Why Footwear Businesses Need to Better Understand Their Customers

Footwear businesses are looking to boost in-store experiences, expand omnichannel efforts and find out what makes customers tick in order to drive sales.

Integral to all of these brands and retailers’ efforts is a holistic view on the consumer, according to experts at audit, tax and consulting services provider RSM US LLP.

When asked about his top tips for those in the shoe industry right now, Matt Talcoff — partner and national consumer products tax leader — said it’s all about figuring out who is the customer. This is especially significant, he noted, in light of the recent South Dakota v. Wayfair outcome.

“The customer not only influences the products a company may manufacture, or how and where they sell and market their products, but it may also impact how something such as the Wayfair decision affects the way their business operates,” he said. “If a company doesn’t know in which taxing jurisdiction they’re selling their products and for how much, then they may not realize how much Wayfair could impact their business. Knowing their customer is key because how, where, what, when and why they shop can have business implications.”

Carol Lapidus, national consumer products leader and also a partner at RSM US LLP, added that as the worlds of audit, tax and consulting change, the firm’s relationships continue to evolve. “Our clients are asking for us to continue to be more consultative,” she said. “We are truly acting as business advisers.”

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