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A Quick Fix To Boost Online Footwear Profits Right Now: Sizing

Posted by Matthew Howarth on Sep 23, 2019 4:35:20 PM
Matthew Howarth

Let's be honest - any time is a good time to make more money. As we move into the final sprint before Christmas, you might be wondering how you can make small changes to boost online footwear profits before seasonal sales and special offers absorb all of your attention.

We have a suggestion: focus on sizing. 

This article identifies 5 situations where shoe sizing could be playing a villainous role in your business, stealing profits and reducing revenue, possibly without you even noticing. Take a look and see if any of these situations apply to you. Although we don’t like to say it, if you’re not already using ShoeSizeMe, at least a couple are probably a bugbear for your business. Read on to discover how and why you are being affected by these issues and what you can do to boost your online footwear profits today.

Sizing problems are stealing your profits! How?

Online shoppers aren’t converting

hesitant shopper - how to boost online footwear profits - ShoeSizeMe

Online customers are flighty types - it takes only the smallest thing to send them running from the checkout. A customer can be 5% or 95% of the way through a purchase process and the thought that they might not get the right size (Blisters! Squashed toes! Bunions!) will see them abandon their cart in record time. With the more challenging customers who always have things in their basket but never follow-through - they have the intention to buy but choose not to pre-emptively out of fear that the shoes won’t fit - major revenues that would typically be lost can be unlocked if you simply get your sizing game right.

Do you know who really hates sore feet? Nurses. One of the best-converting shoe brands around is Cherokee Footwear, which specializes in workwear and nursing uniforms. Their conversion rate is an astonishing 33% compared to the industry average of 13%. Since nurses will buy multiple pairs of Cherokee shoes over time and the style varies very little, they can be sure the size will fit, a factor which undoubtedly contributes to the brand’s awesome conversion rate.

Your returns policy is proving very expensive

You’re wasting money on dealing with returns that can be avoided. Whether returns stem from a  simple mistake - a confused customer buying the wrong size - to a purposeful fitting strategy - customers buying multiple pairs of shoes to see which ones fit best before sending back the rejects - customers returning shoes is something that no shoe retailer wants. 

All returns require manpower and money to fix. Also - shockingly - 80% of customers who have to return something will never shop with your brand again. Using a solution like ShoeSizeMe can reduce returns by an average of 13%, leaving you free to invest your cash into more genuinely valuable activities for your business. This will increase the chances that your customers will come back for more.

Copywriters & customer service agents have no time to do their jobs

frustrated customer service agent having to reply to another inquiry about shoe returns or shoe sizing - ShoeSizeMe

Customer service agents are meant to be helping the clients you already have. Copywriters are supposed to be thinking up brilliant copy for your website and marketing materials. Both spend far too much time, however, explaining sizing guides and returns policies. In fact, the vast majority of enquiries through all customer service channels are related to sizing and returns; this is a big burden on customer service and ends up being a big expense for the company as a whole. If your customer service agents and copywriters have to spend time explaining and reassuring potential customers about shoe sizes and sorting out cumbersome returns, you’re wasting crucial internal resources. 

It doesn’t matter how you dress it up with pretty infographics: size charts are not the future. And no matter how good your customer service rep is, he or she can’t telepathically intuit what size is likely to fit a worried customer. A solution like ShoeSizeMe is automatically built-in to the sales process. Your reps (and writers) are taken out of the equation, leaving them free to concentrate on the job you actually hired them for. 

You’re afraid to try new markets

The world is your oyster - unless you’re thinking of moving into a market with confusing shoe-sizing conventions. It takes a lot of effort and cash to enter a new market, and even small concerns can derail the process. We’ve already seen how customers react when they have doubts about sizing - it’s significant enough to put a damper on new and possibly profitable market entries.

Use a machine learning-based solution like ShoeSizeMe and those concerns will be a thing of the past. It doesn’t matter what market you’re in, what shoes you’re selling, or who you’re selling them to, our technology will crunch the numbers for you so that any shoe - and, therefore, any market - will fit just right.

You’re reluctant to let new products shine

launching new shoe products - how sizing helps to boost online footwear profits - ShoeSizeMe

The next shoe you launch could be the one that skyrockets your shoe business to new highs - but if you mess up with those sizes, it could also be the one that sinks you. A new product means exciting times for your company but if you fail to get it right, all the work (and money) that went into it is wasted. 

Some shoe retailers have attempted to counteract this problem by developing their own solutions. Children’s shoe size app Jenzy tried to get around the issue by creating their own tool, which uses a photograph of the child’s foot against a standard-sized object like a credit card and then offers the customer a curated list of possibilities. It’s an ingenious idea, but even it has limitations. The tech isn’t available to all brands and the app selects its own companies to work with. You can then only benefit from shoes that are included in the app. This is not the case with ShoeSizeMe, which is available to any retailer and can be applied to any shoe model.

How to fix it

Sometimes, a shoe business can seem less like a money-making machine and more like a sieve. If you’ve found that your online footwear profits are taking a battering, you need to look carefully at every stage of the sales process to see where the holes are and plug them where you can. If you’re unsure of where to start, look at any problems that might be caused by size. Sizing not only has a significant impact on several parts of the sales process that you’d never suspect - it also has a very easy fix.

Forget size charts, manual measuring tools, non-scalable apps, and customer service telepathy  - the future of sizing is a powerful machine learning-based solution like ShoeSizeMe. By harnessing this technology, companies see conversion rates improve by 9% on average, and return rates drop by around 13%. Our clients are also pleased to see increased average orders and an overall boost in total footwear revenues by an average of between 4-6%. Don’t take our word for it though  - download our Görtz case study and see for yourself!