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3 free ways to explain sizing to grow your online shoe sales

Posted by Monica Nastase on Mar 13, 2019 1:26:10 PM
Monica Nastase

3 ways footwear brands explain sizing 

Getting your customers to understand your brand's sizing is a tough job.

But not doing it will cost you time and money. A lot of it.

Insecurity about your brand's sizing leads to fewer conversions, driving up customer acquisitIon costs.

Giving no guidance on this or hoping that your brand will be "true to size" is simply not an option for today's shoppers. These are three (almost) free ways to make sure that sizing is not a barrier to grow your online sales.


1. A clean size chart

Bildschirmfoto 2019-02-26 um 23.43.52Most footwear brands start with building a size chart, but that is harder than it sounds. If you have ever put time and effort into researching size charts, you know there is no consistency among them.

Here are a few general aspects to keep in mind:

  • Each international sizing scale has different jumps between sizes, meaning they are not linear. For example, when you map EU and US sizes, at some point you will have to skip one European size or have two US sizes.
  • Size charts are mainly useful to convert between international scales.
  • Don't guesstimate the foot length for each size. Don't ask people to measure their feet. Ask your customers to look up their size in a smiliar shoe model to the one they want to buy from your brand.
  • Don't average your brand's sizing across styles. Each style or category may have a different sizing particularity.


Keep in mind that creating a size chart is not suitable for all footwear brands. Sneakerheads and shoe lovers know how to read size charts, but they are not clear for everyone. For sneakers, people tend to use the Japanese sizing scale to compare models. 

If you want to take it one step further, a good tactic is to compare your brand to a handful of other brands that your customers might already wear. 

Make sure you update those tables every season or at least verify your tables. You might introduce new styles or sizing guidelines and your competitor brands.

However, not all shoe shoppers will find a size chart useful, most of them will find one quite confusing. This is why you might want to look into steps 2 and 3.


2. Simple sizing guidelines

It is tempting to publish as much information about sizing as possible, but statistics show that the less the better.

Over 90% of people who consult long size charts and guidelines with 5+ steps on how to measure the foot will simply not finalize a purchase. That is because there is too much information, either confusing or too time consuming.

So keep it straightforward and use direct language. Some good examples are "Pick your usual EU size in sport shoes" or "if you are unsure between to sizes, pick the larger one". In the picture on the right, there is a bad example with confusing information.

Typically, online shoppers will spend about 30 seconds to 2 minutes to pick their size and gather information. Provide short and sweet guidance to be useful and drive conversions.

Slide6 Kopie-1

Sure, this method of using sizing guidelines will not help all your customers, as people might not be familiar with international size scales or will think it is still a wild guess.




A live chat can be helpful to clarify additional questions and to personalise your customers' shopping experience. Most questions are about sizing and (return) shipping, so make your live chat bot really knows about that! 

Intelligent chat software can be set up to pop open when someone visits your product page. Make it really about sizing and use catch phrases "First time buying {insert your brand}? We are here to help you pick the right size 24/7. Chat with us". 

Make sure that your customer service personnel is well trained and available during main business hours across different time zones. Ideally have them wear your brand's shoes to give some subjective advice and provide guidance on how your brand's sizing compares to other shoes on the market.

Responding accurately and quickly can raise your shoppers' confidence. However, if they end up purchasing the wrong size shoes, stats show that 80% of first time shoppers will never return on an e-commerce. So make sure offering sizing advice is taken seriously by the people sitting behind the chat.


While method 1 and 2 often leave the average buyer behind and hurt your conversion rate, a chat service can be a more effective way to start.


If you are heavily relying on your online sales, are an exclusively online footwear brand or are planning to grow your online sales or growing fast you probably want to focus your resources on other tasks than answering sizing questions, updating charts and re-convincing disappointed customers opting for product exchanges. If this sounds like you, read about how AI technology can provide your customers with fast and accurate sizing help when (and only when) they need it.

Learn how footwear brand LLOYD increased their net revenue by €70.000 in 6 months.

Download The Case Study


Topics: shoe size tool, sizing charts, online shoe shopping