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Buying clothes and apparel over the internet is still a tricky business, but it is hugely lucrative. And increasingly, smartphones are driving retail growth.

In 2016 — as noted in VB Insight’s latest research — mobile devices influenced $500 billion in sales, and $140 billion of that was driven directly by mcommerce.

The problem with online apparel lies in the difficulty of sizing items and the returns process that comes along with that. Consumers regularly purchase three of everything to send two back, and that cuts directly into profits.

Today, 3DLook has announced SAIA, an AI-powered smartphone body scanner that can be easily added to existing apps and mobile websites.

Here’s how it works.

The consumer uses their smartphone to take a front-facing photo. They then take a profile view. From those two images, SAIA calculates an accurate body profile that is used to match the size of the consumer to the retailer’s products. Because SAIA can be connected across multiple labels, it is possible to get an exact match despite the sizing differences that exist between manufacturers. For example, a medium on one retailer-owned label might be a small on another.

So how do retailers incorporate SAIA into apps and websites?

“SAIA is easily installed into apparel ecommerce websites via a JS tag and into mobile applications with our SDK,” Vadim Rogovskiy, CEO and cofounder at 3DLook, told me. “Customers then will be offered to scan themselves with two photos from a smartphone camera without leaving the app or website.”

The store can then automatically suggest items based on both body measurement and shape. That helps to avoid the “order three, return two” process consumers are getting used to.

“It will not only make online shopping more personalized and effective for customers but also will save them time because they will be offered only the particular set of clothes that fit them,” Rogovskiy said.

SAIA can be integrated with an existing recommendation engine, ecommerce platform, or CRM system. Once implemented, the system provides analytics back to the retailer.

“Apparel stores and brands will get access to their personal accounts at SAIA platform, where they can track how many of their customers have scanned themselves in a given period of time,” Rogovskiy said. “They can also use a reporting API to pull all the required data from SAIA to their CRM or analytics tools. For example, they can get data about size and body shape distribution among customers, insights about their body parameters, and other important data points, and then match them with their purchase histories.”

SAIA is available to retailers via a monthly subscription, with additional per scan charges. An enterprise plan exists for the largest retailers.

So what’s next for this technology, and is 3DLook investigating applications beyond the apparel retail market?

“Right now, we are focused on our solution for the apparel industry, but our plans go far beyond that,” Rogovskiy said. “We see a strong interest from the health and fitness industry as well, and we plan to create a vertical solution for this soon. We are not planning to focus only on body scanning — we want to make maximum use of the data that clients will gather using our platform to create more personalized recommendations for their customers.”

3DLook’s SAIA is available from today for apparel retailers.


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