The Evolving Landscape of Fitting Technology for Online Apparel

In the rapidly evolving world of online retail, providing a personalized shopping experience is key to standing out and retaining customers. However, one of the biggest challenges that online clothing businesses face is the uncertainty associated with fit and size. The problem of understanding fit online has brought an exponential rise in clothing returns.

"70% of returns were caused by poor fit or styles. Shopping tools are a key lever of preventing returns and improving customer experiences" - McKinsey Article, 2021

Frequent clothing returns not only impact the business operations and customer satisfaction, but also contribute significantly to environmental waste. Related research highlights that the carbon emissions from the return process can amount to more than 30% of the original delivery’s emissions.

Carbon emissions of online shopping and returns. Source

Thankfully, with advancements in technology, several solutions have emerged to address this issue – we’ll dive into some of these cutting-edge technologies and introduce the innovative solutions by TrueToForm.

The TrueToForm measurement dashboard, where businesses can request and receive measurements from their customers remotely from a body scan app.


The Landscape of Fitting Technology: How They Aim to Improve Online Clothing Fit

1. Virtual Fitting Room Technology- Using AR/VR to Enhance Customer Engagement

Virtual fitting room technology leverages augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to offer a digital version of an in-store dressing room. It allows customers to try on garments online, visualize how it may look on their bodies, and get a better sense of clothing features like the cut, style, and color of the garment before purchasing.

Virtual fitting room technology provides a convenient shopping experience. It eliminates the process of finding clothing stores and trying on clothes one by one.

97% of consumers have ended a shopping trip due to inconvenient in-person shopping processes.  - National Retail Federation, 2020

Moreover, the virtual fitting room technology improves online shopping experiences by overcoming the difficulties of seeing, touching, feeling and experiencing products online. According to a Retail Perceptions report, about 40% of buyers said they would be willing to pay more if they could experience the product through AR technology. Virtual fitting room technology platforms are best suited for brands looking to increase customer engagement on their sites.

2. Qualitative Surveys - Size Recommendations through Data

Other solutions offer personalized size recommendations through the intake of qualitative survey data. The primary use case is to provide customers with a best size recommendation based on their age, height, gender, and fit preferences, alongside data collected on the average shopper. The insights gained from size surveys help apparel brands learn more about customers, reduce return rates, and inform broader business strategies. Understanding the demographic and fit preferences of the customer base allows retailers to better tailor their stock levels and marketing messages, targeting the right customers with the right products.

3. The New Frontier: 3D Fit Prediction Software Provides Precision Beyond Other Technologies

A new category in the realm of online apparel shopping is now emerging with the development of 3D fit prediction software. This represents a significant advancement in online retail technology, allowing for more precise fit recommendations that take into account each customer's body dimensions, alongside brand-specific sizing data.

In the current online retail landscape, certain customer groups have remained notably underserved when it comes to finding clothing that fits well. These include individuals that fall into categories including plus sizes, petites, maternity, fuller busted, and big and tall. The challenge for these customers is not just finding the right size, but understanding how a brand's sizing standards translate to their unique body shapes. This misalignment can result in a frustrating shopping experience and higher return rates, underscoring the need for more precise solutions.

Recognizing this gap, TrueToForm has introduced groundbreaking fit prediction software aimed directly at addressing these challenges, which can be embedded directly on a product page of a brand’s website. The new tool is designed to cater to the needs of these hard-to-fit customers by offering a visual representation of how an online garment will fit at key landmarks of the body and where hemlines will fall. This software is powered by TrueToForm's trusted 3D body scanning app, which extracts 60+ measurements from every scan.

Users can opt to take a scan to create their avatar that accurately reflects their 3D body dimensions, or complete a simple fit survey to create an avatar that they can then edit accordingly with their own measurements. This optionality ensures that all customers are served with the same level of consideration.

Uniquely, TrueToForm provides a detailed fit assessment for all sizes, going beyond a single 'best size' recommendation. This provides unprecedented flexibility in a fitting technology, as it allows for a customer's style preference to be taken into account when making a purchasing decision (e.g. oversized fit vs. tighter fit). The secure account management system also makes it easy for repeat customers to log back into their TrueToForm account and use a saved avatar without needing to re-scan.

TrueToForm's 3D fit prediction widget, now available to be embedded on the product pages of a brand's site.

Embracing Innovation: The Future of Online Apparel Shopping

The landscape of online apparel shopping is evolving, and your brand has the opportunity to lead the charge. As we've delved into the complexities of fit and the diverse needs of online shoppers, it's clear that more than traditional fitting methods are required.

TrueToForm is joining the tech movement to evolve the landscape of fitting technology to better service brands, especially for those that serve hard-to-fit customers. Its fit prediction software is best suited for brands looking for a fitting technology that reflects their brand's unique sizing system, and for those looking to build a personalized shopping experience tailored to every customer.

If you’d like to experience the power of this fit prediction software firsthand, you can head to Fitsearch, a search engine powered by TrueToForm's fit prediction software that provides a detailed fit assessment for all listings.

If you are a brand or retailer interested in bringing fit prediction capabilities to your own online store, contact our team for a demo here.

Fitsearch, a search engine for online apparel that is powered by TrueToForm fit prediction software.


  3. Tian, X., Sarkis, J. Emission burden concerns for online shopping returns. Nat. Clim. Chang. 12, 2–3 (2022).

Create Your Own Avatar For Free Using Our iOS Scan App