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August 10 2013

Why This Ecommerce Startup Is Chasing a Different Kind of Growth

The Launchpad is a series that introduces Mashable readers to compelling startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: Lollipuff

One-Liner Pitch: Buy deeply discounted, pre-owned designer products that are guaranteed to be authentic

Why It's Taking Off: Most of us were once ripped off by someone selling something on the Internet that didn't turn out to be quite what it seemed. Finally, an antidote

When it comes to ecommerce, the recipe for success includes setting up a great digital experience that matches buyers and sellers, then letting network effects take charge to accelerate the number of transactions. Etsy and Ebay, with their massive userbases, did this right Read more...

More about Ecommerce, Y Combinator, Business, Startups, and The Launchpad

August 06 2013

Amazon Debuts Online Store for Fine Art

Would you like some fine art with your hand soap and toothpaste?

Amazon announced the launch of an art marketplace on Tuesday that will live at Amazon.com/art. More than 40,000 works of art from about 150 galleries and dealers are represented, which sell directly to Amazon shoppers and share a portion of the proceeds with Amazon.

SEE ALSO: Why Amazon Should Play Nice With Local Bookstores

Amazon's offerings are relatively modest compared to a behemoth like Art.com. But volume doesn't seem to be what Amazon is after — at least, not yet. Instead, the company is focusing on offering high-end works, both originals and limited editions, directly from reputable galleries Read more...

More about Amazon, Retail, Ecommerce, Business, and Marketing

May 16 2013

7 Tablet Apps for Shopaholics

Tablet apps are booming — not only are more people getting their hands on the devices, but users are spending even more time browsing with them than smartphones. With that information in hand, retail companies are taking their shopping experiences to the tablet at an increasing rate, creating new ways to shop without ever having to leave your bed.

Unfortunately, a tablet only has so much space to go around. How do you know which app is going to provide the best shopping experience?

We found seven great retail apps that will help you get the most out of your shopping. These ones stood out for their unique ideas, crisp UI and smart social integration, so you’ll find more than just a shopping website tucked into a tablet app Read more...

More about Fashion, Apps, Shopping, Features, and Ecommerce

September 04 2012

The State of Ecommerce [INFOGRAPHIC]

Between now and 2016, be prepared to spend an average of $1,472 per year online shopping. Right now, U.S. consumers hover somewhere around $1,200-$1,300 per year, but that number will increase by 44%, to $1,738, by 2016.

Now, keep in mind that includes all kinds of online shopping: groceries, daily deals, vacations, clothing, etc. Still, as traditionally brick-and-mortar businesses (such as travel agencies and fashion labels) transition to the web, we'll be faced with little other option than to spend, spend, spend.

SEE ALSO: How Mobile Trends Are Shaping Ecommerce [INFOGRAPHIC]

And which industry is sweeping up the cash? An online sales forecast by eMarketer projects that sales…
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More About: Business, Evolution of Ecommerce Series, ecommerce, features, forrester, infographics, mashable, retail, shopping

September 02 2012

August 26 2012

August 22 2012

How Mobile Trends Are Shaping E-commerce [INFOGRAPHIC]

How often do you use your smartphone to peruse a website? According to a recent survey, over the course of the past year visits to leading ecommerce websites from consumers' mobile devices have skyrocketed. And the battle for smartphone supremacy is intensifying.

The infographic below illustrates the direction in which the mobile commerce is headed, and shows the race between iPhone and Android.

Digital marketing technology company Monetate issued the report from which this information is extracted. The report analyzed more than 100 million online shopping experiences to come up with the data below.

Have you shopped more frequently from your mobile device in the past year? Tell u…
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More About: ecommerce, smartphone

August 21 2012

‘Seventeen’ Tests E-commerce With a Charitable Angle

Leading lifestyle magazines are continuing to experiment with online retail, exploring different technologies and incentive programs to transform their readers into shoppers. The latest of these comes from Seventeen magazine, which is hoping to motivate its readers to buy by appealing to their charitable instincts.

