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Are Digital Tailors the Future of Shopping?

By Motley Fool Staff – Dec 6, 2018 at 3:11PM

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The technology might make going to stores less relevant.

Trying things on has been a major reason why people still choose to visit stores. When you buy a pair of pants or other clothing online, it may not fit. Using a simple digital tailor makes that no longer necessary, and that technology now exists.

This technology -- while it's still in its infancy -- could be a game changer. If shoppers have the option to use their phone to take a quick, highly accurate measurement, it could make online shopping for clothes a better experience. That's great news for digital retailers and a potential death blow to some brick-and-mortar chains.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Dec. 4, 2018.

Vincent Shen: Something you mentioned to me that I wanted to talk to you about, I think the listeners will enjoy this, was the pants that you bought with the tailor online.

Dan Kline: I brought this up because we've talked a lot about retail and why you would still shop in a store. One of the big reasons you'd still shop in a store is fit. If you buy a pair of pants from, I don't know, and they show up, they might not fit. And that's a hassle. You have to send them back.

I used a digital tailor. I'm not going to say specifically which one, because I'm going to be a little critical of their product. Basically, I had to put on some spandex-like shorts, or you could wear boxer shorts or something, and you set up your phone on the floor, and there's a little level. It took maybe 15 seconds to set up. Then you do a spin and you record this spin. They promise you that you spinning in your underwear isn't going to appear on the internet anywhere. And I picked a pair of pants. I actually ordered two pairs of jeans. They show up maybe 10 days later. While I did not love the material they were made of -- I think they look a little cheap as far as jeans go -- the fit was absolutely perfect.

Shen: So it worked?

Kline: Yeah. I've been measured by a tailor. My wife has had jeans made, where you take 20 measurements, and they haven't worked. This, with just a very simple scan, worked. So, I really think this could be the next step in the end of retail. If you can get perfect fit with just a very simple measurement, I don't see why people wouldn't do that.

Shen: I know, when shopping online now, they try and do things where they get very specific with sizing charts. They have the bar where it says, "true to fit," "runs large," "runs small." But something like this, it seems like a pretty simple process, and they can really narrow it down.

Kline: That might work for you. You're a young, fit guy. I'm a little older, a little less fit, perhaps not as linear as you are. [laughs] So it's a challenge to figure out how a shirt's going to fall, or, frankly, if a dress shirt will button, and things like that. If I could be guaranteed -- plus, there's a shame factor. You don't want to walk into a store and have to be like, "Oh, we don't have one that big. You'll have to special order it." If you could just get your size, and not even know what size that is, there's something very magical to that.

I'm not saying this has to be purely at-home technology. This might actually be something where you walk into a Macy's, go into a room, and it tells you what products on the shelves will fit you. It's a very adaptable technology. But I was stunned at how well it worked.

Daniel B. Kline has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Vincent Shen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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