When you’re shopping online, finding the right piece of clothing can be difficult because it’s hard to be sure about the sizing. Avametric is a fashion software company that has developed technology it hopes will prevent this problem from ever happening again. Today it has raised $10.5 million in a funding round led by Khosla Ventures to bring its product to the retail market.
Founded by David Jackson and Academy Award-winning digital animator and computer scientist James O’Brien, Avametric is tackling an issue plaguing the fashion and apparel industry: How do you convert more online shoppers to buy? Company CEO Ari Bloom, formerly the head of marketing and communications at Enjoy, told VentureBeat that online shopping behavior is different from in a physical store. He explained that if you’re in the store and find something you like, there’s already a 30 percent chance you’ll buy it, which goes up to 70 percent for items you try on in the fitting room. But, of course, online customers don’t have the same opportunity to touch or try on the garments.
To reduce that friction, Avametric wants to bring its technology to retail locations. Once implemented, it allows you to step into a booth that scans your measurements — in just three seconds. Bloom stated clearly that no images are being captured, just the up to 200 data points. With this information, you can go to the merchant’s online store, sync with Avametric’s database, and find clothes that match your style and fit.
The scanning booth is about the size of a fitting room stall. Once you step in, there are sensors that handle all the imaging. You simply enter information to create an account and then wait several seconds. After that, you’re done and can continue shopping. And you won’t need to get scanned for each merchant, as your account will work for any retailer associated with Avametric.
If you’re not able to make it into a store to get the initial scan, you can enter any data points that you know off the top of your head. It won’t be as accurate as a scan, but it’ll get the ball rolling. The idea is that getting well-fitting clothes online makes people feel better about their purchases and more likely to shop online again. The company gets paid a success fee, though the exact pricing is still being figured out. With the promise of increased conversions, Bloom said his team would like to own a piece of the sale.
Avametric’s technology has been in development for the past four years, and it’s about ready to launch with its first retail partner. Bloom declined to provide specifics, except to say that it’s a national brand. And although Avametric is currently focused on retail shoppers, it’s not far-fetched to think that bespoke or tailored clothing could be an extension of its technology.
“Until now, brands have been lacking the tools to rival the physical retail experience,” Bloom said. “With Avametric, brands can recreate the real-world fitting room experience online and offer new services to customers, such as fully customized virtual look books to further create new ways to leverage the untapped retail potential of the Internet.”
In addition to the funding, the company has brought on board fashion industry veteran Kendra Gratteri as its chief customer officer. Khosla Ventures partner Keith Rabois and Google’s vice president and head of Project, Aura Ivy Ross, have also joined the board.