Sweden’s Virtusize, one of a plethora of startups trying to solve the problem of how to “try on” clothes online, is rolling out in Japan via a partnership with Japanese online fashion retailer Magaseek. As of today, its “Fit Visualiser” solution is available on 20,000 items on Magaseek’s online store, so customers can better understand the size and fit of items before they make a purchase.
It follows a similar tie-up with the UK’s ASOS earlier this year and also paves the way for Virtusize to make the claim to being the largest virtual fitting solution in terms of availability — though I suspect a number of competitors may dispute that definition. I’m also told the startup is on track to break even this fall.
Differing from Fits.me’s 3D modeled approach, which uses robots, or something like Metail that enables a shopper to upload and see a 3D visualisation of themselves in order to virtually dress up in potential purchases, Virtusize lets customers compare specific measurements of an item they are looking to buy with a similar item they already own. The startup says that by displaying and overlaying 2D silhouettes of both garments, customers can more accurately compare sizes and, ultimately, choose the item that would fit them best — an approach that has obvious cost savings over the up front work involved in 3D visualisation of a retailer’s entire catalog.
However, it also means that Virtusize’s solution focuses more on how a garment will fit a customer, not so much what it will look like on them. In addition it requires a customer to already own a supported garment in order to compare sizes or that they measure a favourite (and similar) item of clothing at home and enter the data manually.
Founded in 2011, Virtusize originally launched with Nelly.com (the largest online retailer in Scandinavia) as a pilot customer. It’s since rolled out in the UK via a high-profile partnership with fashion retailer ASOS, along with adding Finland, Denmark, Norway and Hong Kong to its list of countries where it’s present — and now Japan, of course. The latter has seen the company open an office in Tokyo, noting that Japan is the third-largest consumer e-commerce market (though China is hot on its heels).
Since we covered the ASOS launch in April, I’m told that the company’s Fit Visualiser is now available on 4,000 items from ASOS’ own label and has launched with two external brands at ASOS.com, Lipsy and Little Mistress.
The startup makes money by charging web shops a monthly subscription fee for using its solution. The fee is determined by monthly page views on the product pages where Virtusize is available.
Virtusize has raised £1 million in seed funding. Among the startup’s backers are Swedish listed investment company Öresund and a number of angel investors, including Fredrik Åhlberg, former Head of Growth at eBay Europe.