September 1, 2020 Dave Desmarais

How To Help Customers Choose Their Size and Reduce Returns

How to help customers choose their size

Online shopping continues to evolve. Consumers seek online experiences personalized to them. Clothes shopping is one arena where innovation is constant because retailers need to improve consumer confidence. If you’re looking improve your online experience, start with ways to help your customers choose their size. Consider the following methods to aid shoppers before they click add to cart.

Use Product-Specific Size Guides

The days of generic size guides needs to end. Consumers know sizing varies between brands and have caught on to the fact sizing can vary even within the same brand. Vanity sizing has made the process of choosing a size very difficult. Therefore providing shoppers with a generic size chart is not only frustrating for the consumer, but you will miss out on sales. Returns will also pile up as a result because now bracket buying is a thing, thanks to sizing difficulty.

Shirt measurementsBracket buying is the process of buying three of the same clothing item, in different sizes. A consumer will choose the size they think they are and also add the size above and below to their cart. The purpose of this act is to improve the chances one will receive a good fit. In the absence of the ability to try clothing on, this has become a popular tactic. So much so that it’s estimated 40% of consumers buying multiple items with the intent to return a portion of their purchase.

Clothing fit guide for Mercari

(size guide created with Capture app)

Providing the actual measurements for each garment not only proves you’re confident in the product you sell, but allows consumers to make a more informed buying decision. Providing measurements does not mean you should go through the effort to share an entire spec sheet. Simply sharing the most common fit measurements, such as overall length and chest/bust on a blouse, will suffice.

Size Models – They’re Just Okay

The main factors people use to determine a clothing purchase are fit and how it looks. Using a fashion model to display the clothing you sell is helpful, but primarily to the crowd concerned with looks. Fit is hard to determine by looking at clothing on someone else. Not to mention fashion models are rarely the size and shape of regular folk.

Every decade a new study comes out that explains why fashion is difficult to fit the human body. Most recently it was determined there are 10 common women’s body shapes. Add in variations in fit preference and you get an infinite number of size and fit combinations needed to please every consumer.

How to help customers choose their size

Questionnaire style

Questionnaires are the primary tool used in the fight for how to help customers choose their size. Fit preference is truly personal, thus learning a customers fit preference early is paramount for retailers. There are a handful of plugins which can be added to your product page to provide size recommendations. A shopper will answer a few questions – usually about their height, weight, age and fit preference – then be provided with a size recommendation for a specific garment.

Explore: Virtusize, Fit Analytics

Though don’t be surprised if these questionnaires don’t provide a huge lift in consumer confidence. Many of these businesses have come and gone over the years, primarily because they don’t take into account fit preference.

Measure The Clothes You Already Own

If you’re looking for a digital solution to do more for your business than simply help customers choose a size, Tailored’s garment measuring app (Capture) is a great option. Capture is a machine learning software that measures the clothes your customers already own. By simply taking a photo with their mobile device you’ll have access to the measurements of their best fitting garment, its shape and color. This data can be used to perform comparisons with items you sell and aid in future sales.

Consumers tend to be comfortable with products they already know. Tailored believes every consumer owns at least one article of clothing they would say fits them well. With Capture they can use that garment to find future, well-fitting garments.

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