How Apparel Brands Can Eliminate International Sizing Complexity
International expansion is an excellent way for brands to access new revenue streams, shopper bases, and gain an overall competitive advantage in their respective industries. But we all know that expanding into international markets is easier said than done, especially for apparel brands who currently face the ominous issue of international sizing systems.
It's a well-known fact that sizing has been a persistent issue for brands operating within the fashion and apparel industries. Since the early 19th century, apparel brands have attempted time and again to establish a cogent, universal sizing system for their shoppers to no avail. While sizing may seem like a relatively mundane issue to many, it remains one of the most important factors in apparel eCommerce and one that could single-handedly make or break a brand's international venture. Here's why:
Different Countries, Different Bodies
Shopper body dimensions vary considerably, even within the confines of a single country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 40% of adults in Kansas are overweight or obese, but in its neighboring state Colorado, less than 25% of adults fall into that weight category. It comes as no surprise that as brands transcend domestic borders, variance in shopper body dimensions will dramatically increase.
Body proportionality is also a crucial factor that varies by geographical region. For example, the average American woman stands around 5’3 and weighs 170 lbs. By comparison, the average French woman weighs 25 pounds less, and the average Chinese woman an astonishing 33 pounds less despite all three standing at a nearly identical height.
As we can see, brands looking to expand into international markets have their work cut for them to accommodate varying shopper body dimensions.
An Endless Amount of Sizing Systems
If shopper body dimensions weren’t a significant enough roadblock for brands with international aspirations, the plethora of established sizing systems poses another noteworthy threat.
To put this in perspective, international size charts from large retailers often have more than six different sizing systems listed on one chart. If that number seems outlandish, know that these charts are often incomplete, disregarding countries such as China, South Korea, Thailand, and many others.
Brands take significant risks when bringing domestic sizing and fit strategies into international markets. Take Banana Republic, for example. One of the primary reasons why their expansion into the United Kingdom encountered significant turbulence is because UK shoppers were given sizing options they could not comprehend.
How to Remove International Sizing Complexity
Apparel brands looking to expand into international markets can communicate sizing to shoppers effortlessly using modern sizing solutions, like WAIR. While sizing solutions built for apparel eCommerce are not necessarily a new concept, at WAIR, we do sizing a bit differently.
Rather than relying on purchase and returns data (or the sizing strategy of your competitors), WAIR is built atop the world’s largest and fastest-growing database of 3D body scans. With over 3 million body scans captured from real people across 50 countries, WAIR can predict the unique body dimensions of any shopper and leverage this data to recommend their best-fitting size.
WAIR’s sizing process is remarkably seamless. We won’t ask your shoppers to download an app or take pictures of themselves. They only need to input their basic body data (such as height and weight) to receive an accurate size recommendation.
While size recommendations are WAIR’s forte, they are only the beginning of the value WAIR brings to eCommerce apparel brands. Each time a shopper uses our solution, WAIR creates a complete view of the shopper, their journey, and how their unique body dimensions dictate their purchase actions. This process opens the door for potential efficiency gains in product design, inventory management, and targeted marketing by body type.
The international implications of modern sizing solutions are apparent. Brands using WAIR are no longer at the mercy of international sizing systems or location-based body variance. They are free to bring existing sizing strategies into international markets as WAIR's sizing proficiency knows no geographical bounds.
Transform Inconvenience into Opportunity
Brands often need to think outside the box to overcome sizing complexity when expanding into international markets. With WAIR, these once daunting roadblocks become the most minor of inconveniences. It cannot be overstated that sizing can singlehandedly make or break a brand's international venture. Give shoppers the tools they need to succeed with your brand today.
Eager to learn how WAIR can transform your eCommerce brand through sizing? Schedule a demo here, and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram , LinkedIn, and Facebook for all your fashion content needs!