Martin + Osa Launches Shop-By-Outfit + Video

Martin + Osa ModelsOur VP of Innovation, Jason Billingsley has a key eye for new ecommerce trends and will be presenting a full hour’s worth of innovations in a webinar 9 Ecommerce Innovations: What’s Now & What’s Next. It’s happening June 19th so mark your calendars.

Jason tipped me off about a new website launched in April for Martin + Osa, a spin-off of American Eagle Outfitters, that has built a full-motion video merchandising area called “Shop by Outfit.”

M+O stylists have put outfits together that customers can buy all at once, and the outfits are shown on real models that move around as you view the page. You can zoom in by rolling over an image, and the model does a 360 degree spin so you get a feel for what the outfit looks like (well, on the perfect model anyway).

If you click to refine your outfit results to just “Moonlight,” “Seashore” or “Sunshine,” (which I don’t see serving much purpose), the girls whose outfits don’t fit your criteria gingerly walk out of the scene.

Martin and Osa Shop By Look

Shopping by outfit can save a shopper time as traditionally, one would need to navigate to different categories and add items individually. And by choosing from pre-selected sets, the fashionably clueless get some ideas of how to dress.

Shoppers can also build their own outfits using “Layer Your Own Look,” (link removed, feature no longer exists) which turns traditional site navigation on its head – essentially you can shop multiple categories without leaving a page, and see how items “work” together. Looks can be saved for a future visit or added to the shopping bag for checkout.

More and more fashion retailers are adding some form of “shop by look” merchandising. Other stores include Rampage, Lacoste and Arden B (a quick search for “shop by look” in Google gives you more examples). When you click on a look, you see all the items listed individually on the same page, so you can check off the items you want. The problem with this is you navigate away from the look unless you’re savvy enough to open a new tab or window to hold your place. Martin + Osa smartly uses AJAX to show detail without navigating away from the page:

Look Detail

Item Detail 1

Product details can be viewed by switching tabs. The tabs may be too subtle here to notice, but it does help pack more information in a smaller space.

Item detail 2

M+O also provides detailed product images that show extreme close-up views of fabrics, pockets and other item details.

For most online merchants, this type of rich media investment simply is too expensive to implement. But as more and more large retailers add video and Flash applications to their e-stores, customers are going to become more spoiled and will expect to see 360 degree product views, products in context (clothing on people) and very detailed product images. This is reasonably easy to implement for any retailer using static images. Though this is also not cheap, it’s far less expensive than what M+O has done.

It’s also important for any retailer who does use a “shop by look” approach to allow customers to see cross-sell detail information without clicking away from the look page.

A side note: as I mentioned in my interview with Rich Page, American Eagle has one of my favorite navigation menus in terms of design, placement and usability. I’m happy to see Martin + Osa doing the same.

M+O Navigation


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8 Responses to “Martin + Osa Launches Shop-By-Outfit + Video”

  1. Ebun says:

    In regards to the full motion modeling feature, are you aware of knickerpicker.com (lingerie) and their video modeling?

    http://www.knickerpicker.com/dressing-room.asp

    They use video to allow you to see lingerie on a model and then control the spinning (180 degrees at a time) and walking of said model.

  2. Yeah I’ve seen that, but the problem with using models is they have nothing to do with how the items will actually look on the customer’s body (for both M+O and knicker picker)

  3. BUT, KP has 5 different body types for models so it is as good as it is going to get – and they have expanded into other clothing areas now too. Don’t get me started on virtual fitting rooms – that is the biggest waste of technology investment – virtual clothes on a virtual body, come on.

  4. BUTT…(no pun intented, maybe just a little)

    They’re still 5 models’ bodies. Everything is going to look good on them. You can’t even figure out what size the models are, you have to eyeball and guess. Plus they’re tall so when you get into clothing it’s even harder to judge fit – how long are the legs and torso?

    You’re right though, it’s as good as it’s going to get because aside from a user uploading a picture of themselves and pasting the clothes on (far to expensive to implement) or uploading every possible body type and doing photoshoots with them (like that’s gonna happen) this is as good as it gets.

    Personally, I would never rely on KP or similar feature to shop online for myself other than to get an idea of the item’s front and back views rather than the garment all flat. What I think M+O’s advantage is that it’s a merchandising tool, it shows various items put together that can all be purchased at once, rather than “this is how x, y and z are going to look on you”

    I would like to give Intellifit a try, though. That’s probably the best way to know if something fits. http://www.getelastic.com/virtual-fitting-room-clothing-retailer-video-demonstration/

  5. So are we proposing retailers list models measurements?

  6. Well in KP they say “click a model in your size” and you see these thumbnails that look VERY similar with no size guide, you have to guess – not measurements but UK 6/8/10/12/14/16 or US 2/4/6/8/10/12 would help.

    Unless they do show it and I completely overlooked it?

  7. Very often features which are very nice and look like great make the website loading for 2 minutes. Then it is really wrong way.

  8. [...] Blog post: Martin + Osa Launches Shop-By-Outfit + Video [...]

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