Aditya Birla group’s newly launched online clothing portal abof.com (stands for ‘all about fashion’) has introduced a new 3D trial room to help online shoppers go beyond the discount madness and build its customer base.
The 3D trial room for abof.com is powered by Metail, an online fitting technology company, and lets users enter three basic measurements on the site and create a digital avataar that resemble their body type. Customers can then try on various outfits, adding layers like jackets or shrugs to a particular style, in order to see how it would look on their body type. So far, the 3D trial is available only for women, but abof plans to roll it out for men as well soon.
Abof claims the conversion rate for products available with 3D trial is 400 per cent higher than the industry norm and their feature has 95 per cent accuracy when it comes to fitting. The e-commerce portal also claims the return rates for products chosen via 3D trial are close to zero.
“The average return rate in the apparel industry is 20 per cent with the most common reason being fitting issues. Plus in a survey we conducted, we found that many users gave size as one reason why they would not shop online. Therefore, we decided to provide a user-friendly tool based on 3D technology to address the issue of fit visualization and size recommendations,” said Vikram Bhat, Chief Product Officer, abof.com.
In order to build the 3D trial room, the company has invested in special cameras, which takes 18 pictures of a garment in one go, thus getting it ready for a 3D trial room on the site.
Abof’s president and CEO Prashant Gupta also said that they plan to stand out in the online e-commerce portal by focusing on brand quality and giving a personalised curated feed of the latest fashion trends.
“With e-commerce, the Aditya Birla Group sees a large business opportunity for investment. In India, the e-commerce market will 50 billion by 2020, and we’re hoping to become a sizeable player in this segment by focusing on fashion. Our model is different from competitors like Myntra and Jabong, where we are looking at curated merchandise,” says Gupta.
“If you open Jabong or Myntra, you’ll see the large banners highlighting the discount model. At the current rate, this cannot go on for a long time. Instead we offer a personalised feed of curated merchanised to our customers when they open the site,” he adds.
The feed has the latest fashion trends, styles, etc and is put together by a team at Abof. It should be noted that Jabong and Myntra also offer such similar ‘editorialised’ content around fashion as well.
Gupta also adds that unlike their competitors, which have thousands of brands and can thus be overwhelming for consumers, they will focus on a select few brands. “Currently we have 55 brands and we believe that we want to expand this to 125 to 150 brands, but not more than that. The idea is to focus on a select few brands, which are the trendsetters, rather than have everything,” said Gupta.
Another way in which the company differentiates itself from other online portal is by offering on the spot exchanges. “If you file a return, and want a different size, our pickup guy will come with the new garment at that time. Usually with other websites, someone else will pickup the garment, and the delivery of the new garment takes place later,” points out Gupta.
Abof.com also includes clothes from the Abof label and the company says they plan to introduce new designs everyone month. It claims to have shipped to more than 2000 pin codes since it’s launch in October, although the company refused to give any numbers on sale numbers or targets.