Shavatar is the name of a 3D avatar tool that should lead to fewer returns in the online fashion industry. With Shavatar, consumers can create their own avatars based on a few parameters. The tool then suggests the right size and fit of any given fashion item.
Shavatar is a spin-off of the University of Antwerp and research institute Imec and has raised 200,000 euros in funding. It was conceived by Femke Danckaers during her PhD research at Imec’s research group Vision Lab. There she developed a model that predicts and visualizes the human body shape in 3D, based on just a few parameters, such as height, weight, cup size and bust/waist/hip measurements.
Average margin of error of 7 millimeters
“There’s an average margin of error of just 7 millimeters compared to the person’s actual body shape”, Danckaers explains. Consumers can generate the avatar at home, without any need for a scanner.
There have been many solutions to tackle the problem of online fashion returns. And rightly so. It’s an ongoing problem, with even an 8% increase in returns in Europe last year. “In addition, our own survey among 200 people shows that 73 percent of consumers who want to buy clothing online ultimately decide not to place an order because they’re not sure it’s the right size”, CEO Geert Mertens says.
73% of consumers don’t order because they’re not sure about the size.
Shoppers often order same item in different sizes
And among the online fashion shoppers that do place an order, there’s still 40 percent who say they tend to order the same item in different sizes, so they are sure to get the right size. “These observations obviously have a serious impact on business models in the industry”, Mertens comments.
For now, Shavatar allows consumers to create their own avatar, after which the tool suggests the right size and fit of items. Later, the tool should be able to superimpose garments on the generated body shape. And the ultimate goal is to be able to visualize entire outfits this way.
In the short term, Shavatar will be integrated in the online shops of various clothing brands. Through shavatar.me anyone can create their avatar and then get tailored advice for over 50 fashion brands.