Fashion E-Commerce has been booming worldwide for a few years now, and the Covid-19 crisis has only reinforced this trend. In Europe alone, about 14% of fashion retail is sold online, and it is expected to grow on average 9% per year by 2023. However, finding the right size online remains a difficult task for many consumers. About 50% of all returns in online fashion sales are related to wrong sizes and fits. That’s where Shavatar comes in. With its technology, consumers can generate their own, realistic 3D avatar that recommends the right size and fit on selected clothing.
It all started with the PhD research of Dr. Femke Danckaers at the Vision Lab Research Group, a cooperation between University of Antwerp and the imec research Institute. Femke developed an algorithm that allows to predict the human 3D body shape based on eight (8) input parameters, with an average accuracy of 7mm compared to a real body scan. So no need for a scanner!
Femke: “When I first developed the algorithm, I was primarily thinking of the sustainability aspect of this tool when applied to online shopping. But quickly we realized the potential was way bigger.
The technology is now available as a plug-in to fashion webshops. When using this sizing technology, retailers will not only be able to avoid costly returns – they will also benefit from higher conversion rates in their webshops, as consumers will be more likely to order online when they feel comfortable to immediately pick the right size. And what’s more: the Shavatar model allows to generate deep, true-to-life insights on the typical body dimensions of a fashion brand’s shopping target group, in a way them design team can use it to further optimize the fit of their collections.
Geert Mertens, Co-Founder: “As our technology is based on detailed and accurate body dimensions, it will be the perfect foundation for our ultimate goal: real-time and realistic fitting of outfits on your own 3D body shape, in a way consumers get to see how they will look wearing a particular outfit, without having to physically put it on.”
And how about the potential of the technology beyond the fashion industry?
Femke: “There are plenty applications we can think of, such as the fitness industry. However, there are about 140.000 fashion webshops in Europe only, so we’ve got some work to do…”