Biotechnology

Consumers are more likely to use virtual clothing trial software if it is interactive

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While more and more people are shopping online, buying clothes online poses a unique challenge: What if they don’t fit? The apparel industry’s latest solution is a virtual try-out session that allows consumers to share photos or measurements of themselves to create life-sized avatars.

While more and more people are shopping online, buying clothes online poses a unique challenge: What if they don’t fit? The apparel industry’s latest solution is a virtual try-out session that allows consumers to share photos or measurements of themselves to create life-sized avatars.

While some consumers have significant apprehension about new technology, especially young people, new research from the University of Missouri finds that qualities such as perceived ease of use of technology significantly reduce privacy concerns.

“This is something that virtual pilot companies should pay attention to,” said Song-yi Youn, assistant professor of textile and apparel management in the MU College of Arts and Science and lead author of the study. “The way our society operates, personal information is becoming a valuable and important commodity, and people, especially young people, are very careful with their personal information because this phenomenon is not going away any time soon.”

To reach his findings, Youn asked participants to create avatars by submitting body information such as height, weight, bra size, and body shape. After the avatar was created, participants were asked to try on the jacket virtually and take a screenshot of their avatar. Finally, they were asked about their experience and the likelihood that they would shop again virtually using the avatar.

“When participants in a study find that they have control over their own experience, they can personalize the experience and the technology is easily responsive, they are more likely to use the technology,” Youn said. “In fact, it has a direct impact on the privacy concerns that users raise.”

Youn said companies can use these findings to help inform their business models to provide better exchanges for people’s personal information, such as interactivity, ease of use, and versatility. Youn was surprised that these features had such a big impact on people’s privacy concerns.

“I know that the interactivity and positive aspects of the app will make people want to use it more,” said Youn. “However, I was surprised to learn that the level of interactivity is related to people’s privacy concerns. That has enormous implications, not only for businesses that use virtual test software, but also for businesses that use consumer information as part of their business model.”

“The privacy paradox in 3D body scanning technology: effects of 3D virtual trial experiences in the relationship between privacy concerns and mobile app adoption intentions” published in Nature: humanities and social science communication.


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