Zalando introduces size detection via smartphone. The goal: reduce returns and textile waste. But the campaign gives the impression that the company wants to polish its image.
Zalando is the first company of its size to introduce a new function for determining body measurements. The company announced this in an official statement. In the future, customers should receive support when looking for the right size.
Size detection at Zalando possible by photos
The new tool is now available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In order to receive an individual size recommendation, users must take two photos with their smartphone in which they are wearing tight-fitting clothing. After the upload, they should receive their individual body measurements and a corresponding recommendation within seconds.
With the new function, Zalando wants to pave the way for its personalized virtual fitting room, which was announced in April 2023.
Size recognition should reduce returns by ten percent
“Thanks to the work of the in-house Size & Fit team, Zalando has already been able to reduce size-related returns by ten percent compared to items without size advice,” says the company. Textile waste is also to be reduced in the long term.
In view of greenwashing allegations from early 2023, however, the new function seems like an attempt to polish the damaged image.
Does Zalando want to polish its image with size recognition?
Zalando is still one of the top-selling online shops in the fashion sector in Germany. According to statistics, the number of active customers reached a peak of 51.2 million people in 2022, who in turn made an average of 5.1 orders per year – that corresponds to about 260 million orders in total.
However, about half goes back to Zalando. And although the company itself advertises that it is a sustainable fashion platform, investigative research by various media revealed the opposite: the promise to resell 97 percent of the returned items of clothing after a corresponding check via the Zalando shop did not correspond to reality.
According to the fashion provider, the new tool is intended to provide a remedy and directly reduce returns. To do this, however, the company would also have to adapt its basic approach. However, it remains to be seen whether the campaign will work and whether the size recognition will ultimately have a really positive effect on Zalando’s sustainability strategy.