Widgets are now appearing on select pages of Seventeen.com, prompting users to "Shop Now" in support of Stomp Out Bullying, a not-for-profit anti-bullying program for kids and teens. Underneath this article about eco-friendly beauty products, for instance, is a carousel of related products readers are encouraged to purchase to benefit the non-profit.

Clicking on prod…
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More About: ecommerce, hearst, mulu, retail, seventeen

August 13 2012

Buying Baby Clothes Is Easier With Mail Subscription Services

One of the busiest jobs anyone can have is being a parent. Which is why subscription-based clothing sites for children in particular are a growing online business. Just fill out a style quiz, sign up with your credit card and a box of clothing is delivered to your door monthly.

Some of these services are marketed as environmentally friendly while others are touted as bargain sites. But one thing they all have in common is convenience.

Check out some of these sites and see if any fit your needs:

Wittlebee: Wittlebee markets itself as a convenient clothing subscription service. Instead of hectic shopping trips with your kids to buy them clothing, Wittlebee's stylists help you chose…
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More About: Children, clothing, ecommerce, subscription

August 09 2012

4 Ecommerce Experiences to Learn From

Brian Honigman is the digital marketing manager at Marc Ecko Enterprises. He ensures a polished brand experience across all channels. Follow Brian @BrianHonigman and on Google+.

Online shopping still hasn’t overtaken the traditional brick-and-mortar retail store, but according to eMarketer it’s projected that U.S. online shoppers will spend a total of $224.2 billion by the end of 2012. That’s a huge opportunity for online retailers. The fundamental problem is that almost every major brand has an online shopping experience in place, and with growing competition it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.

If you're wondering how your company can stand out, here are four instances of …
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More About: contributor, ecommerce, features, online marketing

August 08 2012

12 Epic Pet Accessories on Etsy

1. Backpack

Send your pup back to school in style with this leather backpack. Personalize the pack with different color stitching, or engrave his initials into the flap — because of course your dog has a first and last name, right? Price: $118

Click here to view this gallery.

Pet clothing isn't just for Halloween, for heaven's sake. Doesn't your puppy deserve to flaunt her latest purse every day of the year?

Flip through our collection of Etsy pet accessories above. Our selections range from costume to couture, but any way you stack it, these cats and canines sure are runway-ready.

SEE ALSO: 8 Cute Animals Model Ryan Lochte’s Sunglasses

Have you ever dressed your pet? Share stories but preferably photos in the comments below.

More About: Etsy, accessories, animals, cats, dogs, ecommerce, features, lifestyle

August 07 2012

Study: 45 Million Americans Used Their Phones to Shop in June

Shopping on your mobile device is becoming simpler. As app developers continue to make the mobile shopping experience more seamless, consumers are eager to test out new apps and mobile shopping experiences.

A recent Nielsen survey showed 45 million American smartphone owners used an app from the Shopping/Commerce category in June 2012 -- accessing shopping apps an average of more than 17 times during the month.

In June alone, shopping apps for eBay and Amazon attracted 13 million and 12 million unique users, respectively. Daily deals sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial aren't far behind with more than 10 million Americans using those apps in June.

“Retailers are finding that…
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More About: Mobile, ecommerce, mobile commerce, smartphone

August 06 2012

‘Lucky’ Magazine to Launch Shopping Site

Lucky magazine is finally making the plunge into e-commerce with the launch of MyLuckyMag.com, scheduled to launch Aug. 17.

The website, which is powered by Revel Touch, will allow visitors to shop from more than a dozen retailers, including Saks and Sephora. MyLucky's functionality will be integrated into LuckyMag.com, allowing users to shop articles published on the site.

When MyLucky launches, shoppers will have to complete purchases at participating retailers' websites. Eventually, shoppers will be able to complete transactions without leaving MyLuckyMag.com, a spokesperson says. MyLucky will also alert shoppers when items in their cart go on sale.

