Trying It On For Size

News

There’s nothing quite like going into a fitting room to see if an article of clothing truly flatters a body shape. And a still image on a Web site can only convince a shopper of so much.

But now, U.K.-based Knickerpicker.com takes online shopping to the next level, allowing women to better visualize how intimate apparel will fit their size with the help of real models in the—digital—flesh. This interactive, one-of-a-kind virtual dressing room is uniquely engaging and one of the most innovative shopping guides to hit online. Although the concept of using video to showcase products is not entirely new, few online retailers have embraced it as a utility tool.

This is how it works: First, a shopper chooses from one of the three models to best mirror their body type (reflecting small, medium and large frames). Second, the shopper browses through different product styles, brands and prices before selecting an item for the model to try on. And finally, the model walks onto the screen wearing the products. Shoppers can control the model’s movement, telling her to turn or walk closer to the screen so the consumer can have a better look at the product style or fit.

The details of each product are displayed in a nearby box. When users are ready to make a purchase, Knickerpicker.com connects them to the relevant retailer’s Web site, such as U.K.-based intimate-apparel company BeCheeky.com

Knickerpicker.com has received more than 1.5 million unique visitors since its debut in late December and the numbers continue to rise, as do conversion rates on BeCheeky.com . The company is currently looking to expand its product lines and has since made deals to partner with U.S.-based online retailers.

Knickerpicker.com not only is primed to help women make better purchasing decisions, but it also serves as a guidance tool to help men shop for gifts. The site allows men to get effective sales assistance without setting foot in an intimate-apparel store. A buying guide for men is also available on the site.

What’s refreshing about the site—in addition to the obvious—is the inclusion of models with realistic figures. This offers true-targeted help to a diverse shopper base. However, the site only offers three body types to choose from, all of which are relatively fit. Introducing more models with unique shapes, including plus sizes, would better cater to shoppers of all sizes.

The company said it does plan to add more models to the site in the future.

Also missing from Knickerpicker.com are details about the model’s measurements and what size they are trying on. Sure, seeing an online model with a similar body type gives an online shopper a better impression of how an article of clothing could fit, but it doesn’t necessarily close the deal or instill 100% confidence that the item will fit once it’s delivered.

What could take the platform to the next level would be to allow models to try on various sizes and highlight what fits best for their shape. Editorial suggestions could also give insight into what fits best on curvy types as opposed to long or petite frames.

But overall, the foundation laid here is remarkable. And retailers can certainly learn a thing or two about taking simple technology to a whole new level.

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