Y.-A. Lee, "Exploring Consumer Perceptions Toward the Use of Me-Ality Body Scanner for Clothing Selection in U.S. Shopping Malls", in Proc. of 4th Int. Conf. on 3D Body Scanning Technologies, Long Beach CA, USA, 2013, pp. 372-378, http://dx.doi.org/10.15221/13.372.
Exploring Consumer Perceptions toward the Use of Me-Ality Body Scanner for Clothing Selection in U.S. Shopping Malls
Iowa State University, Ames (IA), USA
The purpose of this exploratory study was to gain knowledge about consumer perceptions toward the use of 3D body scanning technology for their clothing selection. The specific objectives were: 1) to explore U.S. consumer's clothing fit and sizing issues, 2) to understand the level of consumer satisfaction about his/her current clothing fit; 3) to explore the consumer perceptions for the use of the Me-Ality body scanner; and 4) to examine the consumer's level of motivation to use this technology in the future. A convenience sample of 18 consumers was recruited from two of the purposefully chosen U.S. Midwestern shopping malls that equipped Me-Ality scanners providing sizing recommendations to consumers based on their body scan. After the completion of their Me-Ality body scan experience, potential study participants were asked to complete survey questionnaires to understand their usage of this technology to find better-fitted clothing during their shopping experiences. Participant's ages ranged from 18 to 28. The sample consisted of 39% of males and 61% of females, and 72.2% of White European Americans and 27.8% of African American. The majority resided in the Midwest (94.4%) and had attended at least some college (77.8%). Both quantitative and qualitative data analyses were used for this study. The results of this study indicate that most participants were satisfied with their current clothing fit while recognizing apparel sizing was different among brands. Waist, pant length, and the bust for females were common areas of fit dissatisfaction, with participants often commenting that proper fitting jeans and pants were the clothing that were most difficult to find. Although participants were mostly neutral about the perceived usefulness of body scanning, almost all believed the scanning process and body scanner were easy to use. The frequent reasons for participants to use the scanner were to check their right clothing size, for fun, and because another person asked them to try the body scanning. Participants had an overall positive opinion of 3D body scanning and expressed their interest to use this technology in the future, especially obtaining their accurate sizing information in a retail store setting. During the data collection, researchers observed that the employees operating the Me-Ality scanners had to try to convince people walking by to stop and do a scan. One worker commented the most challenging part was getting people to stop and do it saying, "Most people don't know what the body scanner is, so they don't want to try it." Many of the Me-Ality customers were children and teenagers who were at the malls for leisure purposes and had the time to devote to the scanning process. Since young people have been found to be more technologically oriented, further research should be done in this age group. Further research is also recommended on other Me-Ality consumers in other geographic locations to provide a more representative population. With more consumer awareness and accessible locations, 3D body scanning technology could become more prevalent in the everyday consumer shopping experience.
3d body scanning, clothing, consumer perception, Me-Ality
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