The magazine will receive a th…
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More About: conde nast, ecommerce, lucky, lucky magazine, magazines, retail

July 25 2012

Meet the Woman Who Tried to Marry Off Her Niece on eBay

Today, online dating services help filter exactly what people are looking for in a significant other. Other times, people take even less traditional routes to secure companionship.

In an attempt to find the perfect suitor for her niece, auction agent Diane Hayes placed an eBay ad offering her niece's hand in marriage for $9.99. Only the subject of the ad, 21-year-old Emilie Rogers, was unaware.

According to the ad, which has since been removed from eBay, Hayes was concerned that Rogers was a little too fond of boys with tattoos.

"Your choice to 'tattoo or not to tattoo' is a good indicator of your internal thought process," Hayes wrote in the ad. "If, for instance, on an act of im…
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More About: ebay, ecommerce, features, online dating

February 27 2012

U.S. Online Retail Sales to Reach $327 Billion by 2016 [STUDY]

The future of ecommerce looks bright. After topping $200 billion for the first time, online retail sales in the U.S. are forecast to reach $327 billion by 2016, a study from technology and market research firm Forrester says. Overall share of the retail market is expected to increase from 7% to 9% during that period.

What’s driving the growth? More consumers are shopping online every day. Last year, 167 million consumers — 53% of the U.S. population — purchased something online. That number is expected to grow to 192 million, or 56% of the population, by 2016. The study also projects that consumers’ average yearly online spending will increase from $1,207 per person in 2011 to $1,738 per person by 2016.

Consumers are also becoming increasingly comfortable purchasing a wider variety of categories online. In a 2001 survey, Forrester found only three of the 30 retail categories were able to attribute more than 20% of sales to online channels. That number grew to eight categories in 2011, and is expected to increase to 14 categories by 2016.

U.S. shoppers are also now finding it easier to shop than ever before, thanks to improvements in mobile and tablet shopping capabilities. Innovative shopping models and loyalty programs — think flash sales sites like Gilt and Woot as well as subscription loyalty programs like Amazon Prime — and aggressive promotions are drawing sales away from brick-and-mortar operations. This was especially true during big discount periods such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, during which approximately 75% of consumers said they shopped online because the deals were better.

Meanwhile, online sales in Europe are expected to amount to 171 billion euros ($230 billion) in Europe by 2016 up from 96.7 billion euros ($130 billion) in 2011, according to Forrester’s estimates.

Image courtesy of Flickr, andrewarchy

More About: ecommerce, forrester, retail, study

For more Business coverage:

February 06 2012

How to Fix Best Buy

Mashable OP-ED: This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

Alex Goldfayn’s new book is called Evangelist Marketing: What Apple Amazon and Netflix Understand About Their Customers (That Your Company Probably Doesn’t). He is CEO of the Evangelist Marketing Institute, a marketing consultancy with clients that include T-Mobile, TiVo and Logitech.

Some people insist that Best Buy is dying a slow death.

Meanwhile, its CEO, Brian Dunn, maintains that 80% of consumer electronics sales still come from brick-and-mortar stores. But in its most recent earnings statement (for the three months ending Nov. 26), Best Buy’s net income was down nearly 30%, compared to the year prior. The company says that’s because they had to lower prices to increase sales.

Here is what I believe to be the core cause of Best Buy’s problems: There is almost nothing you can buy at Best Buy stores that isn’t cheaper and more convenient to buy online. And when you think about buying online, you think about Amazon first, and a number of other retailers second (Buy.com, Walmart.com, etc.). BestBuy.com usually doesn’t top that list.

The problems — including Best Buy’s recent inability to fill holiday season purchases — are already well-documented. Let’s focus, instead, on how to fix Best Buy.

