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Gap Inc. just bought a 3D avatar company so customers can virtually try on clothing

Drapr is the first acquisition announced through Gap’s Strategic Growth Office, which aims to invest in startups that can transform the company’s brands.

Gap Inc. just bought a 3D avatar company so customers can virtually try on clothing

Online shopping is one of the best conveniences that the digital age has brought about. No more running to the crowded store or fighting for a parking space. Just click and you’re done. At least that’s how it is for most products you buy online. Buying clothing online is different—and for many, it’s more inconvenient than going clothes shopping in a store.

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Why? Because the clothing we buy online often doesn’t fit as well, or it doesn’t look as good as we expected based on its online images. This leads to customer dissatisfaction and returned items, which can be pricey for any company.

Gap Inc. is hoping to address this painful point with its acquisition of Drapr, a 3D avatar and e-commerce startup. Drapr was part of the Y Combinator class of summer 2020, and its technology allows customers to quickly create accurate 3D avatars of themselves, which they can dress in the clothes they’re interested in buying. This allows customers to judge how the clothing could look and fit on their own body before ever clicking the “buy” button.

Announcing the acquisition, Sally Gilligan, chief growth transformation officer at Gap, said, “Fit is the number one point of friction for customers and, through their advanced 3D technology, Drapr has shown it can help shoppers efficiently find the size and fit they need. We plan to leverage Drapr to help Gap Inc. improve the fit experience for our customers and accelerate our ongoing digital transformation.”

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Gap’s acquisition of Drapr is notable for another reason beyond the cool tech aspects of a virtual fitting room. Drapr is the first acquisition the company has announced through its Strategic Growth Office. The SGO aims to seek out modestly priced investments in startups that could help transform Gap and its associated brands, which include Old Navy and Banana Republic.

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About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com

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