How One Tech Startup Is Helping Footwear Firms Make Better-Fitting Size Recommendations

Many brands and retailers are launching technologies aimed at helping shoppers find shoes that fit and, in doing so, foster customer loyalty and cut down on the number of returns.

Usizy, a size technology platform based in Miami, is one of those that wants to make it easier to find the best-fitting shoe, using the best big data and latest technology .

Through its Smart Business digital ecosystem, retailers can access four functions: Size Adviser, Smart Stock, Smart Logistics and Smart Pricing. These tools collect data from the user and then makes recommendations to the retailer for better inventory management, product transportation and price adjustment. That, according to Usizy executives, will help maximize the retailer’s returns.

But the main feature is Size Adviser, which draws from Usizy’s database of product measurements and fit information, and uses algorithms to recommend exact sizes for online shoppers. By accessing the data of thousands of products, retailers can gain deeper insight than if they just looked at their own footwear collections.

“Isomorphism, the heart of Usizy’s technology, means that Usizy’s machine detects when shoe models across different brands are identical or very similar,” said Iñaki Garcia, co-founder and CEO of Usizy. “Through isomorphism, Usizy has well over 10,000 data validations in order to offer a truly accurate size recommendation.”

Shoe shopping
Shoe shopping is easy when you know the size of your foot, but a lack of standard size measurements can make this difficult.
CREDIT: Cultura/Shutterstock

Correct fit has gained more attention in recent years.

Several companies such as Volumental and Aetrex have developed foot-scanning technologies that can measure the dimensions of a customer’s foot. However, this technology is particularly suited to digital shoppers (and e-commerce firms) who want to avoid the physical process of a scan.

Footwear, in particular, is vulnerable to incorrect sizing, due to the lack of standardization across the industry. Many retail size guides are inaccurate or outdated, leaving the customer unsure of the right option. The customer might choose to buy two pairs, with the goal of returning the one that doesn’t fit. But that places a strain on the retailer — they have to temporarily take the product out of inventory and they also incur additional processing costs.

Statista forecast that return deliveries would cost $550 billion by 2020 in the U.S. alone.

Other outcomes include the customer ordering the wrong size — an experience that often pushes them to never buy from that retailer again.

With Usizy’s platform, the company said that retailers generally see returns reduced by an average of 25%, an increase of 20% in conversion rates and about a 3% lift in customer loyalty.

“Every day that footwear e-commerce companies still use Size Charts, they are losing at least 5% of their business online,” said Garcia. “Soon, size guides won’t exist and retailers who don’t provide a personalized, user-friendly shopping experience won’t be able to compete.”

Watch the video below to see how e-commerce brand Allbirds is succeeding:

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