1. Focus on the Stores

CEO Dunn stated earlier this month that Best Buy has expanded the products available on BestBuy.com and has launched a new online marketplace. This is the wrong approach. You don’t out-Amazon Amazon. I’m constantly telling my clients that they must build on their strengths, not try to overcome their weaknesses.

For example, Research In Motion spent a year of resources developing and marketing a tablet device instead of focusing on its major competitive strength, the Blackberry smartphone. Best Buy needs to focus on the asset that separates it from the competition — its physical stores.

This is urgent. For the next year, the majority of Best Buy’s investment, attention and marketing budget should go towards improving the customer experience in its retail stores.

What should it improve? That’s easy.

2. Fewer SKUs

One of the major ways retailers measure success is the sales-per-square-foot metric. This figure eliminates any differences in number of stores and size of stores; it simply measures how well a retailer performs.

According to a report from August, Apple dominated the field with a whopping $5,626 per square foot of retail space. In second place, the jeweler Tiffany’s came in at $2,974; that’s how much Apple trumps everybody else. Costco wholesale makes $998 per square foot.

Best Buy? It comes in at $831 per square foot, behind retailers like Whole Foods, Polo Ralph Lauren, Signet Jewelers and GameStop.

What do Costco and Apple stores have in common? A relatively small selection of products to buy. Best Buy should focus on the best products, not on as many products as can be crammed onto shelves.

3. Better Blue Shirts

One of Best Buy’s major advantages over Amazon is that it employs people in blue shirts who are expected to help customers. These folks are young (because they cost less this way), but insufficiently trained. Of course, Apple Stores employ young people too, but Apple’s people are empowered, no, mandated, to help people. Best Buy’s store staffers read the back of the box with you.

The sooner Best Buy can roll out a comprehensive and aggressive training program for its blue shirts, the sooner it can make people feel better about coming to its stores. Then, every newspaper with a Best Buy in its city would positively cover the store’s efforts to improve its floor staff. So, in addition to improving the customer experience and sales, this is a powerful marketing and PR strategy.

4. Better Store Layouts

Wider aisles. Cleaner spaces. Get the product packages off the shelves, because these horrendous boxes aren’t doing anybody any favors. Simply give people more space to physically try as many products as possible. After all, that’s why people go to retail. Basically, study what Apple is doing in its stores and try to apply.

5. Better Marketing

It’s time for Best Buy to go beyond its weekly blue flyer. The company needs to launch a powerful marketing and PR campaign. Find out what’s important and compelling to consumers.

I don’t know this for fact, but given the current state of its marketing activities, I can all but guarantee that Best Buy isn’t having enough qualitative conversations with its customers to uncover the language and emotion that resonates with them. My best clients have learned that deeply understanding your customers is the fastest and most direct path to effective marketing. It’s time for Best Buy to start understanding its customers.

6. Better Customer Service, Better Feelings

The 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index Report found Best Buy in the middle of the pack in terms of customer satisfaction, behind retailers such as Publix, Staples, Kohl’s and JCPenney.

If you say you’ll price match, then price match. Don’t make people stand in line to beg cranky 24-year-olds, who are trained how to best decline the price match. Similarly, if you want to compete with Amazon and Costco, then you better accept returns without question, and without an annoying restocking fee.

Instead of anticipating a frustrating experience, people need to foresee satisfaction when they think about Best Buy, as they do with Apple and Costco.

Many of Best Buy’s problems result from the negative feelings their actions and inactions have built in consumers, who have plenty of other options, as Best Buy painfully knows: “I can shop at Costco and return something three months later if it breaks, or I can go Best Buy and be out of luck.”

Best Buy literally can’t afford any more bad feelings. Over the next year, Best Buy must do everything possible for people to feel good in its stores. In fact, the majority of Best Buy’s innovation efforts — from product selection to layout, from customer service to marketing — should focus on its most powerful remaining competitive advantage: its physical stores.

