Angelos Stavrakis, SafeSize Founder & CEO, was invited to talk on SKAI Radio about SafeSize’s innovative omnichannel solution and how we help millions of adults & kids in 50 countries find the perfect fitting shoes!
Thank you SKAI 100.3FM and Katerina Drakou for the invitation and great chat!
Katerina Drakou: SafeSize is a successful technology company on a mission to help people find the perfect fitting shoes, using the power of AI technology. I would like to welcome Mr. Angelos Stavrakis, founder and CEO of SafeSize. Can you please tell us how SafeSize was born and what has contributed to your success?
Angelos Stavrakis: I’m one of the millions of consumers that when I’m looking for shoes, I often end up struggling either because I visit a physical store and I can’t find what I like in my size, or because I order online and what I receive is not the right size and I need to go through the whole process of returning it. We thought there might be a clever way, using the power of technology, to tackle this problem. And this is a major problem, not only because of the frustration we feel as consumers when we can’t find the right shoes, but it also has a significant environmental impact which comes from all the unnecessary transportation of shoes from store warehouses to our homes and back. It also has health related issues, especially when it comes to sports but also kids. If you don’t wear the right shoe and in the right size, this can lead to injuries and health problems.
Katerina Drakou: Do you have evidence/data for this? Are there people who don’t know what their right shoe size is?
Angelos Stavrakis: I’ll tell you about a couple of things that made a huge impression on me when we were starting out. The first is that within the same shoe brand, different models can vary by up to 2.5 sizes from the size listed on the shoe label. I always thought I was an EU size 45, but this can vary by 2.5 sizes per shoe model. The second one is that when it comes to children, 70% are wearing the wrong shoe size – either because when they bought the shoes the size was not right, or because we as parents (I am sensitive about this subject as I have two daughters Kyveli and Eliza) didn’t replace their shoes before they were outgrown.
Katerina Drakou: During the period of the pandemic, what we all experienced was a change in our behavior – we all started shopping more online – and this is something that will not change. How does your solution help consumers find the right shoes and avoid all the inconveniences related to online shopping?
Angelos Stavrakis: At SafeSize we have developed a technology that helps people find the perfect fitting shoes both in physical stores and online. Customers can visit one of our partner retailers, get their feet scanned using our state-of-the-art 3D Foot Scanner and within two seconds receive their digital 3D foot profiles and personalized shoe recommendations. Consumers can shop online using either the digital 3D foot profile they created instore or by using our mobile scanning app which allows them to scan their feet with their mobile phones.
What has helped us a lot and gives us a competitive advantage, is that in addition to the foot scanning, we have put a lot of emphasis on the shoe scanning. We are the only company in the world to 3D scan all shoe models and sizes and with 9 shoe scanning facilities in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas we have the largest database in the world of inner shoe dimensions. This data (the data of the feet, the data of the shoes), the machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithm that we have developed, help us provide consumers with highly accurate and personalized shoe recommendations, reduce the frustration they feel when buying shoes and enable them to buy shoes easier, faster and safer.
Katerina Drakou: Millions of people every year buy shoes through SafeSize and that makes you a very successful technology company. Can you tell us about your growth ambitions?
Angelos Stavrakis: SafeSize’s omnichannel solution is currently being used by 2,500 stores (both physical &online). Over 5 million consumers every year are getting shoe advice through SafeSize and we are the leading company in the fast growing virtual fitting sector. We operate and have customers in 50 countries. We have 4 offices: in The Netherlands/Amsterdam, Slovenia/Ljubljana, China/Shanghai and in Greece/Athens – where 1.5 years ago we opened our company’s Innovation & Development Center. We aspire to become the biggest player in the FitTech market and we want in the future everyone to have their SafeSize profile and with this profile to be able to buy shoes from anywhere, with great ease.
Katerina Drakou: I hope you fulfil your ambitions and wish you success! Thank you very much.
Angelos Stavrakis: Thank you for having me on your program.
You can listen the interview in Greek here