- As retailers and brands seek virtual fitting tools, Volumental, a shoe-fitting technology company, has introduced its self-service foot scanners that use AI to measure shoppers’ feet and provide shoe recommendations, the company announced on Thursday.
- The company said it will partner with select retailers around the world this year to launch the product after testing it with Under Armour, according to the press release.
- The company will introduce its dedicated self-service scanners in co-branded spaces within partnering retailers. At the scanning stations, customers can follow the instructions and receive personalized size recommendations for the ideal shoes nearly instantly, per the press release.
The collaboration with Under Armour and other retailers is part of Volumental’s effort to launch within select sporting Good retailers, outlet malls and brand warehouses this year. In a statement, the company said the use of its software cut in-store returns by a quarter and boosted the average transaction by 32.5%.
“Having worked with footwear retailers across different store formats, service environments and staffing models, we realized the need for a self-service enabled shopping experience that is both innovative and easy to use for shoppers,” Alper Aydemir, CEO of Volumental, said in a statement. “This solution takes the guesswork out of the whole fitting experience and helps shoppers make smarter and faster purchase decisions with better fit outcomes. The personalized recommendations create a more engaging customer experience, allow retailers to manage inventory in a much smarter way and help solve the huge returns issue facing the industry.”
For the past few years, activewear brands have been experimenting with shoe-fitting technology. In 2018, Brooks Running Company launched its personalized running footwear collection as part of its partnership with HP and Superfeet. To create customized shoes, the shoe company has used Superfeet’s 3D printing technology. In a similar move, Nike unveiled its Nike Fit tool, which assists shoppers in finding the available shoe range for the brand’s products and factors in the performance goals and preferences.
Meanwhile, other retailers and brands have partnered with providers to offer the service to their customers. In July 2021, Tailored Brands expanded its partnership with Bold Metrics to use its AI-fitting technology across more than 650 Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank locations. Plus, Victoria’s Secret & Co. announced its partnership in November 2022 with NetVirta to implement 3D scanning technology for virtual bra fittings.
But as more brands and retailers adopt virtual fitting technologies, some consumers are worried about how their data is used. A Cisco consumer privacy survey found that consumers want companies to disclose how they use the information they collect.