Image courtesy of Flickr, staticjana, Ron Dauphin

More About: amazon, apple, best buy, contributor, customer service, ecommerce, features, Opinion, retail

For more Business coverage:

January 18 2012

Curated Commerce: How Retail Brands Can Cash in on the Latest Craze

John Doyle is VP of digital strategy for Cramer-Krasselt / Chicago. Keep up with him at johndoyle.posterous.com.

As we kick off 2012, one of the most prominent online trends is an increasingly diverse array of content curation platforms. While sites like Digg and reddit have been around for years, a new crop of sites like Polyvore, Svpply and, most notably, Pinterest are allowing people to organize their favorite discoveries from around the web into themed collections that friends and contacts can follow.

Marketers are excited about the trend’s subsequent opportunities, as it appears to be an evolution in online influence. (Consider that Pinterest, with only 5.3 million active users, drives more traffic to Real Simple than Facebook.)

Shoppers are turning to these curated experiences to help filter the Internet’s overwhelming amount of content down to manageable collections of products centered around shared taste. Unless you know specifically what you want to buy (in which case, search is the weapon of choice), browsing curated collections can be the most interesting way to discover new products and retailers. As an example of the power of human curation, just compare the results of a Google search for gloves with the same search on Pinterest. Now ask yourself which search makes you want to buy something?

With a little practice, shopping curated collections can be a lot like shopping in a real-life boutique — a boutique where the goods are selected and stocked to meet the needs of its best customer: you. And because these collections are created by real people (in many cases, friends from within the shopper’s own personal social network), the resulting shopping experience is authentic, powerful and hugely influential on purchase behavior.

The trouble for retail brands? Consumers often prefer curated collections, which tend to be absent of overt branding and promotion. They don’t turn to curated communities to learn about the Gap’s winter line or the latest sale on Macys.com. No, what drives both curators and the consumers who enjoy these experiences is discovering and sharing “products on the verge.”

But that doesn’t mean established brands and retailers can’t leverage this trend and capitalize on the powerful influence curated collections can generate. Try these three ways that brands and retailers can leverage curated commerce.

1. Look for Your Brand ‘In the Wild.’

Just because curated collections don’t often feature bigger brands doesn’t mean these retailers don’t show up at all. And when they do, it presents a huge learning opportunity for brand and store managers to see products in a new context — the way influential tastemakers see you. By understanding which other brands or products surround yours, you may discover a new dimension to your merchandising strategy.

A simple Pinterest search for “Brooks Brothers” yielded this visually rich and focused collection called “Preppy Cool.” Perhaps the Brook’s Brothers site could benefit by creating similar visual appeal, leading customers to purchase items that naturally fit a targeted style preference.

2. Bring the Outside In.

If you find that your brand has been included in a curated collection, take pains to identify the curator, explore past collections and try to gauge her influence and audience. If you can’t find yourself in curated collections, you can still look to identify tastemakers that share your aesthetic or ethos.

Once you’ve identified the right individuals, encourage them to consider adding you to their collections. Better still, invite these curators to create a collection on your owned site and in stores, thus giving them a new platform for expression and self-promotion, and you a fresh take on your merchandising. For an example of a brand that understands the power of bringing the outside in, check out J.crew’s partner-curated collections and brand partnerships.

3. Go Off Property.

Sure, you can curate a collection on your own website or other digital properties, but you’ll tap entirely new tastemakers and audiences by integrating your products within an existing community site. Just be sure not to focus too much on your own brand, or else you risk being labeled a shill and, thus, lose customer-valued authenticity. Your brand should be the garnish on a plate of freshly discovered “products on the verge” — never the main dish.

For example, check out how a few Sephora products benefit from a widened context on this color-themed Svpply.com set.

