Rakuten claims the deal will bolster personalised shopping experiences

Rakuten claims the deal will bolster personalised shopping experiences

Japanese e-commerce group Rakuten has acquired virtual fitting room provider Fits.me, which it will operate as a stand-alone business to bolster personalised shopping experiences and drive efficiencies for retailers.

Fits.me, which was founded in 2010, aims to help shoppers better understand what clothes fit and suit them before they make purchase decisions. It also provides brands such as Thomas Pink, QVC and Pretty Green with insights as they aim to better understand their customers, reduce the number of product returns and improve loyalty.

According to Brian Farrelly, director of media operations at QVC UK, deriving insight from customer data that can be used to address challenges throughout the business is the next big frontier for apparel retailers.

"Fits.me represents both the fun and functionality of shopping online and is a natural complement to our growing portfolio of e-commerce and marketing services," said Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani.

"Not only does the virtual fitting room provide customers with a more realistic shopping experience, it also empowers merchants with the valuable data they need to continually improve their service."

Fits.me CEO James Gambrell added that the company will continue to "build out our ambitious product plans and accelerate our planned growth in Europe, the USA and now Asia".

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In December last year, Fits.me signed a merger deal with New York-based fit guidance technology firm Clothes Horse to create the world's largest, fit-focused, virtual fitting room solutions provider.