5 Things To Consider When Choosing a 3D Foot Scanner

Tech innovation in retail is a fact – and a much-needed one! A lot of shoe retailers have already started using 3D foot scanners to add digital touchpoints in their physical stores and elevate the shopping experience to be more personalized, fun, and interactive.

However, not all 3D foot scanners provide the same capabilities. Below we gathered the five most important factors to take into account when considering placing one in your store.

1. Customer Experience

Retail customer experience is key. When people visit a retail store, they want to have a seamless, fast, personalized experience that will enable them to enjoy every moment of their shopping. And this is how you can evaluate whether your new 3D foot scanner will provide this to you:

Great design with functionality: In order to attract customers, the 3D foot scanner should look inviting and stand out in the store as a high-tech device. Intrigued shoppers will be encouraged to try it – at first maybe even just for fun, while getting their unique personalized shoe recommendation as a result. The design needs to enable ease of use – aim for a 3D foot scanner that incorporates a touchscreen positioned at a convenient angle for the customers to see their results and recommendations. And don’t forget to highlight the scanner location! Ideally, to improve visibility, the 3D foot scanner should easily integrate with screens in the store.
Speed of results: Make sure that the time between stepping onto the 3D foot scanner and getting recommendation results is not longer than 10 seconds. Otherwise, things can get boring, but also hectic if there is a line of people waiting. SafeSize makes sure that customers receive their scan results within 5 seconds so stores can scan as many feet as possible!
Recommendation accuracy: To keep customers satisfied, choose the 3D foot scanner with the highest accuracy of the shoe recommendation. For the most accurate fit recommendation, find a scanner with software that combines best-in-class 3D foot scanning with 3D scanning of inner shoe dimensions. After all, how can you match your foot with the right shoe, without 3D shoe data?

2. Omnichannel opportunities

Apart from the engaging user experience, 3D foot scanners can also help you bridge the gap between online and offline sales. When shopping online, the behavior and preferences of every customer are noticed, but in physical stores, there is a missed opportunity – customers come and go remaining anonymous. This creates a challenge for shoe retailers in their attempt to make their services easier and more valuable for all their customers.

With SafeSize, every time a customer scans their feet in-store, the highly intelligent 3D foot scanner creates a digital customer profile which can be later used for online shopping. In this way, store managers and marketing teams can better understand their customers and potentially even retarget them in the future with a personalized offering to help them cover their specific needs.

At the same time, customers who have saved their digital profile can purchase shoes again – online and in-store – feeling confident that no matter where they are, they have the most accurate insights to select the best fitting shoes.

3. Integration as part of the customer journey

Every customer is unique. They have unique preferences, needs, and of course foot anatomy! The majority of 3D foot scanners at the moment scan shoppers’ feet to create a nice 3D view out of it and that’s it! After that, it’s up to the sales expert to provide a recommendation based on their experience. But did you know that a 3D foot scanner can have more capabilities?

Model recommendation for sports shoes: Look for a 3D foot scanner with ability to advise the consumer which shoes to buy based not only on feet dimensions but also taking into account their personal sports habits
Self-learning algorithm: The software should serve each and every customer in the best way possible – this can be achieved by a feedback-based self-learning algorithm that improves the personalized fit recommendation with every use.

4. Real-time stock integration

In addition to recommending the right shoe model, to provide a seamless experience and a successful purchase, the recommendations given by the 3D foot scanner should be in line with the current store inventory. Hence, stock integration is a valuable feature that should be included in the solution.

SafeSize helps shoe retailers connect the 3D foot scanner to the actual stock in the store and finalize the scanning journey directly with a purchase of the recommended shoe model, rather than just using scanning as a gimmick.

5. Kids’ shoe recommendation

Shoe recommendations for kids differ from the ones for adults. Too many kids walk in shoes that are too tight because the parents are unaware of the right shoe size for their kids or they do not change the shoe size on time as the child’s feet grow. On the other hand, children can’t really recognize the feeling of comfortable shoes and tell their opinion about it. Walking around in ill-fitting shoes can cause damage to the child’s feet development and posture, so it is critical that the selected shoe fits them just right.

Therefore, when purchasing a 3D foot scanner, opt for a system that covers the needs of both adults and children! For instance, SafeSize has created an algorithm that can predict how the foot of the child will grow over time. This feature allows consumers to feel comfortable purchasing the shoes, knowing they are making a safe choice. Thanks to the growth prediction algorithm, the parents can also be informed when the shoes are becoming too small.

3D Foot Scanner: What Is It and Why Is It a Necessity For Shoe Retailers?

Recommending the right shoe is no easy task. 

Consumers step into shoe stores every day and are overwhelmed by countless styles, brands, and models to choose from. And most of the time, when sales assistants approach the shoppers asking whether they need any help, the answer is negative as they believe they can decide based on the shoe display in front of them. This approach, combined with everyone’s unique foot anatomy, prevents people from buying shoes that can bring them comfort and protect them from injuries.

To tackle this challenge, global retail brands like INTERSPORT, Decathlon, Sport 2000, and others have started using 3D foot scanning technology to provide the best shoe recommendations.