Leveraging the effects of curated commerce will require extra time, effort and imagination. However, it can have an extremely powerful impact on both shoppers and your brand. When it comes to influencing consumers, the human touch is everything.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, MarsBars

More About: content curation, contributor, customer engagement, ecommerce, features, Marketing, pinterest

January 13 2012

5 Digital Publishing App Trends to Watch in 2012

Erik Loehfelm is the executive director of user experience at Universal Mind, where he leads the design team in developing new, immersive app experiences for a variety of devices. He is also a leading voice in the digital publishing industry. Follow Erik @eloehfelm and read his blog.

Digital publishing grew tremendously in 2011. With the unveiling of new technologies such as the iPad 2, the iPhone 4S and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, we’ve dramatically changed the way companies will disseminate information for years to come.

But we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible in this space. While many industries have dipped a tentative toe in the water, most have yet to take full advantage of all the capabilities of mobile technology, and make the move from paper to digital, from passive to interactive.

We predict that 2012 will see a wave of new digital publishing apps across a wide range of industries. Here are five new types of “digi-pubs” to watch for in 2012.

1. Movie Tie-Ins

There are already apps and games that build on the characters and storyline of films; however, a huge amount of film content has yet to be tapped by a mobile framework. But this is just around the corner.

For example, books based on children’s films essentially contain stills of the movie. With a relatively small effort, studios may start to turn children’s films into interactive picture books enhanced with games and clips from the films.

And considering the amount of work that goes into creating the bonus materials for a DVD, can the “making of” digi-pub for every major film be far behind? Unlike a book or a DVD, this content can also be made interactive and social. For example, an app could enable you to see all the actors’ tweets or to follow them on Facebook.

2. Music Appumentaries

Several musicians and labels have really started to embrace mobile technology to tell a deeper story and share directly with fans, and we’ve seen the early emergence of what some are calling the “appumentary.”

For example, the Jimi Hendrix – The Complete Experience app showcases pivotal moments in Jimi’s life and career, streams his music and offers an interactive approach to storytelling. The This Day in Pink Floyd app contains thousands of music facts, a guide to every one of the 167 studio tracks the band officially released, as well as Pink Floyd images, quiz questions, video footage and more. The Sting 25 app offers access to Sting’s seminal performances, rare photos and personal stories over the past 25 years of his music career.

I anticipate that as more artists and labels embrace this new medium, we’ll see an increase in digital music downloads and an explosion in new types of artist content, maybe even a new fan club paradigm with advanced and/or exclusive access to media or artist-driven content.

3. Medical Exam Apps

How many times have you been to the doctor and had them bring a laptop into the exam room? Probably not very many. While some medical practices have begun introducing some of these basic tools into their patient interactions, there’s still a shocking lack of mobile technology usage in the medical industry.

In 2012, the medical industry will have the opportunity to create a new paradigm for doctor/patient interaction using tablet technology. With the presentation of digital publications and apps that can distill complex medical theories and procedures into consumable bites, our understanding of conditions and treatment options will expand.

Imagine your doctor sitting with you to go over some test results. With a digital records application, she could display your results on an interactive comparative chart that displays the averages of people in your area by age, race, gender, occupation or lifestyle. It could contain embedded videos of procedure descriptions. Your doctor could share access with you, enabling you to request other opinions from physicians across the world. You could tie in social experiences on community boards with people that have undergone similar procedures. All of this could be presented in an interactive and personal publication that embodies your entire medical history.

4. The Digital Textbook

In some ways, the foundational paradigms of education are in transition. There are opportunities in the education market that are huge and potentially transformative.

Should students be carrying four or five textbooks to school each day? Could students purchase only certain chapters of books? Could books include text that is updated by authors in real-time? Could the concept of a “textbook” be a compilation of Wikipedia entries, content queried from Wolfram|Alpha, a professor’s thoughts and musings and social network contributions?

