Jamillah is the UK Editor for The Next Web. She's based in London. You can hear her on BBC Radio 5Live's Outriders. Follow on Twitter @jemi Jamillah is the UK Editor for The Next Web. She's based in London. You can hear her on BBC Radio 5Live's Outriders. Follow on Twitter @jemimah_knight or drop a line to [email protected]
With most purchases online you have a sense of the proportions of what you are buying, many things come with standard measurements and you can make a judgement based on that alone.
There are other items that can be a little tricky to gauge and you might end up taking delivery of an item you don’t really want.
LifeSizer is hoping to help shoppers and retailers sort this all out with a scaling tool that should make things easier when size really does matter.
The product allows sites to display products in actual life size in any browser or on mobile.
Since web browsers can’t detect the physical dimensions of the monitor, it’s not easy to display images in actual size. E-commerce sites, product review blogs and other sites dealing with physical products, can use LifeSizer image viewer to communicate the actual physical size of products.
Retailers or people who wish to present items as actual size can paste in a bit of code to create an option on their site to add a ‘view in life size’ link that pops up when clicked on.
From there it’s a bit fiddly the first time, but face it, we don’t need to measure everything we want to buy. When a reader or shopper clicks on the life size link, a pop up shows options with fairly common items that can be held against the screen for comparison.
Match up the size and there you have it, the items you were looking for show up in their natural proportions.
It’s unlikely you’d need this service all the time, but getting an idea of scale when shopping online is certainly useful. As with many good ideas, Lifesizer emerged after facing a problem. CEO and founder of LifeSizer, Peter Hulst was buying earrings for his wife.
“Even though the site provided the dimensions, I couldn’t get a good sense for how big or small the earrings actually were and it wasn’t clear to me how they would actually look,” he says. “Once I received them, they were larger than I expected and too large for my wife’s taste, so I had to return them. I figured this couldn’t be an isolated incident and that many consumers shopping for all sorts of other products and industries face the same challenge. I knew there had to be a better way.”
The service is not free, but there is a scale for sites from micro to huge depending on how they might like to use the code and on how many products. Prices range from $25 to $1,500 or more if you really do have thousands of items for scaling.
Hopefully fewer items will be returned to online stores if customers can access this type of information.
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