SINGAPORE – We have all increased the amount of shopping online since the Coronavirus outbreak, which also means that we have all bought something online only to find that when it arrives, it is totally the wrong size, or the style actually makes us uncomfortable. So what can we do about it? When it came to pre-COVID shopping, we dropped into a store to try something on, right? But if you’re shopping at an online-only brand, what do you do?
This is where the new company Pixibo has stepped in to help. Instead of ordering - and paying for - three different sizes of a garment and then having to send it back and fight for a refund on the two sizes that don’t fit, Pixibo will basically do it for you. You choose the items on a particular website you want to buy, but instead of shipping them to your home, you have them sent to the Pixibo Fit Centre, where you can try them on. You only need to pay for the item you actually want to buy, i.e. the one that fits. If you decide you don’t want any of the items, then Pixibo will organise to return them to the original retailer.
“We don’t pay upfront to try on a pair of jeans in a mall, so why do we do it online? While we are all well versed with the benefits of e-commerce, buying and selling fashion online has always come with the added challenge of trying to get the fit right without trying on the product. For close to two decades, the online fashion industry has operated on a pay upfront model,” explains Rohit Kumar, CEO and Co-Founder of Pixibo.
“Pay full price, get a bunch of clothes sent to your home. Then, if it doesn’t suit you or doesn’t fit you, maybe you can apply for a refund? [But] you’ll have to check if you are eligible for a refund. And [the retailers are] also hoping that perhaps you won’t go through the hassle of returns and end up just keeping it even if you’re not going to wear it.
“This is unnatural. Physical retail store operators wouldn’t think of charging shoppers before going into the fitting rooms. Try Before You Buy (TBYB) changes all of that. We wanted to create a checkout product that was purpose-built for the needs of online fashion shopping, an inherently physical/experience-based activity.”
According to Mr Kumar, the “primary benefit for shoppers is the ability to pay only after they know for sure if the product fits them and suits them. This is a game-changer for online fashion and removes the risk and stress out of buying apparel online”.
“Pixibo's Try Before You Buy (TBYB) service is the exact midpoint between online fashion and offline retail. All of the things we love about online fashion combined with all of the things we love about offline retail. But most of all, it's a coalition. It's a coalition of like-minded brands, technology companies, shipping and logistics companies, payment providers and mall operators,” Mr Kumar explains.
On top of the convenience and benefits to the shoppers, the Pixibo TBYB system also has a sustainable component integrated into the way it functions.
“The fashion industry as a whole is incredibly aware of the very serious environmental challenges that face us. Most of the leading brands in this sector are already making great strides in reducing their impact on the environment through various measures from reducing water consumption at the production stage to all the way down the chain by encouraging resale and building on the circular economy,” says Mr Kumar.
“As a B2B enabler for online fashion brands, we play a small but important role in reducing the CO2 emissions per order. For example, all Try Before You Buy orders are consolidated and fulfilled by Pixibo, eliminating last-mile trips. We’ve also completely removed single-use plastics from our packaging, switching to reusable cloth bags instead.
“TBYB orders move from a Pixibo warehouse to a Pixibo Fit Centre; on a per order basis, we reduce CO2 emissions by about 70 per cent.”
To try the Pixibo TBYB service, go to wearepixibo.com/trybeforeyoubuy. Brands include Tove & Libra, Twosisters, eco brand Kibo, and Peachi. The Pixibo Fit Centre is located at #02-42, The Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road, Singapore 238843.