M&S launches trials of virtual clothing try-on service

M&S virtual fittingMarks & Spencer is boosting its use of technology to trial an in-store virtual reality fitting service, enabling customers to see how clothes will look before they commit to buy.

The retailer has partnered with tech firm Zyler to deliver the pilot in its Oxford Circus and Harrogate branches, although it is only being trialled with clothing brand Jaeger.

It is claimed the tech provides a far more personalised shopping experience, where customers become the model. It is already being used by luxury brand Valentine Avoh and bridalwear retailer Froxbox.

At M&S, shoppers simply add a head and shoulders photo and basic measurements to see themselves digitally in the Jaeger collection. Sales assistants guide customers through the process and give style advice.

Zyler chief executive Alexander Berend described the partnership as “a wonderful opportunity to get customers excited about shopping in-store. Shoppers could see themselves in the entire Jaeger range, including items not in stock at that location, to find the best items for them”.

He added: “We are delighted to be working with such an iconic brand as Marks & Spencer to improve the shopping experience.”

The move is the latest M&S initiative to boost customer experience. In November, the retailer snapped up the intellectual property of fashion marketplace Thread – which had just gone bust – as well as the defunct firm’s leading data scientists, software engineers and creative teams.

The deal included the source codes and algorithms developed by Thread which have been integrated into the M&S website, allowing the retailer to make improved customer recommendations based on style, size and budget.

M&S claims that its existing personalisation services, which recommend items that are frequently bought together, have boosted revenues by £20m, and co-chief executive Katie Bickerstaffe maintains this could eventually be worth £100m a year to the business.

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