Simply everything can be bought online nowadays. From mass production products to specific niche products. However, about a third of all online transactions are returned (1). Buying online can result in certain disadvantages compared to buying in an actual store, one of which is the impossibility to physically hold the product, which can in the case of online clothing retailers, result in product returns. E-commerce clothing retailers like Zalando and Wehkamp.nl use a lot of different kind of recommendations to help the customers make satisfactory choices.
When buying clothes online, a customer can not try the article behind his/her computer screen. A customer will not know if the fabric is what the customer wants or how the product will actually look when he/she wears it. Does it look fancy? Slobby? Casual? Formal? And most of all, a customer will never be sure if the clothing actually fits unless he/she tries it on. This disadvantage has to do with the fact that clothing is an experience product characterized by the attributes that need to be experienced before the purchase, like taste, softness or fit (2). According to Xiao and Benbasat (2007), the use of recommendation agents influences the choice of users to a greater extent in the case of these products. What kind of recommendation agents do Zalando and Wehkamp.nl actually have to help customers choose? Continue reading Experiencing clothes behind a computer screen