Online shopping is becoming a necessity rather than luxury for many consumers as the coronavirus crisis continues to mount. While footwear can be challenging for some to purchase online due to fit issues, comfort brands also face the issue of communicating a products’ features and benefits through a virtual experience.
Here, brands discuss the innovative ways they are relaying their brand’s comfort message and technologies online.
Holly Campbell, VP marketing, Caleres
“Bringing a shoe to life online is critical so we’ve enhanced the quality of our photography and added more engaging head-to-toe shots as well as detailed product copy to show the consumer how she can style her wardrobe. Since Naturalizer is known for fit, we offer shoppers the True Fit platform that catalogs every pair to help them quickly and easily select their size with confidence. While we’ve always relied on our customers’ word-of-mouth reviews to grow our business, their sentiments now echo exponentially in the digital age through shared content. In the past year, we’ve had enormous success connecting with new audiences via various digital platforms.”
Shanya Perera, VP marketing, Easy Spirit
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“Our web business mimics the in-store experience, but uses technology to go beyond. We created the Easy Support System, a badging program that makes it easier to shop by features and benefits. We’ve developed a community of women called the Comfort Zone. Through their Facebook engagement and reviews, we work to address their feedback. As a result, this season, we’re launching three new collections: Easy Spirit Cushioning System with triple the comfort benefits, as well as Easy Eco, made with recyclable materials, and Easy Pro, for professionals on their feet all day. We’re always evolving ways to showcase the brand’s features and benefits, from videos to gifs, we highlight in advertising, social media and on-site. Some of our best-selling styles have thousands of five-star reviews that we showcase.”
Larry Schwartz, CEO, Aetrex Worldwide
We offer product and technology videos, consumer ratings and reviews, illustrations of our proprietary arch support and 3D animations of select products. In addition, we recently launched FitHQ, a section within our Albert foot-scanning software, available in-store and online. The program uses artificial intelligence to integrate shoe data and foot measurement data to determine the best shoes for a customer’s foot type and the ideal size to wear in that particular shoe, making it possible to find the right fit the first time. Shoppers can access [personal] shoe recommendations from a desktop, tablet, phone or software in store.”
Andy Jacobs CEO, Stegmann USA
“Our website is an opportunity to explain the nuances of Stegmann regarding fit, materials and foot health. Consumers today have the opportunity to be more educated about brands and products before they walk into a store, and the online exposure allows us to do a lot of the legwork before they get there. We post consumer reviews of all items, as well as answers to [consumers’] product questions. There’s a FAQ section that we continue to build on that goes deep into fit and function as it relates to foot health. For real-time help, we offer online chats, as well as messaging through Facebook and Instagram. This helps us engage with [customers] in real-time to answer questions and direct them to a nearby dealer when one is available.
Evert Rotteveel, Director of Marketing, Ecco
“We present how-to-wear videos highlighting our technology, along with product pages listing our fit features and benefits. We dedicate consumer emails and display ads for key technologies, share consumer reviews online as well as with our wholesale partners, and post Instagram content. We also provide extensive product training to our customer service teams to better support product-related inquiries.”
(Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the March 16, 2020 print edition of Footwear News.)
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