New technology offers data and analysis of U.S. body shapes

Valley View Mall Roanoke
The database was created with using wave scanner booths in 72 U.S. malls and department stores.

Technology company BodiData and global apparel business expert Alvanon have partnered to offer a new platform that reports data and analysis on the shape and size of U.S. consumers. 

Alvanon will integrate BodiData’s body dimension data into its existing demographic database. The result: Alvanon’s apparel sector analysts will have access to a database of body measurement data for more than 1 million North American men, women and adolescents. 

With this data, analysts can help brands and retailers define exact body specifications for specific demographics and target markets. This way, brands can identify new growth opportunities and update their product fit and sizing, including measurement tables, size charts, grade rules and block libraries. 

BodiData uses multisensor handheld body scanning technology for measuring fully clothed individuals. The database was created with a North American scan program, using wave scanner booths in 72 U.S. malls and department stores, resulting in the largest database for body measurements with hundreds of thousands of data points for each individual. 

The technology is perfect for the U.S. consumer population, which is one of the most ethnically and size-diverse in the world. The end goal is to help the industry to make better fitting clothing, according to Janice Wang, CEO, Alvanon. 

"Every brand should have a unique DNA 'fit' that is understood and can be replicated through every product and across the supply chain," said Wang. "However, demographic data is just data unless it is analyzed in the right context. BodiData is generating big data on U.S. consumers and growing throughout the world. Our domain expertise will enable us to analyze and help apparel brands and retailers define their DNA fit for their target consumer population. Better fit will help apparel brands maximize sell-throughs, reduce inventory, reduce returns and ultimately improve customer loyalty."

According to Ed Gribbin, president of Alvanon, analysts work to understand each retailer or brand’s specific target customer group. Then, they filter and sort the body scan data to select only the relevant population group for analysis. 

“They look at the statistical modes, means and standard deviations for key body measurements and shape characteristics individually and collectively in order to develop expert strategy recommendations for the retailer or brand,” Gribbin told FierceRetail. 

Alvanon is continually collecting and analyzing data on consumers because populations change over time. The company aims to provide its clients with the most up-to-date information to guide their business strategies. 

The handheld scan technology is still in beta test.

“It is a potentially very powerful tool for helping with shopper conversion and finding the best fit because we expect it will be relatively inexpensive, easy to use and very accurate. The goal is to perfect the technology and begin deploying it in retail locations by mid-2018,” Gribbin said.