Survey: Fit Issues Impact Shopping Decisions Online and In-Store


Source: Body Labs’ “2016 Apparel & Footwear Retail Survey Report”

Nearly 60 percent of shoppers say they would buy more often if they could be assured of consistent fit, according to a recently released study by Body Labs, a New York–based company that creates and customises 3-D models of the human body.

Body Labs’ “2016 Apparel & Footwear Retail Survey Report” looked at how fit affects consumer behavior and decision making.

According to the study, many consumers dislike trying on clothing, most blame poor fit as the top reason for returning items, and most said they will only buy brands they have purchased in the past because they know they will fit. The survey found that 34 percent of consumers say they are “unsatisfied with traditional clothing sizes,” and 85 percent of apparel shoppers (and 72 percent of shoe shoppers) said they would buy more if they knew they could count on proper fit.

“Poor fit is one of the biggest drivers of returns for online and in-store shoppers,” said Bill O’Farrell, cofounder and chief executive officer of Body Labs, in a company statement. “From our consumer survey, it’s clear that shoppers are not satisfied with their experience when trying on clothes and, oftentimes, realize later that clothes don’t fit and are forced to make returns. If retailers could deliver a better fit experience personalized for each shopper, it would cut costs considerably from returns, restocking fees and logistical related costs for managing returned inventory.”

More than half of the consumers surveyed—58 percent—said they would buy more “at the time of purchase” if they could count on fit.

“For retailers and manufacturers, a consumer pain point can be translated into an opportunity,” O’Farrell said.

The full report can be accessed at Body Labs’ website (

Founded in 2013, Body Labs collects, digitizes and organizes data and information related to human body shape, pose and motion. The company’s mission is “to transform the human body into a digital platform upon and around which goods and services can be designed, produced, bought and sold.”