce websites, the user just picks up apparels and accessories based on the look of it on the mannequin. Once the goods are delivered, they might not be satisfied with the color, size and looks. This results in the return of the apparel, leading to loss of profit and customer satisfaction.

It’s common to see fashion retailers focus on the latest bright new shiny toys considered to be the latest digital craze or phenomenon, and in doing so miss out on delivering content and experiences that really matter to consumers. One area where the majority of fashion retailers fall short is content and consumer experiences for size and fitting. Consumer experience in this context relates to delivering positive, intuitive, seamless steps so that the consumer gains confidence in his/her size selection when purchasing apparel online. According to a survey conducted by Baggit.com, 82% of the respondents feel to find out the biggest challenge the customers face to buy apparels online, found that 82% of those responded said that the biggest issue is lack of touch and feel and the inability to check the fitting of the apparel.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mannequin: A mannequin (also known as manikin, dummy, lay figure or dress form) is an often articulated doll used by artist, tailors, dressmakers, window dressers and other especially to display or fit clothing.

Customer Satisfaction: Customer Satisfaction is usually used in marketing to measure how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation.

Trial Room: A room, as in a theater, for trying out clothes before purchasing it.

Retail: Retail is a process of selling goods and/or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit.

Customer Requirements: Customer Requirements is particular characteristics and specifications of a good or service as determined by a customer.

Billing: Billing is a process of sending an invoice to customers for goods or services.

Customer: A customer (sometimes known as a client buyer, or purchaser) is the recipient of a good, service, product or idea, obtained from a seller, vendor, or supplier for a monetary or other valuable consideration.

Apparel: Apparel also known as clothing is a fiber and textile material worn on the body.

Shopping: Shopping is an activity in which a customer browsers the available goods or services presented by one or more retailers with the intent to purchase a suitable selection of them.

Time Consuming: Time Consuming is taking up or involving a great deal of time to do a particular task.

Ecommerce: Ecommerce, short for electronic commerce, is trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the internet.

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