Shoppers often turn to gift cards in lieu of actual presents because, at least when it comes to clothing, remembering the sizes and preferences of family and friends is a daunting task. SizeMob, a Web and Apple iOS application that officially launched Wednesday, can make that task less daunting, and make stores’ return lines a bit shorter, with a little help from Facebook.
SizeMob Founding Investor and Chief Sizing Officer Vagish Kapila explained the motivation behind the website and app in an interview with AllFacebook:
When it comes to gift-giving for people outside of the family, that’s when people start turning to gift cards, because they don’t know other people’s sizes. It’s not that people don’t want to buy for others — they don’t have the information. Purchases will happen, and real money will be exchanged.
SizeMob allows users to share their sizes and preferred brands for multiple types of garments — including pants, tops, blouses, bottoms, shoes, intimates, hats, accessories, and dresses — with their families, friends, and other SizeMob users.
All of this information is stored in users’ personal profiles, or “trunks,” and comprehensive privacy controls are available to limit the audience for each item in their trunks and its respective sizing and brand information. Kapila said of SizeMob’s privacy controls:
Not everyone likes to share with everybody. Users under 24 want to share everything, while those 25 to 40 want to share with friends, and those over 40 are very picky. SIzeMob allows users to share with the public, with friends only, and with restricted groups, the latter of which was done in part for intimates. Some women are very picky about their waist sizes.
Sub-profiles can also be created for family members of all ages, and dogs are not left out of the party, either, as they can have their own sub-profiles, too.
SizeMob’s “trunk this” toolbar button enables easy, Pinterest-type pinning of images within users’ trunks, and by logging in with Facebook, users can share their trunks with other SizeMob users, as well as Facebook friends, enabling them to exchange style ideas and tips. Kapila added:
Instead of a color palette, SizeMob offers a taste feature, which allows users to get to know people’s tastes. Female users share to showcase, while men share to help make decisions.
Kapila told AllFacebook most of SizeMob’s users in beta have been women, adding that their average time spent on the site has more than doubled, from 3.5 minutes to 7.5 minutes. He also said an Android app is in the pipeline.
And Kapila said in the press release announcing the launch of SizeMob:
SizeMob is more than just a social apparel/fashion-sharing site or app — it improves the way we approach shopping altogether. Through an easy-to-use interface, SizeMob creates a more productive shopping experience and enables fashionistas to showcase their favorite styles on a virtual runway. SizeMob ensures that customers get the style and brand they want, the right size, the first time, eliminating the need for returns or exchanges. According to the National Retail Federation, in 2011 alone, retailers saw close to $45.6 billion in returned merchandise. With SizeMob, retailers can achieve peace of mind knowing that shoppers are making more informed purchases, customers are more satisfied, and revenues remain high.
Readers: Do you think SizeMob can be a useful tool for you, especially with the holiday shopping season looming?