The experience of buying clothes online is not without frustrations. Shoppers are frustrated with 1. not knowing what size to buy, 2. not knowing how something will fit someone like them. In fact, that is the reason for 70% of returns. A lot of this is driven by vanity sizing which leads to sizes varying significantly between brands. This leads to an extremely frustrating online shopping experience and alarming return rates (as high as 50%) for retailers.
Fitbay is a social network for body types. On Fitbay, shoppers connect with their ‘Body Doubles’ – people with the same height, weight and body type – to share photos of what they are wearing and discover clothes that fit. Fitbay is for men and women alike, and available on the web and as a free iPhone app. “We started Fitbay to solve a problem that we were having ourselves.” recalls Philip Wylonis, co-founder and CMO of Fitbay. He adds,”We were tired of browsing through millions of products that weren’t our size and returning products that turned out to be either the wrong size or fit. Clothing manufacturers usually design clothes for the “average” body type because that way they can appeal to the most customers. The problem is that most of us are not “average”. Some of us are tall, some are short, some are curvy, some are thin, some have wide hips, and some have narrow hips. Some of us like our clothes loose and some of us like it tight.”According to recent studies, web shops presenting user-generated photos of “real” people wearing the clothes experience 200% better conversion. In other words – selfies increase revenue and reduce returns of clothes.
Fitbay solves this age-old e-commerce problem by allowing men and women to visualize how clothes will look on a person with the exact same height, weight and body type. Fitbay is essentially a social network that turns shoppers into models, allowing them to share photos of themselves with their Body Doubles – people with the same height, weight and body type. Fitbay’s “most active” users are female users aged between 16 and 25. However, it has had an almost even distribution of male and female users so far. “That’s because the issue of finding clothes that fit is something that’s relevant to all of us. We all have our very own fit-related issues” says Philip. Most users are from the US, Canada and the UK.
“With an educational background in Digital Engineering, paired with 8 years experience with digital analytics, online marketing, public relations, and blogging, I fuel my entrepreneurial spirit with my passion for startups, analytics and all things social media. I love a challenge and takes pride in creating value that makes a real difference to people.” says Philip. Fitbay was founded by 5 people and they bootstrapped the business for half a year, spending days and nights. The dedicated founders even worked on weekends. “We started out with a mission to help people like ourselves with discovering clothes that fit – across all brands, retailers, and countries. We wanted to do this without requiring any measuring (because measuring yourself really sucks). The result is Fitbay.com.” says Philip. Fitbay got its first investment from Jesper Buch (Founder of Just-Eat) and Creandum (Early investor in Spotify). Today, Fitbay has a 16-member team – 5 founders playing the roles of CEO, CTO, CMO, CPO and Lead Developer, 9 developers and 2 marketers.
Competitors and expansion plans
Fitbay is most probably the only social networking site that connects people with similar body types. “We are quite similar to Instagram, but on Fitbay you share photos yourself wearing the clothes you love with your ‘Body Doubles’ – people with your height, weight and body type.” Philips tells us. Fitbay is still in beta and is under development. However, the team is “100% focused on getting feedback and developing the dream product”.
“Like most startups we are always growing. We just recently hit 16 co-workers at our office in Copenhagen, and are always looking for new talent.” says Philip. The founders are optimistic about growing fast. The users can look forward to a “ton of exciting announcements and features coming out over the next months.”
At the moment, Fitbay is generating a lot of referrals for web shops and it gets paid for every click it generates. In the future, there are plans to allow brands to add their products to Fitbay in order to increase our selection. This might help to negotiate better affiliate cuts.
Do visit https://fitbay.com/