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Virtual Fitting Rooms Could Give F-Commerce A Boost

The business case for Facebook Commerce is still a work in progress. While many stores have decided it is worthwhile to open a retail storefront on Facebook, other retailers  have famously closed their F-Commerce sites recently.  If an experiment by Tesco proves successful, it might nudge more stores to follow the former path. The retailer has launched a virtual fitting room on its Facebook page.

The application, developed by Metail, helps customers find clothes in the brand's F&F line that would fit and look good on them. It will be available for three weeks as part of a trial.

How It Works

This is how it works: customers upload a photo of their face and another of their body type, or enter measurements. Users will be able to test 50 items from this season’s collection and an additional 10 new garments each week. The different looks created can be submitted to select friends for comments.

If customers like what they try on, they can add to basket and purchase on the Tesco clothing website. The F&F virtual 3D fitting room also gives customers the opportunity to try out various hairstyles and the option to share their favourite outfits with selected friends on Facebook for feedback.

E-Commerce Gains

If Facebook retailers can draw more traction with this and similar technologies they might find a quick payback for their investment.  US retail e-commerce spending reached a new peak of $161.5 billion in 2011, representing a 13% increase from $142.5 billion in 2010, according to February 2012 figures from comScore. Online retail spending reached $49.7 billion in Q4, marking a 14% increase from $43.4 billion in Q4 2010, and a 27% rise from $39 billion in Q4 2009. In fact, Q4’s growth rate was the 9th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth and the 5th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates.

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