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Are Shoe Retailers Destroying Customer Experience With Inadequate Sizing Solutions?

February 8, 2024

In the ever-evolving world of online commerce, one critical challenge consistently plagues the footwear industry: high return rates. The consequences are far-reaching, impacting customer loyalty, overall experience, and, inevitably, a brand's bottom line. Recent statistics paint a concerning picture, emphasizing the urgency for innovative solutions to address this issue. According to data from a notable online and catalogue-based retailer, the return rate for footwear purchased online stands at a staggering 20.5%, while in-store returns are not far behind at 10.5%. Another player in the market, with a primary focus on shoe fitting, reports figures of 18% for online returns and a comparatively lower 4.6% for in-store purchases. These numbers underscore the severity of the challenge faced by shoe brands, highlighting the pressing need for effective interventions to curb return rates and their detrimental effects.

The Domino Effect: Return Rates and Customer Loyalty

High return rates initiate a domino effect that erodes customer loyalty, damages the overall experience, and places a strain on a brand's finances. As customers return products, trust in the brand's ability to provide a satisfactory purchase diminishes. This erosion of trust can result in a decline in customer loyalty, a crucial factor for sustained success in the competitive retail landscape.The impact on customer experience is equally profound. Lengthy return processes, confusing policies, and inconsistent sizing contribute to customer dissatisfaction. These negative experiences linger in the minds of consumers, influencing their decision-making process for future purchases. The result? A tarnished brand image and a weakened relationship with the customer.

The High Costs of High Return Rates

Beyond the immediate impact on customer loyalty and experience, high return rates inflict significant financial wounds on businesses. The costs associated with processing returns, restocking inventory, and potential product markdowns accumulate rapidly. According to industry experts, returns can cost businesses up to three times the initial shipping cost, not to mention the hidden expenses associated with labor and logistical challenges.Our extensive large-scale testing of both desktop and mobile apparel sites reveals a critical factor contributing to the high return rates: inadequate sizing information. An astonishing 83% of desktop sites and 87% of mobile sites fail to provide sufficient sizing details for users. This lack of information leaves customers in the dark, often resulting in the selection of the wrong size and subsequent returns.

Enhancing Customer Experience in the Face of High Return Rates

Amidst the challenges posed by high return rates, the focal point remains on elevating the customer experience – an aspect crucial for sustained success in the retail landscape. The traditional online shopping journey often leaves customers grappling with uncertainty about sizes, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction. This dilemma is further exacerbated by a lack of adequate sizing information on both desktop and mobile apparel sites, as indicated by our extensive testing. Customers frequently encounter difficulty in making informed decisions, resulting in an increase in return rates.Addressing this pain point is pivotal, and innovative solutions are needed to streamline the purchasing process and instill confidence in customers. A user-friendly and efficient approach to sizing is essential. By simplifying the sizing selection process, businesses can significantly enhance the overall customer experience. Whether online or in-store, customers should have access to accurate and comprehensive sizing information, reducing the likelihood of selecting the wrong size and subsequently initiating a return. This customer-centric approach not only minimizes the hassle for shoppers but also contributes to the establishment of trust and loyalty, key components for building a positive brand image in a competitive market.

StrutFit: A Game-Changing Solution

In the face of this pervasive challenge, StrutFit emerges as a game-changing solution for shoe brands worldwide. StrutFit employs cutting-edge AI-powered technology to ensure seamless and accurate footwear sizing for customers. The process is simple, with users just needing to tap the StrutFit button, take a photo, and voila – the perfect size is determined.By implementing StrutFit, shoe brands can revolutionize their approach to sizing, significantly reducing return rates and mitigating the associated costs. The automatic system remembers customer sizes, eliminating the guesswork and providing a personalized shopping experience. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also reinforces brand loyalty.StrutFit's transformative impact extends beyond mere cost reduction. It addresses the root cause of high return rates by providing customers with the tools they need to make informed sizing decisions. This, in turn, elevates the overall customer experience, fostering trust and loyalty.

Redefining the Future of Shoe Retail

In an era where customer expectations are higher than ever, the battle against high return rates is crucial for the sustained success of shoe brands. StrutFit emerges as a beacon of hope, offering an innovative solution that not only reduces return rates but also transforms the entire shopping experience. As the statistics paint a sobering picture of the current state of the industry, StrutFit stands ready to redefine the future of shoe retail by combating high return rates and ushering in a new era of customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

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