Joining other companies in buying fit tech startups, Gap announced on Thursday it has acquired Drapr, an e-commerce startup that uses 3D virtual try-on technology. The company helps shoppers find clothing that suits their body type and personal style, per the announcement.
Sally Gilligan, chief growth transformation officer at Gap Inc., said in a statement that the company plans to use Drapr’s technology to improve the fitting experience for shoppers and give its digital evolution an extra push. Gilligan noted that finding accurate fit remains a problem for its customers that, hopefully, Drapr’s 3D technology can solve.
Gap Inc.’s Strategic Growth Office, a division that looks for investments that can catalyze growth across its subsidiaries, brokered the deal with Drapr, the company said.
Now that Gap Inc. is integrating Drapr’s technology into its digital customer experience, it joins other companies like Walmart and Snapchat that have acquired virtual-fitting tech startups, too.
In May, MySizeID debuted its avatar feature, which allows users to create avatars of their bodies for virtual fittings. For Walmart, the acquisition may be part of its effort to improve the perception of its fashion and to alleviate returns.
The company also noted that the Drapr might reduce returns if the technology could help shoppers find the right fit. Last year, amid the pandemic-induced e-commerce spike, a National Retail Federation and Appriss Retail report said online returns doubled from 2019 to 2020. For retailers, reducing returns could alleviate the cost associated with them and limit environmental damage.
Gap Inc. has been making several moves to attract new customers across its subsidiary brands.
In addition to the Drapr acquisition, the company’s Strategic Growth Office was also one of the investors in the most recent funding round for Obé fitness, a digital fitness platform. Obé fitness and Gap Inc’s Athleta will collaborate on its AthletaWell community platform through clothing, content, events, and shopping experiences, according to the announcement.
This month, the company also announced the launch of the Bodequality initiative, which aims to make the Old Navy brand more size-inclusive. As part of the effort, Old Navy will offer sizes 0-30 and XS-4X for its women’s clothing, group all of its sizes together and revamp its fit process and sizing standards, per the press release.
“With the launch of Bodequality, we reinvented our fit process at Old Navy to give women greater confidence in their clothes, no matter the size,” Nancy Green, president & CEO of Old Navy, said in a statement. “Drapr’s technology will help us continue to build on this expertise and deliver a more personalized and inclusive fit experience for all of our customers by showing them how an item will actually look on their body while also recommending the best fit for them based on their individual preferences.”