Shoppers visiting NewBalance.com might notice a change in the website’s appearance — plus a new tool that can help them find better-fitting shoes from the brand.
Today, New Balance announced that it has unveiled a “strategic website redesign” as more consumers move from in-store shopping to digital channels amid the COVID-19 health crisis. The new site — built by Deloitte Digital and powered by Salesforce Commerce Cloud — includes new aesthetic elements like larger imagery and editorial-style layouts, paired with technical advancements aimed at helping improve user experience even during peak e-commerce activity.
According to the sportswear brand, NewBalance.com now operates with a site speed that is 35% faster than its previous version.
“Our customer is at the core of every decision we make,” SVP of direct-to-consumer Damien Leigh said in a statement. “When we decided to move our flagship store online, it was imperative that the shift not only maintained but improved upon the level of service we strive to provide for each and every athlete.”
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In addition to back-end enhancements, the website features a new Running Shoe Finder, which was developed to mirror the in-store experience of getting personalized fittings from associates. The online tool asks five questions — including what the customer’s running style is, on what terrain they prefer to run and the type of cushioning they want in a shoe — to provide tailored recommendations. It also asks shoppers whether they overpronate — a movement in which the foot rolls too far inward when one walks or runs, which can bring pain or discomfort to the insides of ankles, shins and knees.
“The New Balance customer has an authentic, uncompromising drive for excellence, and it was important to infuse the same spirit into the new website,” added Deloitte Digital principal Simon McLain. “We collaborated across multiple practices to create an interface that is swift, responsive and intuitive — fostering the customer’s desire to remain fearlessly independent while offering personalized support at key moments of the shopping experience.”
As it continues to steer shoppers online, the coronavirus pandemic has forced brands and retailers of all sizes to shift or accelerate their digital strategies. Many firms have outfitted their brick-and-mortar stores with autonomous options like cashierless checkout and have begun using their locations as fulfillment centers for last-mile deliveries. Meanwhile, buy online, pick-up in store services like curbside pickup have also gained significant traction.
New Balance’s announcement comes a day before FN will present the company with the 2020 Athletic Brand of the Year Award at its first-ever virtual FN Achievement Awards. It has broken barriers this year with new silhouettes, including the retro-futuristic marriage that is the 327, and reissued classics like the 992. It has also introduced a repertoire of new collaborations, such as those with Casablanca and Staud.