Levi's keen to reduce e-tail returns, deploys size-finding widget
To help sell fashion products and find the ideal garment size for each customer, brands used to rely on the expertise of in-store sales assistants. But, as online apparel sales have exploded, it is increasingly important to give the right advice to online shoppers, whose purchases are predicted to soon account for between a quarter and a third of all apparel sales, depending on the country.
For Levi Strauss, the world leader in denim, owner of Levi's and Dockers, with sales worth €5.8 billion in 2021, online revenue accounts for 29% of the total European business. Due to free shipping and return policies, and depending on the market, return rates for apparel products range between 15% and 45%. Fashion brands and retailers are keen to boost customer satisfaction, but also to reduce the significant financial and environmental costs associated with such policies.
A number of digital tech companies, for example Suit and Fitizzy, have developed solutions allowing brands to give their online customers the possibility of finding their right garment size. In 2020, Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) adopted the MySize ID solution developed by Israeli company My Size, led by Ronen Luzon and founded in 2014.
“One of our main priorities in the field of innovation is to improve the online shopping journey, creating truly customised and transparent experiences for our consumers,” said Lara Lasisz, innovation manager for the direct-to-consumer business at LS&Co. “One of the biggest obstacles facing the industry when it comes to online shopping is managing to replicate the fitting room experience within a digital environment. We are determined to find the right technology that will help our fans find the perfect fit from the start,” added Lasisz.
Levi's has first tested MySize ID on the Turkish market. It calculated that 70% of returns were related to size problems, and that the garments involved lost on average 50% of their value after being returned. By deploying the MySize ID sizing widget, Levi’s recorded a 47% decrease in returns. Levi's opted for a simple version of the widget, available on a pc and through a mobile app that, once the customer has indicated their size and weight, advises them on the ideal product. The founders of MySize underlined that these criteria can be fine-tuned based on individual customers’ requirements.
Levi's did not indicate whether the implementation of this solution via a dedicated widget on its Turkish e-tail site has increased average shopping basket value, but LS&Co. has decided to deploy the solution in Europe. It is now active in France, Spain, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Italy, and the group has announced it will be available as a mobile app on the US market in June. MySize ID will be promoted online by pictures of people wearing Levi's clothes that match their morphologies.
MySize has stated it achieved positive results also with another fashion company, Turkish retailer Penti, which operates 600 stores in 35 countries, and generates 30% of its sales online. MySize said that transactions are three times larger in the case of Penti customers who use MySizeID. According to MySize, confidence in size choice notably boosts conversion rates.
A group as large as LS&Co., if the figures indicated are confirmed, is likely to significantly increase its e-tail operations’ profitability by using MySize ID, especially now that transport costs are skyrocketing due to soaring energy prices.
MySize aims to support retailers in their omni-channel business at large, by also tailoring package sizes to customers’ orders and by providing in-store solutions. Last February, the company unveiled a connected fitting-room mirror which, once linked up with an individual MySize ID account, gives customers suggestions for products in their size.
The mirror, developed with GK Software, is hailed by Luzon as the solution to prevent stock-outs while minimising the number of in-store returns. Connected mirror technologies have not yet proven attractive to apparel shoppers. But perhaps MySize has hit upon the right solution, and these mirrors might be found in Levi's stores in the near future.
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