German fashion e-tailer Zalando has acquired Swiss mobile body scanning developer Fision AG as part of its bid to solve the fashion industry’s key challenge of size and fit.
Leveraging computer vision technology, software company Fision has developed technologies that generate accurate 3D virtual bodies and clothing models on its platform meepL. Its services, which are tailored to the apparel industry, include a body scanning app and virtual dressing room help consumers easily see how a garment would fit on their body.
The company was founded by a team of ETH Zurich graduates in engineering with the aim of enhancing the customer journey of online shoppers and to reduce the cycle of waste in the industry.
Its acquisition is part of Zalando’s focus on helping customers find the right fit the first time. The Berlin-based firm notes sizing systems across categories, regions, and brands vary dramatically, creating confusion and unnecessary returns for customers.
Incorporating Fision’s innovative technology into the Zalando platform will “take size advice to the next level,” from one based on fit feedback and garment measurements to one that is more personalised using both garment and body measurements, it says.
“We are constantly on the lookout for new teams and technologies that can help us provide the best experience to our customers along their entire fashion journey,” says Jim Freeman, Zalando’s chief technology officer. “We will continue to invest in strengthening Zalando’s tech capabilities in order to propel us on our path to become the starting point for millions of fashion customers across Europe.”
The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, will see the Fision team continue to be based in Zurich while fully integrating with Zalando.
The investment underscores Zalando’s commitment to one of its key markets, Switzerland, and lays the foundation for a Zurich tech hub which Zalando plans to grow to a 150-plus job facility over time.
Zalando raised its full-year outlook earlier this month after seeing strong and profitable growth as consumer demand surged in the third quarter.