October 13, 2011
Italian designer Ermenegildo Zegna is taking its digital flagship store to the next level with a virtual fitting room that will take the guesswork out of online shopping.
The online fitting room will helps shoppers find their correct sizes and shows them how the product would fit using a virtual mannequin. The Zegna digital flagship launched this summer, revealing an interactive form of ecommerce from the brand.
“I think one of the biggest challenges brands face online is translating how an item looks on your customer,” said Catherine McLean, head of creative at Pod1, New York.
“How it feels, the fabric's texture and weight, how it sits on the body – specific information about the product,” she said. “All this information now needs to be communicated in a 2D environment.”
Ms. McLean is not affiliated with Zegna, but agreed to comment as a third-party expert.
Zegna did not respond by press deadline.
Sizing it up
The Zegna online fitting room experience starts with two questions: “Have you bought from Ermenegildo Zegna before?” and “Do you know your size well enough to make a purchase?”
If users reply no to both questions, they are brought to a chart where they can enter various measurements.
Alongside the chart is a mannequin that Zegna uses to demonstrate where exactly to measure for various fields such as height, neck, chest, waist, arm and torso length.
Underneath the size input chart, shoppers can click on a ruler icon which brings them to a printable tape measure.
After consumers enter the necessary sizing information, they are brought to a page that will tell them what size to order.
The shopper can then see this size on a digital mannequin who has the same proportions as the consumer.
Through a drop-down box, consumers can see how various styles and silhouette cuts would look on them.
“I love that the tool provides a tape measure for your customers to print out and measure themselves, but perhaps also providing another way to use the tool and still get similar results would be a nice addition in the future,” Ms. McLean said.
“Another feature could be to recommend products based on their body size, allowing the customer the simplicity of being offered up everything available in their size,” she said.
A good fit
Zegna is likely using the tool to help break down those consumers who are hesitant about online shopping since they cannot try the items on.
Indeed, sizing issues and worries about returns are often some of the biggest reasons that a consumer may not shop online.
The online fitting room is a natural step for Zegna, which debuted its Zegna inStore digital flagship this past summer (see story).
Shopping in the virtual flagship feels more like a video game than an ecommerce experience.
A shopper can browse a virtual version of a real Zegna retail store by moving a person around to various floors and sections and shopping the display racks.
The online fitting room adds to the value of the digital flagship and is user-friendly, per Ms. McLean.
“I think it's clean and clear on what the user is supposed to do with the tool,” Ms. McLean said. “There is help information if anyone gets stuck, and I think the warning feature when you select an item that doesn't fit correctly is a great way of adding value.
“Any way a brand can aid in the process of selecting the correct product and size for their customer is creating a comfortable environment for them to return to,” she said.
“Not only does it reduce returns, but also allows your customer ease of use when next browsing and shopping your site."
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York