We love clothes, but we hate buying them online. Nothing ever fits quite right. And we’re hardly alone. A whopping 15% to 40% of garments purchased on the web get returned. The problem is especially vexing for women, whose bodies come in an endless variety of shapes and sizes.
Estonian startup Fits.Me has offered a promising solution: a virtual fitting robot that shape-shifts according to your measurements, letting you see precisely how a garment would look on your body. Until now, though, it’s only been available to men. Last week, Fits.Me announced that it had finally developed a Female FitBot. The bot’s expected to launch at Hawes & Curtis, the British clothing retailer that debuted a male FitBot last May.
The femme-bot was more complicated to model than the guys? version, owing to women’s variable body types. But Maarja Kruusmaa, a biorobotics professor who co-developed the Fits.Me technology, says the Female FitBot conforms to more than 85% of women who shop online, which translates to hundreds of thousands of body shapes. (Apparently, it can even accommodate pregnant ladies.) That’s great news for those of us sick of sending back every damned blouse that catches our fancy online. But it also redounds to the benefit of retailers. Hawes & Curtis e-commerce head Antony Comyns says Fits.Me has bumped sales to new customers 57% and slashed the return rate to 2.99%.