Volumental, the retail solution that uses AI to drive footwear fit recommendations, is strengthening its mobile business by teaming up with Wiivv, a mobile-first brand that specializes in customized footwear.
As part of the partnership, Volumental plans to integrate its fit services with Wiivv’s digital platform to further bolster its own omnichannel strategy — and benefit its traditional retail clients.
Volumental’s technology was always designed to be used both on- and offline, though previously, customers mainly encountered the solution through physical foot scanning in-store. They would then receive immediate personalized recommendations and be able to use this data post-visit for future online purchases. The mobile-specific experience is a newer investment for the company.
“The truth of mobile is that it’s definitely going to play a large role in the future of this industry,” said Moritz Schiebold, CEO at Volumental. “It’s not clear yet how that will be, but it’s one of the areas that we’re very excited about as a company. We’ve been following Wiivv’s journey for a long period of time, and they’ve done a great job at creating something compelling for users in this space.”
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This announcement comes during the same month that the U.S. Commerce Department announced that “non-store” sales had overtaken store sales for the first time. As shoppers increasingly experience retail in a digital environment, Volumental aims to help both retailers and customers navigate this journey more easily.
Shamil Hargovan, Wiivv co-founder and CEO, agreed that in the current retail landscape, the lines between brick-and-mortar and e-commerce are increasingly blurred. “Until today, brands seeking custom fit technology had to choose whether to invest in retail or mobile, and consumers had to navigate two separate worlds,” he said. “We believe the future of consumer retail is channel agnostic.”
A central component of both companies’ work has been utilizing customer data to achieve personalized results. For Volumental, this has mostly meant helping shopkeepers find their customers the best fit within their existing product selection. Meanwhile at Wiivv, data-driven customization has always been at the heart of its business — which was a particular draw for Volumental.
“What we hear from our retail partners is that now that they’re sitting on this data from their customers, so they’re looking for new ways to use this information, and customization is a particularly popular idea,” said Schiebold.
Customization is a growing market within the footwear industry, with a number of companies dedicated to custom product entering the market in recent years. Currently, Volumental maintains that it has no interest in producing custom footwear market itself. Instead, it is focused on supplying brands with the technology they need to build out their custom footwear programs.
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