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Try this on for size

Try this on for size

Could an online fitting room be the answer to the UAE’s internet shopping woes?

April 16, 2012 4:21 by

Online shopping is great for when you just want to purchase items from the comfort of your own home, or for when you’re feeling too lazy to drive to the nearest store.  Although it does have its perks, online shopping may not be the best option if you experience regular internet cuts or tend to ‘judge a book by it’s cover’ and order an item only to find that it is in a language you don’t understand (guess what- ‘no returns’).

That shirt looks amazing on the virtual model, but will it fit you? This is a question that is often asked by online shoppers and now two Estonian universities have developed technology for that tackles this very problem. When logging on to users submit their body measurements. An image of a shape-shifting robot mannequin shows users what different brands’ sizes would look like on them. A co-founder of the company added: “Our robots at the Virtual Fitting Room technology have solved the main problem that online clothing retailers face – the lack of a fitting room.”

Currently, research shows that the UAE isn’t quite hot for online shopping just yet. When they do shop online people prefer to buy holidays, adventure experiences, gifts and airline tickets. Last year Kipp conducted a survey with our friends at YouGov to find out the state of online shopping in KSA and the UAE. According to our findings there is a very real appetite for discounts and bargains: 17 percent of people surveyed said they would like to see more promotions for clothing and accessories online. Nonethleess, online shoppers in this region have a variety of concerns including worries of theft (credit card and identity) and website scams. The most common concern was that the delivery would take too long (18 percent) followed by receiving an item of poor quality (13 percent), not being able to return an item (8 percent) and never receiving the item paid for (6 percent).

So, the big question is: will an online fitting room be the answer to the UAE’s aversion to online shopping? Kipp’s cynical. The fact of the matter is residents are still weary of online shopping because of logistical issues, such as transport, delievery and return policies. So perhaps an online fitting room won’t change this, but it is a concept worth exploring. If companies were more likely to bridge the gap between the consumer and the rather distant online product, perhaps people would feel more likely to buy. Until then we would like to know your thoughts. Would an online fitting room change the way you think about internet shopping? Log on and tell us.

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