Tech

Bold Metrics, which helps online shoppers order the right size, scores $8 million in funding

With poor fit being the main reason online clothing purchases are returned, retailers are looking to virtual-fit solutions.
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Bold Metrics

· 4 min read

Bold Metrics, a tech company that helps online shoppers select clothes that fit properly and reduce costly returns for retailers, just got something that they certainly won’t be sending back: $8 million in Series A financing.

  • The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Also participating: Lytical Ventures, ValueStream Ventures, and Nanban Ventures.
  • The new $$, which brings the company’s total funding to $12.3 million, will be used, in part, to boost its R&D.

Sizing up customers: Bold Metrics uses data from 45+ million scans of body models (with more than 2 million added quarterly), which encompasses complete measurements as well as weight and age.

  • Based on that data, when a shopper enters just a few details—often the five specifics of age, weight, height, waist size, and shoe size—the startup uses what it calls AI Body Modeling technology to create a 3D avatar of the shopper, and predict what size would fit best.
  • It works with retailers like Canada Goose, workwear brand Truewerk, and Men’s Wearhouse (more on that below).

Tale of the tape: Morgan Linton, Bold Metric’s COO, co-founded the company with CEO Daina Burnes in 2017. He told Retail Brew that its proof of concept occurred that same year, when it was hired by Men’s Wearhouse to participate in a sort of man-versus-machine contest.

The men’s clothing chain, which was founded nearly 50 years ago in Houston, has a tuxedo-rental service that had relied solely on in-store tailors to measure customers. But with customers increasingly buying online, how would they approximate that tailor in their living rooms?

Men’s Wearhouse “ended up being split,” Linton recalled. “Half the company was like, ‘You know what, we should just send customers measuring tapes in the mail, and they’ll measure themselves and, hey, that’s what we’ve been doing in stores, great.’ And the other half of the company was like, ‘Come on, technology has to have solved this.’ And so it was essentially us versus the tape measure.”

Pity whoever was betting on the tape measure. Customers who ordered tuxedo rentals using the tape were three times more likely to return them than those who answered those basic specifics from Bold Metrics, according to Linton.

“They actually took the tape-measure option off of their site and just had two options,” Linton continued. “Go to a store, or get fitted using Bold Metrics.”

  • In the six years since Bold Metrics has been the exclusive measuring option for Men’s Wearhouse’s online tuxedo rentals, returns have been reduced by 27.4%, per Linton.
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  • Bold Metrics is now also used by online shoppers for Men’s Wearhouse’s ready-to-wear offerings, including suits and sportcoats, resulting in a 35% reduction in returns for those items, he added.

(Too) big picture: When it comes to online purchases, 12.2% of clothing is returned, according to NRF. And more than half of the time (52%), that’s because the items don’t fit, according to Shopify data.

So it’s no wonder that retailers are trying to make sure shoppers get the right size—whether they’re shopping online or in stores.

  • MySize ID has an app that allows users to use their phone’s camera to scan their bodies to get precise measurements for better size recommendations. In stores (at ~1,000 locations), it’s also introduced virtual try-on mirrors that show how clothes would look on customers.
  • Drapr, which was acquired by Gap in 2021, is a virtual try-on tech company that lets shoppers see clothes on their 3D avatars.

For its part, Bold Metrics, which was originally conceived as an online tool, started rolling out in stores during the pandemic: Men’s Wearhouse and Jos A Bank (which also is owned by Tailored Brands, Inc.) touted it as a Contactless Fit offering at 650+ brick-and-mortar locations for shoppers who wanted to socially distance rather than get cozy with a tailor.

Earlier this year, Bold Metrics also introduced Body Data NFT, which stores size data in virtual wallets like Coinbase, helping users get properly fitting clothes when shopping online, in store, in the metaverse and—looking ahead—in Web3.

+1: Check out our virtual fitting room guide for an in-depth breakdown of the tech.

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