Buying clothes online is about to get a whole lot easier, thanks to Rakuten Fits Me.

Earlier this month, the innovative retail solutions company announced the launch of Fit Origin, Essential Edition – a free version of its innovative online fitting service for fashion merchants. Using the service, merchants can provide their online customers with an alternative to traditional sizing charts, in the form of a personalized sizing recommendation. Customers can specify their height, weight, age, bust and body shape to have the recommendation engine determine the best possible fit for each of the merchant’s garments.

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Clothes sizing has always been a sticking point for online fashion retailers. While the e-commerce industry as a whole has seen blistering growth over the past two decades, many shoppers hesitate with fashion, citing uncertainty about size as the reason. According to research conducted by Rakuten Fits Me, some 86% of shoppers feel that finding the right fit online is a gamble.

“The fact is you can’t reduce all the infinite variations in possible body size and shape to the numbers in a size chart,” says Rakuten Fits Me Executive Board Member Stuart Simms. “Women change clothes size 31 times during their lifetime. The way in which women naturally add and lose weight dramatically changes their clothes size.”

But it’s not just the generic nature of size charts that presents problems. Different brands using the same measurement charts often stray significantly from one another in size and fit, meaning a “size 12” in one brand might mean something different in another. “Even if shoppers are confident about the brand, they often aren’t sure whether the clothes they’re buying will fit,” Simms says. “Size charts are an archaic way of doing things. Shoppers become a number, and we think that’s wrong.”

Fit Origin’s strengths lie in its ability to take care of the heavy lifting for fashion merchants by determining the best fit for each of their customers. Retailers simply need to add some HTML to their websites and upload their garment data, which is then processed by Fits Me before going live.

Simms says the service is a huge step forward for fashion merchants looking to boost their customer satisfaction and slash product return rates. “If you can really understand the size and fit of your consumers, you can reduce returns dramatically and increase profitability.”

With the launch of Fit Origin, Essential Edition, the company is recognizing the demands of a market in dire need of a solution to the “sizing crisis.” Offering a free version of the market’s leading fit recommendation platform promises to empower fashion retailers from all corners of the internet with the tools to cater to the unique dimensions of each and every customer.

Relative to e-commerce as a whole, online fashion shopping has yet to seriously take off. But with Fit Origin now freely available to the entire industry, that might just be about to change.