Zalando announces the acquisition of the Zurich start-up Fision. The start-up has developed a body scan and virtual dressing room app that helps customers find clothes to their size. The tool is based on computer vision technology, an area where Switzerland excels (Robots of the future will have Swiss eyes). The twenty or so Fision employees will remain based in Zurich and will be fully integrated into Zalando. “The merger with Zalando has enormous potential. Our teams share the same vision for a sustainable and customer-oriented fashion industry. We look forward to using our technology to make purchasing even easier for Zalando’s more than 34 million customers, ”comments Ferdinand Metzler, CEO and Founder of Fision.
Things shouldn’t take too long. Joined by ICTjournal on the phone, Stacia Carr, who heads technological developments related to sizes at Zalando, explains that she wants to integrate Fision’s technology within 3 months and quickly offer it to all markets.
It is that the question of measurements is one of the big challenges of selling clothes online. First of all, there is the economic aspect, knowing that size problems are the source of a third of returns and that, when in doubt, many customers order several sizes at the same time. And then there is the frustration of buyers who are struggling to find the right garment. “People used to interact directly with the artisans who made their clothes, so they were aware of their measurements and preferences. With industrial manufacturing, we have lost this exchange of information: we are working to find it, ”explains Stacia Carr.
Stacia Carr, Directrice Engineering Size and Fit chez Zalando
For the director, Fision’s technology will thus reduce frustration and unnecessary returns, and increase customer confidence. With the virtual try-on, they will notably be able to see if a garment is suitable for their body type, while the sharing of scan data will serve to provide better recommendations, the latter being so far based on the history of purchases and returns. . Zalando also wants to use this information to advise brands on sizing.
Creation of a technology hub in Zurich
With the acquisition of Fision, Zalando also unveils its plan to develop a technology hub in Zurich. The structure will be added to that available to the company in Dublin and Helsinki and should accommodate 150 employees within 18 to 24 months.
The technology hub will allow Zalando to attract talented technology specialists and to be physically present in a strategic market, says editor Lisa Miczaika, General Manager of Zalando for the region. If the company does not communicate its figures at the Swiss level, the specialized firm Carpathia indeed considers that Zalando is the leader in e-commerce in Switzerland with revenues of 920 million in 2019.