“Apparel sizing is a broken system. Despite efforts to standardise it, sizes across countries, brands, or even within the same brand have staggering inconsistency.”
Online shopping brought with it a new wave of technology and convenience. Fashion is perhaps the biggest battleground in e-commerce. 47% of millennials and 41% of zoomers purchase a fashion item each week.
As consumers who shop for clothes and shoes online, buying clothes online has become a confusing and stressful process when it comes to finding the right size, with the right fit. For example, a size 6 is Nike is 16 cm, whereas a size 6 in Reebok is 15 cm. It seems like these problems should be quite solvable, and yet they persist. There are no standard sizes in clothing, something that anyone who has stood in a dressing room trying on jeans, tops or dresses can attest. In fact, according to a survey by GlobalData, size and fit are among the top reasons for returning online orders. This only adds an extra layer of costs that further erode retailers’ already thin profit margins.
Using a size chart is an industry norm, but is it really sufficient? These guides provide a basic level of customer advice but are hard to use and time consuming. They are also very generic in nature and hence, not able to take a lot of things into consideration. For example, the fabric and the way the item fits. As a brand, it can also be difficult to have all garment measurements in one place and it takes a lot of time for them to get the measurements from factories, or measure everything themselves.
Sometimes it is very difficult for shoppers to measure themselves, for several reasons. Firstly, not everyone has a measuring tape or any other measuring instrument at their disposal at all times. It can also be very strenuous to take measurements of oneself if you are alone. Lastly, it can trigger some shoppers in a negative way to take measurements if they have body image issues or lack self-confidence. Focusing on measurements often turns shoppers off from shopping – e.g. imagine seeing your body in 3D or being asked about your weight, while trying to buy a new dress.
A lot of brands fail to realise the importance of having a good solution for this problem, which affects the business more than anything. 65% of shoppers leave without a purchase if they are unsure about the size and fit. Especially for first-time shoppers, there is an uncertainty regarding their size, which can create a hesitation to buy, and hence, lower conversion.
Returns have the biggest impact on e-commerce profitability. According to research, upto 25% of all online fashion is returned, and 70% of those returns are due to poor fit or incorrect sizing. Point being, the sizing problem is much larger than it seems, and all these costs can get overboard for an e-commerce company that is new to the market. Brands need to take all of this into consideration and then find the ideal solution.