Israeli start-up MySize eases retail's online returns problem

While the company launched its SizeUp application in late 2015, it required an additional three years of development to measure the challenging dimensions of the human body

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August 12, 2019 02:49
3 minute read.
Israeli start-up MySize eases retail's online returns problem

An illustration of the MySize application. (photo credit: PR)

Enticed by promises of “free shipping and returns,” consumers are purchasing and returning apparel and other items bought online at an unprecedented rate.

Return deliveries are expected to cost US businesses a colossal $550 billion by 2020, according to Statista, with lost revenues even leading online fashion giant Asos and other brands to consider blacklisting and deactivating the accounts of serial returners.

According to a recent survey by Return Magic, 89% of consumers have returned an online purchase in the last three years. Without being able to try on clothing prior to purchase, some 41% of customers said they buy the same items in multiple sizes or variations, with the intention to return some of them.

Feeling frustrated after ordering several ill-fitting, expensive basketball jerseys for his NBA-crazy son online, hi-tech entrepreneur Ronen Luzon turned his attention to finding a technological solution to the costly returns problem caused by size uncertainty.

Despite suggestions that smartphone sensors could not be used to accurately measure distances, Luzon established MySize in 2014, determined to prove the doubters wrong and convert the device in everyone’s pocket into a reliable measuring device for the online fashion industry.

“We are very different because we use real measurements instead of a camera and image processing,” Luzon, chief executive of MySize, told The Jerusalem Post at the company’s Airport City headquarters.

“Using a camera, which requires taking your clothes off to ensure accurate measurements, won’t take off because of privacy regulations, including the GDPR in Europe and the Californian privacy laws likely to spread to all the United States.”

While the company launched its SizeUp application in late 2015, accurately measuring flat distances and registering 1.5 million downloads, it required an additional three years of development to measure the challenging dimensions of the human body.

“We took our technology of measuring straight lines and built a big data system by measuring lots of people,” said Luzon.

“Starting from the book of Leonardo da Vinci’s human body calculations, we took different flat measurements from various points on the body and four different algorithmic engines to accurately calculate the circumferences of the body.”

The innovative, patent-protected technology relies on smartphone accelerometer and gyroscope sensors to measure the body accurately to less than an inch, with the MySizeID application guiding users through the swift measurement process with straightforward, step-by-step instructions.

Once measurement is complete, the application tells users what clothes fit them at different stores and in different clothing lines – according to their own, accurate measurements.

Measurements recorded via the application are also integrated with a number of e-commerce platforms, including Shopify, enabling users to reliably see which clothes fit them on the brand’s own website and cut down the need for returns.

“When buying items online, we have three questions: Do I like it? Will it fit me? What size do I need? We need to tick off these questions before we add items to our cart,” said Luzon.

“When we have those questions already decided for us, our decision-making is quicker and consumers are more confident. The big issue of sizing is where e-commerce is currently struggling. We believe all sites will have sizing-and-fit technology within two to three years.”

While Luzon initially targeted the online apparel industry, the accurate measuring technology of the company – which is dual-listed on the Tel Aviv and Nasdaq stock exchanges – has a long list of potential applications.

The company has already received significant interest from the huge school and workplace uniform sector, and its measuring technology has also been sought by DIY companies to calculate building and room measurements prior to delivery.

MySize has also developed BoxSizeID, an additional smartphone algorithm to accurately measure the volume and weight of packages. Israeli courier Katz Deliveries has already implemented the technology, and three other logistics companies, including one large US courier, are currently running pilot programs.

“The application calculates all three dimensions of the package and sends it automatically to the logistic company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system,” said Luzon.

“The company can calculate the route of the packages and plan which truck is needed. The information is so useful for them and easy to gather since everyone has a mobile phone.”


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