Exploring Amazon's Entry Into Sizeless Commerce
The concept of sizeless commerce, where shoppers no longer need to select their clothing sizes when shopping online, has gained considerable traction in recent years. As shopper frustrations with legacy sizing methods continue to grow, brands have been looking for new ways to relieve their shoppers of the sizing burden they've carried for countless years. One of those brands you may have heard of already, that's right, it's Amazon, the largest eCommerce company in the entire world.
While many view Amazon as simply an eCommerce platform, they recently have expressed intentions to expand into the world of apparel, both online and in brick-and-mortar format. To ensure their expansion into this industry was a success, Amazon took the pre-emptive approach by implementing a virtual fitting room for its "made for you" clothing line, released in early 2021. While this was undoubtedly a major win for sizeless commerce, the choice by Amazon has left shoppers with many lingering questions surrounding the sizeless commerce experience and the privacy implications of this virtual fitting room.
How Does Amazon Determine Sizing and Fit?
Suppose you read our recent blog post surrounding virtual fitting rooms. In that case, you know that Amazon uses a mobile-based virtual fitting room, meaning the entirety of the sizing experience takes place through a mobile device's camera lens. After logging into their Amazon account, users are prompted to submit basic information about their body type, such as height, weight, and "body style." Users are then directed by a virtual assistant to take pictures of themselves in two separate poses, one facing the camera and one side pose.
These pictures are collected by Amazon and used to create a 3D avatar that represents the shopper's body shape and conveys the garment's sizing and fit. Users can also set preferences on the shirt's length, fit, neckline, and sleeve length. While Amazon (understandably) hasn't gone into specific detail as to how it determines sizing and fit through these photos, we can only assume they are used to identify key body landmarks and generate measurements to determine one's true body shape.
What Happens to My Data After My Clothing Is Made?
While the sizing process itself is relatively seamless, there have been some glaring concerns from shoppers regarding data privacy. As Amazon's virtual fitting room requires shoppers to take and upload pictures of themselves to receive their best-fitting products, many have found themselves asking what happens to these photos once the garment has been created? And how can they be sure that their data isn't getting into the hands of those who shouldn't have it at all?
Amazon's privacy statement on their virtual fitting room clearly states that each photo taken for sizing purposes is promptly deleted after the garment is produced. That said, they do not go into detail as to how one's body dimensions are used to "improve their experience and Amazon's services." While this isn't the first time Amazon has asked its users for somewhat sensitive body information, shoppers remain nervous when asked to upload photos of themselves during the sizing process. This is primarily because their measurements are specifically linked to their Amazon profile rather than the information being entirely anonymous.
Are There Sizeless Commerce Solutions That Don't Require Identifiable Data?
The answer may surprise you, but yes, there are! While body data collection remains an integral part of most (if not all) modern sizing tools, not all solutions require users to create a profile, submit a form, or engage in any other acts that would link their body data to themselves.
Take WAIR, for example. Our sizing solutions provide eCommerce shoppers with absolute sizing accuracy without requiring a single piece of identifying information. How is this possible? WAIR holds exclusive access to the world's largest and fastest-growing database of 3D body scans. Armed with this information, WAIR can align any shopper with the body scan that best matches their unique dimensions, a process that only requires shoppers to enter basic info such as height, weight, and age. While our solutions seamlessly capture shopper body data to help brands optimize their eCommerce strategy, the process is entirely anonymous and cannot be linked to an individual shopper in any way, shape, or form.
For apparel brands looking to stay competitive within this rapidly changing landscape, solutions like WAIR offer the perfect blend of sizing accuracy, ease of use, and shopper assuredness needed to overcome data privacy hurdles and provide personalized eCommerce experiences at scale.
Sizeless Commerce is a Vision We All Can Share
Despite the data privacy hurdles of mobile-based virtual fitting rooms, Amazon's entry into the world of sizeless commerce is a decisive win against the legacy sizing systems of old. Even the global leader in free returns recognizes the importance of pre-emptively investing in one's sizing strategy; it's a lesson many learn much further down the road. At the end of the day, sizeless commerce is a vision we all can share, join the brands shaping the future of the industry today!
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