How would you like to see if your bum really does look fat in those jeans? Or maybe you just want to ask your own personal virtual stylist for tips? The future of online retail is here.

By Joe McDonough

Posted on October 30, 2017

Retailers are utilising artificial intelligence to bring the in-person shopping experience to you.

With the rate of online returns reportedly creeping up towards the 40% mark, retailers are investing to improve customer satisfaction and give them an edge in the competitive market.

Big name apparel brands like Levi’s, The Gap, as well as start-ups including Rhone and Taylrd, have introduced AI tools that can perform a number of functions including calculating a shopper’s most likely body shape, and constructing 3D models in your image so you can ‘try before you buy’.

Levi’s new virtual stylist has a text message conversation with online shoppers, making recommendations based on their preferences.

Gap Inc has introduced a DressingRoom app, built in collaboration with Google and San Francisco-based startup Avametric. It uses augmented reality to let shoppers “try on” clothes without having to step into a store.

A virtual 3D model with your measurements is created, and you can see how different items would look and fit on you.

Tech company Rakuten Fits Me — which works with QVC and a host apparel start-ups to align their product data with shopper body data to enable the perfect fit — says its partners should offer garments that fit shoppers’ body shapes from the first search.

The more shoppers revisit a certain online retailer, the more their new technologies can learn about their preferences, says Vicky Sadeh, CEO of Rakuten Fits Me.

“If they have the confidence to buy, they will come back to the retailer time and time again,” she said.