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Editorial: Artificial intelligence (AI) technology can help apparel brands to tackle the returns crisis
published in Issue 222, November 2023
The growing popularity of online shopping via websites and apps has caused a surge in the amounts of apparel being returned by customers to brands and retailers in what is being described as a "returns crisis". Returns of apparel items purchased by customers online in the USA in 2023 alone are predicted to cost a total of US$38.0 bn--indicating the need for apparel brands and retailers to urgently implement loss minimising solutions. Some apparel brands and retailers have amended their policies and withdrawn their offerings of free online returns in a bid to deter customers from returning items. Other apparel brands and retailers, however, are turning to new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) software which is capable of providing size and fit recommendations for customers when making online purchases. According to a survey carried out in the UK, the size and/or fit of an item is the most common reason for customers returning the item because it is often difficult for customers to visualise the appearance, fit and size of clothing or footwear when they are shopping online. However, Bold Metrics based in San Francisco, California, USA, has developed a digital twin technology in order to help customers find the correct size clothing when they are shopping online. Similarly, Mody.ai, based in Lucca, Italy, has developed size recommendation software for online apparel brands and retailers, and True Fit--based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA--has developed an AI platform that provides size and fit recommendations to customers when they are shopping online.
List of contents
Problem of high returns rates
Problems encountered by consumers as a result of online shopping
BRANDS AND RETAILERS TAKE ACTION TO REDUCE ONLINE APPAREL RETURNS
Tools for helping to reduce customer returns of apparel purchased online
BOLD METRICS: DIGITAL TWIN TECHNOLOGY WHICH HELPS CUSTOMERS TO FIND THE CORRECT SIZE CLOTHING
MODY.AI: MXF SIZE RECOMMENDATION SOFTWARE FOR APPAREL BRANDS AND RETAILERS
TRUE FIT: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) PLATFORM WHICH PROVIDES SIZE AND FIT RECOMMENDATIONS
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