Fit is a major culprit in fashion’s rising returns problem that is costing the planet and retailers’ profits. According to a Coresight Research survey of retailers, the average online return rate for apparel is 24.4 percent. Fifty-three percent of respondents pointed to size and fit as a reason for returns, putting it in the top position.
Munich-based startup Sizekick is seeking to reduce apparel returns through its artificial intelligence-powered sizing solution. The newly launched technology, backed by testing, certification and research firm Hohenstein, is rolling out on fashion e-commerce sites to enable consumers to more confidently determine the ideal size for them.
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Last September, Hohenstein invested 1.3 million euros ($1.41 million) into Sizekick. Along with financial support, Hohenstein is providing Sizekick with its more than 60 years’ worth of expertise in sizing and fit, including measurements and pattern development. The company has a database of more than 18,000 3D body scans, from infants to adults, and has studied body shape differences at varied sizes. This data was used to train Sizekick’s AI to improve the accuracy of its size recommendations.
“At our core, Hohenstein studies how textiles interact with humans and the environment, including topics like ergonomic comfort, body shape and sustainability,” Jan Beringer, senior scientific expert at Hohenstein, told Sourcing Journal. He added, “Sizekick’s approach combines accurate body measurements from each user with Hohenstein’s extensive garment knowledge. We are confident that this approach can sustainably reduce returns in fashion e-commerce.”
Sizekick gives shoppers two different paths to finding the right size in seconds. With BodyFinder, the AI suggests body shapes that the user can pick from. Alternatively, consumers can use BodyScanner to scan themselves using their phone’s camera. By giving consumers this choice, Sizekick intends to expand adoption and use of its solution.
“Feedback from the market and future partners in the fashion and sports industries was crystal clear—people are looking to solve a real problem when it comes to sizing,” said Sizekick CEO and co-founder David Oldeen at the time of Hohenstein’s investment. “They need a size recommendation solution that takes into account the fact that users have different body shapes as well as the inherent differences between individual styles and brands. This is exactly what we are offering at Sizekick, and we are taking e-commerce sizing to a new level.”
Oldeen and his fellow Sizekick co-founder Jake Lydon previously worked in leadership roles at Presize, which was acquired by Meta last year. They decided to use their background to solve the issues of size uncertainty and avoidable returns.
“Thanks to our team’s years of sizing experience, my experience with previous external benchmarks and our own internal evaluation, it is likely that we are already generating the market’s most accurate smartphone-based body measurements at the time of Sizekick’s product launch,” said Lydon, CIO of Sidekick. “We will continually challenge this assumption in our dynamic market, both internally and externally, and we aim to establish ourselves as a technology leader in our industry.”
At launch, Sizekick is live with retail partners Zurich-based Rrrevolve, Black Diamond and Marc Cain, and it expects to be up and running on about 10 brands’ online storefronts by the end of summer. As more consumers engage with the Sizekick feature, the AI will continue to learn and improve. Hohenstein will also provide brands with fit analysis, helping product teams create clothing that will better fit their shoppers.
“A key point leading to our decision to partner with Sizekick early on is that the size recommendation’s foundation is a set of very accurate body measurements for each customer,” said Sebastian Lanz, founder and owner of Rrrevolve. “In addition, over time the AI solution will get to know the products and each user better and better, and will be able to take personal fit preferences into account.”