More Width Options Would Benefit Shoe Brands


Citing research from its scans of two million U.S. footwear customers at more than 600 retail stores over more than four years, Volumental suggests a lack of data-driven design and manufacturing is hurting most footwear brands today.

The average U.S. foot size is 11 for men and 9 for women. However, only 40 percent of this group fits a “medium” width. As the number of available shoe widths for a specific style increases, so does the potential customer base for the shoe, the Swedish company determined.

“Retailers know the benefits of leveraging their customer data for personalization efforts from marketing to supply chain to inventory management. But many footwear brands are not incorporating basic data into the design of their footwear,” said Ales Jurca, VP of Footwear Research at Volumental.

The company recently launched Volumental Engage, a marketing personalization platform that enables footwear retailers to execute on their respective omnichannel strategy and build e-commerce experiences, promotional marketing content and loyalty program. Notable platform features include personalized promotion email based on a customer’s 3-D foot profile, training and activity level and time passed since a last purchase; a personalized page for customers with shoe fit-based recommendations and online “shoe tags” that shoe fit information, including how a particular style fits common foot types.

“We believe this method of personalization will change how the footwear industry markets its products and also how shoppers will interact with retailers,” Alper Aydemir, Volumental’s co-founder, said in a statement.

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