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I didn’t come up with the title of this blog post, it comes from our analytics account: someone typed “Why do we need 3d body scanning?” in Google and found our website. I don’t believe this person could have possible gotten the answer they were looking for while browsing 3d-a-porter.com, so this is my attempt to remedy this. I ask here “why does the fashion industry need 3d body scanning?” and my answers are:

1. TO REDUCE FOOTPRINT

You probably think it’s marvelous that most fashion e-tailers allow you to return your purchases free of charge and indeed why shouldn’t you: it gives you more confidence in buying plus it’s easy on your pocket. Many of my girlfriends are so clever about it that they buy a garment in 3 sizes and return the 2 that do not fit.

While this is all wonderful for commerce, it’s deadly for the environment and mighty pricey for fashion e-tailers. 30% to 40% of fashion items are returned due to the wrong choice of size and these returns cost the fashion industry $7.5 billion a year. What these figures mean in terms of carbon footprint is far beyond imagination.

Are you about to brush off my arguments because you do not believe in global warming? Well, tell that to our governments. Regulations on footprint and carbon emissions are getting strengthened around the globe. Businesses taking pro-active initiatives to cut emissions will face less sanctions in the future.

So here it is: fashion brands allowing their customers to shop at their sizes after a 3d body scan, will considerably drop the % of returns, and hence show a pro-active initiative to regulating their carbon footprint while drastically cutting down their transport budget.

2. TO CREATE GARMENTS THAT FIT
what-size
You know who your customers are and where to find them but do you know what sizes they are? Well unless you work with us the answer is “no”: to create garments you are forced to use common ready-to-wear sizing-systems. Trouble is, these sizing systems make no sense: they were developed in the 19th century and do not accommodate for the wide variations of body sizes found around the world.

Now imagine creating garments based on the real sizes of your clientele instead of on outdated anthropometric data….

***I selfishly see a world where size 42 heels are common and cocktail dresses are made for long legs… those will be the days… sigh***

Gathering real-word data over a number of years to allow brands to create garments that fit everyone is yet another excellent reason to adopt 3d body scanners today.

3. TO IMPROVE THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

Yes we need body scanners to improve the shopping experience both online and in-store. In today’s technology-focused world, customers want instant service and constant innovation. Retailers need to adopt innovative solutions to attract people into their stores, and this is how 3D scanners fit the bill:

  • cancel the need to use changing rooms: after a 3D scan customers can instantly try the whole collection on themselves without having to change.
  • gather invaluable data about your customers (name, email, size, style preference) allowing your brand to exercise more targeted marketing campaigns and inviting customers back to the shop when you have something that they want.
  • allow customers to buy online while in the store (on tablets) and getting delivered straight into their homes.

As for improving e-commerce conversions: imagine being able to try-on clothes online and being sure never to buy the wrong size again? With our 3D solution you can see a video of yourself move in the garment of your choice, try different sizes on yourself to see how they fit and see pressure points where the garment is tight.

So why do we need 3D Body Scanning? Not just because it’s revolutionary!