Virtual Fitwear a subscription based software for online companies to use that will reduce return rates and have customers purchase more thoughtfully. Virtual Fitwear allows the customer to tailor an avatar that will then help them make smarter and more accurate purchasing decisions, thus reducing returns and helping the environment
How can we reduce our eco footprint while contributing to the trillion dollar fashion industry?
If we think about the 5 things we as humans need to live, what comes to mind? I am hoping clothing was on your list.. Clothing is a form of protection and self expression, which is why it has become a trillion dollar industry and continues to thrive.
However, with everything in life, there are pros and cons and unfortunately, the fashion industry plays a large contribution to pollution and tons of waste in our landfills. Living in a technological age, ecomm behemoths such as Amazon have thrived due to their simplicity of buying and returning, and according to a CNBC article, Amazon's returns have increased by 21% in 2020 alone (Tarasov). The problem at hand is that we have become a society that is quick to purchase and return without taking a step back to understand the environmental impact it has and fun fact, most Amazon returns go to auction or straight to our landfills.
On the other side of things, the fashion industry has also created unrealistic expectations for how we should look and dress represented everywhere in our everyday lives. So with all of these factors, how can we create a more sustainable and enjoyable way to shop online where users are able to save time, make less returns, and increase their satisfaction with the items purchase because they actually fit??
Introducing Virtual Fitwear, a subscription based software ecomm companies are able to purchase that will reduce their return rates and have customers purchase more thoughtfully. Virtual Fitwear allows the customer to tailor an avatar using AI and measurement self assessment that will then help them make smarter and more accurate purchasing decisions, thus reducing returns.
Virtual Fitwear is a problem that needs to be solved and we validated this problem space through consumer research from interviews and surveys with 15 interviewees from all diverse background, we have learned that this is a need
User Pain Points/Supporting Data
“Utilising Google Forms for users to complete a 10 question survey, we identified a few different categories of prospective users and did over 10 user interviews…”
- “Weeks to get your money back when purchasing online”
- “How can possibly I know if something will fit me if my body type isn’t being represented in the models”
- “I don't like the concept of ordering staff and then sending it back to me. It’s not sustainable for the environment.”
- “Being charged to return items or not getting shipping cost back”
- "I make my best guess and try to buy the best fit (fingers-crossed) because returns are a hassle!”
- “Truly a sustainability issue when shopping and needing to return”
- “Spending so much time looking at multiple sites and then still getting the item and it not fitting is a pain”
- Fit is 90% of the reason the group made returns
- Model imagery and sizing charts are inaccurate which results in 82% of the group purchasing multiple sizes and returning what does not fit
- 50% of individuals that took my survey admitted to purchasing multiple sizes of clothing items due to sizing uncertainty
- Fit is the most common cause (46%) of online purchase returns
- Returns generate 27 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year
- 5.8 billion pounds of unsold merchandise ends up in landfill each year
“Our preliminary user research to validate this problem that there is a real issue online shopping and finding items that truly fit and Virtual Fitwear is a tool to help reduce returns before they happen.”
- 97% of consumers abandon their carts due to the challenges online shopping can have and 83% of people state that convenience is key when shopping online
- Amazon for instance returns increased by 21%
- 42% of users blame fit and size as the issue for their returns
- 64% of shoppers state that size recommendation solutions help prevent them from making a return
Landing on the Solution
“Based on our target users’ pain points, we knew we wanted to center our work on the following: AI for unique avatars per user, friction free measurement self assessment, and reducing returns.”
Explanation of Solution
After conducting user interviews via a survey and in person, we learned that there were a few pain points that stood out:
- The process to return items is time consuming
- Long hold times on forms of payment
- Unreliable schedule to pickup requests
- Driving time
- Finding the needed to purchase multiple items due to uncertainty of product fit
- Spending time cross checking if measurement specs are even accurate before purchasing
Virtual Fitwear is a need for not only the business owner, but the consumer as well making it the ideal solution to mediate time, save money, and help the environment!
Read: Left to Right
- User sees the Virtual Fitwear Product Page
- They click “Try On”
- They select the body shape that best suites them
- The user than sees their fit and size based on their details
This problem is a large one to solve and there are an array of problem to address, however I had so much fun being able to see an idea through and showcase it to my cohort. Although this Spring is coming to an end and I will not be conunting with the bootcamp, I will continue to network and build community to hopefully land a PM role soon.
Product Manager Learnings:
What I found the most rewarding taking this 4 week sprint course though Co.Lab, was being able to actually sit down and think like a product manager and truly be customer obsessed with the problem I was trying to solve for. I learned so much on how to create a product spec and ways to strategies on a solution to our countless problems we phase through a wide variety of industries. This experience was truly one I will never forget and it was such a pleasure being able to connect and feel like a team with the founders.