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Interactive Trial Room – A Solution to Reduce the Problem of Rampant Return of Sold Merchandise in Fashion E-Commerce Business

Affiliations

  • Department of Information Technology, Academy of Maritime Education and Training (AMET) University, 135 East Coast Road, Kanathur, Chennai – 603112, Tamil Nadu, India
  • E-Governance, Academy of Maritime Education and Training (AMET) University, 135 East Coast Road, Kanathur, Chennai – 603112, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract


Objectives: To offer a software based solution to reduce the problem of rampant returns of sold merchandise in fashion e-commerce business. Methods/Statistical Analysis: The primary research data was collected via a questionnaire filled by customers buying apparel online. Cluster sampling was done by dividing sampling population into a group (based on geographical proximity as Bengaluru) called city cluster that has correlation with the main variable online shopping (as in stratified sampling) and then the selected age group (18-35) using SRS technique. Data was also collected via indepth interviews conducted with stakeholders of e-commerce industry in Bengaluru. Findings: The analysis shows that 42% of fashion apparel is returned because of the problem of size and fit. The correlation between variables where people shifted away from shopping online to shopping offline, in the last six months, points to inability to check size and fit while shopping online. 67% of online shoppers also had a view point that if virtual fitting solution were to be provided, it would help in selecting the right size and fit. According to research released by Body Labs1, 23% of all clothing purchased online is returned. According to Forbes study, of 20112, those that do click on the buy button, many find that their best guess was incorrect upon receiving the item. About 70% of garment returns are because the garment didn't fit as the customer expected. The data was also collected via personal interviews of key executives of some of the largest e-commerce companies in India, and according to them, the returns percentage ranged from 12% to 25%. Improvements: The proposed solution helps customers shopping online to virtually try the garment before buying and suggests the right fit for them and therefore has the potential to reduce returns.

Keywords

Brick-and-Mortar, E-Commerce, E-Retail, Fashion Apparel, Fit and Size, Interactive Trial Room.

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References


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