The collective voice of the fashion community is loud and clear— inclusivity in retail is a necessity. Retailers cannot afford to address what they consider the “ideal” segment of society. Considering 60% of shoppers want retailers to be part of the dialogue around social issues, they can’t be passive to the inclusivity movement. Fashion brands are now expected to actively contribute in making inclusivity mainstream.
So what does it mean to be inclusive? What can retail teams do to get started?
There are many avenues retailers can look at to make their fashion brands inclusive—from ads, messaging, to products. For e-commerce in particular, product imagery on the site is the crux of inclusivity. Displaying models of different sizes, ethnicities, and skin tones helps every shopper relate to the brand. Whether it is a Size 4 woman of Spanish descent or a Size 10 woman of Asian descent, everyone will be able to find the site relevant if the product imagery is diverse.
#Thread | With the rise of the #BodyPositivity movement—amplified by the voices of celebs & influencers with massive social followers like #AshleyGraham, #JameelaJamil & #LiliReinhart—the time has come for retail to adapt size inclusive business models. Here’s why it makes sense: pic.twitter.com/KrIiOPCUQl
— vue.ai (@vue_ai) January 29, 2020
Inclusivity in Retail: Benefits for the Business
According to an Accenture report, 62% of shoppers said they would switch from a retailer where they feel unwelcome! In addition to bringing in new shoppers and increasing brand loyalty, inclusive fashion imagery adds value to fashion retailers:
- Increases Engagement
When shoppers see products on models of a similar skin tone and size as themselves, they engage better—the website and the products become more relevant and consumers end up browsing more, visiting more pages, and viewing more products.
- Improves Conversion
A report by IRCE noted that model diversity and inclusivity can increase conversion rate by 29%. Shoppers can visualize what the product will look like on them when they look at a model with a similar skin tone and body size. Such imagery helps them in their decision-making process—enabling them to convert better and faster.
- Decrease Returns
Almost a quarter of returns today happen because products look different in person. High quality & relatable product imagery can fix this issue. Shoppers will be able to picture the product better—helping them understand exactly what it would look like, consequently decreasing the frequency and number of returns.
A Step Towards Inclusivity in Retail
Inclusive fashion and product imagery can be a lot of work. Showing products on models of different sizes, different ethnicities, and different skin tones are definitely easier said than done. Building high-quality product imagery takes a lot of time and resources—photoshoots are not easy and reshoots, when something goes wrong, can be a nightmare.
The automation of the on-model photoshoot process is a necessity for retailers of the day and this is where AI comes in.
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Inclusive Product Imagery Using AI
Vue.ai’s solution, VueModel, allows complete customization of models —retailers get to choose from models of various ethnicities, skin tones, and sixteen different sizes. It helps achieve inclusivity in retail imagery without much hassle. What’s more, with AI-powered on-model fashion imagery, retailers can showcase products on models at 1/4th the cost and 5x the speed of traditional photoshoots!
Building An Inclusive Retail Community
A Harvard study says 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious. When shoppers see models of their skin tone and size, they are able to relate and feel at home on the site. Being inclusive is not just the right thing to do, it also helps build a loyal and active community of shoppers.
AI and automated on-model fashion imagery can help businesses take that first step towards inclusivity in retail.
Like Ashwini Asokan, CEO of Vue.ai, said in a podcast with Electric Runway, “Why should people all over the globe look at the same size zero model to buy clothes?”
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Learn more about AI-powered on-model fashion imagery and how you can use VueModel to be more inclusive here.
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