For Safesize, retail innovation starts with a 3D foot scanner where consumers receive an analysis of their foot dimensions. This data is then used to assist sports enthusiasts in finding the most comfortable and best-performing shoe.

What is a 3D foot scanner?

A 3D foot scanner analyses the foot anatomy and gives insights into your unique walking/running pattern, your weight balance, foot biometrics, and much more. With some foot scanners, the capabilities stop there. But in our case, this is just the start of a fully personalized shopping experience.

In the beginning, customers step on the scanner and fill out all personal information (such as age, gender, weight) as well as their favorite sports, brands, and intensity of exercise (from amateur to pro). 

Within a few seconds, consumers receive a detailed foot analysis on the screen. Safesize offers unique matching of the foot characteristics with the largest shoe database in the world, meaning that it only takes these few seconds for a consumer to virtually try on thousands of shoes at once.

The result? With a tap on the screen, sales assistants see the best shoe recommendations for their customers – fully connected with the store’s inventory and entirely adapted to the shoppers’ personal preferences.

Why Is It a Necessity For Shoe Retailers

The benefits retail stores can enjoy with a 3D foot scanner are multidimensional and apparent across all touchpoints.

Everything starts by transforming your store into a stage. Creating a unique personalized experience captures the attention of shoppers and inspires them to come to a physical store rather than just shop online, and the 3D visualization of foot anatomy creates an opportunity to engage with the sales assistant in a meaningful, data-driven, and personalized interaction.

This unique shopping experience can result in higher conversions and cross-selling opportunities in-store. In fact, people feel more confident buying shoes and additional accessories (e.g. insoles) based on this personalized approach rather than Googling “The best running shoes” and then deciding to buy the cheapest option online.

“This new technology just enables conversation and a personalized product recommendation.” – Ian Watson, CEO Hotter Shoes (Forbes.com, September 2021)

Diving into the operational benefits, the 3D foot scanner will enable shoe retailers to provide their sales team with a digital sales assistant on the shop floor. This acts as a constant re-training of sales assistants, increasing the level of expertise and transforming even a novice salesperson into an expert – all with just a few interactions with the SafeSize 3D foot scanner.

By capturing consumer profiles, the physical shoppers are no longer invisible to the retailer. Leveraging the foot profiles and past purchase data, the sales approach can be further adapted to fit their specific needs.

Last but not least, through this process, the shoe retailer ensures a uniform and highly knowledgeable sales approach across all stores and all sales assistants.

Perks For Consumers

Retail innovation is all about creating a unique and elevated shopping experience. With a pinch of excitement, a dash of entertainment, and a spoonful of expertise, 3D foot scanning technology creates the recipe for a shopping experience you don’t want to miss!

By using a 3D foot scanner, within seconds consumers receive better shoe model recommendations based on biometrics and functional characteristics, rather than just deciding based on their favorite brand, color, and price. At the same time, they can rest assured that their feet won’t be in pain anymore or prevent them from enjoying their favorite sports – no matter the level of expertise!

What’s more, through their personal profile, consumers can access their foot analytics and previous purchases. Based on that, they can easily make the right purchase again in the future – either online or in any other store of the shoe retailer.

Dutch startup SafeSize raises €10 million for its 3D tech to help customers find the perfect shoe

Want to buy shoes online, but not sure if they’ll fit? That’s where SafeSize comes in. The Almere-based startup works with online and offline footwear retailers to help customers find the right shoe.

Using 3D foot scanning along with the world’s largest database of 3D scanned shoes, proprietary fitting algorithms, and machine learning, SafeSize matches people with the perfect pair of shoes in terms of both fit and functionality. Since it was founded in 2012, SafeSize has unlocked the potential for digital growth and personalisation in the footwear market for more than 2,000 leading retailers and shoe brands.

The startup has just raised €10 million in a Series B round from existing investors 3TS Capital Partners and Convent Capital, as well as additional strategic investors.

“’Business as usual’ is no longer an option for footwear retailers and brands,” said Angelos Stavrakis, CEO of SafeSize. “Consumers expect a seamless, personalised shopping experience across all channels. SafeSize enables footwear retailers and brands to engage online and offline with their consumers in a unique and personalized way. Our solution serves as the world’s best omnichannel sales assistant, combining deep shoe fitting expertise with tens of millions of shoe and foot data, processed using machine learning to constantly improve our recommendation algorithms. We’re thrilled about this new investment and about the continued support from our partners, who share our vision.”

SafeSize will use the new funds to continue to scale-up and strengthen its leadership in the virtual fitting recommendation space by attracting new talent, accelerating product innovation, and entering new markets.

“SafeSize enables footwear retailers and brands to succeed in a changing retail landscape, by driving increased customer engagement and other revenue streams,” said Elbruz Yılmaz, Investment Director of 3TS Capital Partners. “We believe with this funding round, Safesize will be equipped to scale further globally and we’re excited to support SafeSize in continuing its leadership as the global footwear recommendation platform for retailers.”

Source: https://www.eu-startups.com/2019/02/dutch-startup-safesize-raises-e10-million-for-its-3d-tech-to-help-customers-find-the-perfect-shoe/