Here’s How Fashion eCommerce Can Offer The Dressing Room Experience Online5 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
One of the biggest victims of the pandemic has been the ubiquitous dressing room in brick and mortar fashion stores. Strict hygiene requirements turned the shopping experience and the retail industry in 2020 on its head. But with the entry of the vaccine, brick and mortar stores are fast reopening in full swing in the US and UK. So what does this mean for shoppers who are likely to be uncomfortable about entering dressing rooms? How do eCommerce brands up their game? Can they offer a dressing room for their online shoppers?
Closing the gap
The most glaring difference between physical and online shopping experiences is the inability for shoppers to determine fit. The problem of ‘touch and feel’ has been solved to an extent with product information and high quality photography. But the experience of actually checking fit as well as styling the product with other items from the store has been one of the biggest draws of the physical retail experience.
The Problem of Fit
Today, one of the top reasons for returns is that the product was not as described – or didn’t look like it did in the image.
Most female editorial models are 5 feet, 9 inches tall and quite slim. Whereas the average American woman is about 5 feet, 4 inches tall and veers between size 16 and 18. When consumers are shopping online and see these tall and thin models, one of two things happens. They may shop aspirationally, which often leads to returns because of fit problems and costs eCommerce retailers a lot in return shipping and restocking. Or, the consumer refrains from making the purchase. Had she seen the garment on a model of her size, she may have been convinced to buy it!
Case in point: The Good American does size variation well and has a more diverse range of models. Shoppers can see models of sizes 0, 8 and 16. Inclusivity has been the brand’s anchor from its inception — resulting in sales that crossed $1 million on its first day (the biggest denim launch in history!)
If a fashion eCommerce platform isn’t showcasing relatable models, it should consider the impact it could have on the bottom line.
Selling Styles— Versus Standalone Products
There’s a reason fashion brands going the full mile on Tiktok & Reels are witnessing a record surge in sales despite the pandemic — they’re advertising entire curated styles & unique “looks” over standalone products. Just hit #aysauce, #itsfromboohoo, or #sheinforeverybody. You will be bombarded with a plethora of styles curated by Gen Z fashion influencers of the day.
It doesn’t stop there. The social media generation also looks up to trending “aesthetics” for fashion inspiration. The Dark Academia aesthetic is a classic example. Think fashion inspired by a Sepia preset — leather satchels, cigarette pants, and turtlenecks. In earthy colors like coffee brown and olive green.
Or Cottage Core, which is another popular social-media aesthetic, especially in the spring and summer months. Think roomy white cotton or linen dresses, balloon sleeves, lace trims, peasant tops, tiered skirts, floral embroidery and strappy flats.
This goes to show that fashion shoppers — particularly Gen Z and millennials who are spending a lot of time on the newer social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Pinterest — are more interested in styling, and curating entire looks when they shop online.
Are young shoppers searching for a white slip dress with a wide-brim straw hat, along with a crossbody bag and a pair of strappy yellow flats? Yes. Are they searching for just a pair of strappy flats? No.
So how can fashion eCommerce allow consumers to look at relatable modes AND shop entire looks online?
Enter the Dressing Room by Vue.ai This exclusive clienteling tool helps shoppers mix and match looks on digital models, making for an extremely personalised virtual dressing room online experience in real time! It lets shoppers visualise products on digital models that are most relevant to their body type, ethnicity and attributes, thus making for a truly inclusive shopping experience online.
When shoppers look at more products together, this translates to more cross sells, higher AOV and increased product discovery. Resulting in increased customer retention, and immense business growth for the brand.