Not only is the content of today’s textbooks ready to be challenged; the way this content is consumed is already in a state of transition. The introduction of e-text and Amazon’s early versions of the Kindle changed how we read. No longer do we need to consume “printed” text in one form. Kindle devices and Kindle applications allow today’s readers to enjoy published works in their choice of context – Kindle device, desktop, mobile app – and seamlessly switch between them. With Amazon’s latest Kindle Fire tablet, consumers are now empowered with the Kindle experience on top of a mature Android platform. This platform of power and functionality will allow for new types of content presentation: interactive charts and graphs, embedded media, embedded discussions, sharing and borrowing, live discussions, etc.

5. Interactive Retail Catalogs

Using mobile technology in retail is practically a no-brainer, since investing in tech to reach consumers can pay off quickly. Brands like IKEA and Lands’ End have already begun to embrace the functionality of interacting with consumers on their mobile devices. In fact, many big-box and online retailers have begun to offer catalog apps that allow you to browse content on your iPad. However, most have simply taken their existing materials and published them in a similar form to their print counterparts.

In 2012, there is a huge opportunity for retailers to bring their catalog experiences to life on the iPad. For example, shoppers should be able to build avatars and virtually try on clothes, making mobile shopping an interactive, enjoyable and functional experience. Homeowners should be able to take pictures of their living rooms and upload them to the catalog app, then “decorate” rooms with the items from the catalog. And forget paint swatches – soon you will be able to take a picture of a room, choose and try different paint colors on the walls, click to buy, and have it ready to pick up at a nearby store in 15 minutes.

What are some digital publishing applications you’d like to see this year?

More About: apps, contributor, digital publishing, ecommerce, Entertainment, features, medical, Mobile, predictions, Tablet

January 09 2012

Clothes Shopping With Your Kinect Lets You Try It On for Virtual Size

Online shoppers may be able to buy clothes in their pajamas, but they never know just how well those purchases will actually fit.

That problem may soon be history — thanks to a breakthrough piece of augmented reality technology from Bodymetrics.

The company has created software called PrimeSense 3D, which will be revealed this week at CES 2012. It uses Microsoft’s Kinect technology to scan a user’s height and waist size, as well as the other shapes and curves that make a body unique. After creating an account, users will be able to virtually try on clothes from partner retailers to get a true sense of how potential purchases fit.

The 3D body-mapping will be available for preview at CES, but Bodymetrics is still fine-tuning the PrimeSense business model — including its final price, which the company said will be approximately $150.

“When you walk into a clothing retailer or browse an online fashion site, they have no idea of your body size, shape or style,” Bodymetrics CEO Suran Goonatilake said in a press release. “Bodymetrics body-maps you within a few seconds and gets hundreds of accurate measurements and analytics of your shape. Then, we match this data to the exact dimensions of a garment and allow you to virtually try it on your own body to see whether it is too tight, too loose or just perfect.”

Mashable tried out two new augmented reality shopping apps at DEMO last spring, but we decided they weren’t quite ready for prime time. The apps lacked precision and didn’t offer enough information on how garments would actually fit in real life.

However, Bodymetrics believes its 3D technology is the game-changer. The company has seven years of body-mapping experience, courtesy of a service it has offered at the Selfridges department store in London. The success of that technology is a further indicator of PrimeSense’s potential success.

Internet shopping has already effectively shut down in-person book stores, video rental and travel agencies. The apparel industry has kept its physical doors open thanks to the imprecise science of online sizing. It’s not hard to imagine a product like PrimeSense taking a large bite out of that pie, but to do so the technology will have to actually deliver on the hype.

Beginning this week at CES, the jury of online clothing shoppers will be the judge.

Check out the video below for more information, then share your opinion in the comments. Would you use a product like this? How else can emerging technologies improve online shopping?

CES 2012: Mashable’s Photo Coverage From the Ground

Check out more gadgets, booths and appearances from our team on the ground at CES 2012.

Thermador Cooktop

The Freedom Induction Cooktop by Thermador allows the user to place pots anywhere on it's surface for cooking.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Augmented Reality, CES, CES 2012, ecommerce, fashion

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