From trail running to hiking, there are few things more important to outdoor enthusiasts than a great-fitting pair of shoes. The right footwear can be the difference between an enjoyable adventure, or one that ends in blisters and twisted ankles. One retailer that takes fit seriously is Outdoor & Cycle Concepts Limited (O&CC). The prominent UK-based vendor has partnered with Volumental, the leading FitTech™ platform, to elevate the fitting experience. The collaboration, leveraging Volumental's AI-powered foot scanners, has already shown impressive results during a pilot phase, reducing product returns by a staggering 350% in participating stores. Today we explore how innovative foot-scanning technology is transforming the way O&CC’s customers find shoes their feet will love.
Enhancing the Fitting Experience
O&CC, owner of renowned recreational brands Cotswold Outdoor, Runners Need, and Snow+Rock, is laser-focused on helping customers make informed choices when it comes to outdoor and running gear. Recognizing that footwear plays a crucial role for virtually all outdoor sports and activities, the retailer has chosen to make Volumental's foot scanners available in all of their stores. By harnessing cutting-edge technology and AI-powered data, these scanners identify the shoe style and size that best suits each individual customer.
During the pilot phase conducted in five O&CC locations, the integration of Volumental's foot scanners resulted in an impressive 28% reduction in product returns compared to the same period in the previous year. In contrast, stores without scanners experienced only an 8% decrease in returns - a massive 350% improvement between both sets of stores. These remarkable figures highlight the significant impact of Volumental's technology on customer satisfaction and the reduction of product returns.
Expanding the Footprint
Buoyed by the pilot's success, O&CC has now rolled out Volumental's foot scanners to 28 stores and is planning for additional scanners in the future. This expansion ensures that a broader range of outdoor enthusiasts can benefit from cutting-edge fitting technology, enhancing their overall shopping experience.
O&CC stores offer customers free footwear fitting appointments tailored to their specific needs. For hikers and walkers, the Outdoor Footwear Fitting service helps find the ideal walking shoes or boots. Meanwhile, runners can benefit from the Gait Analysis service, which analyzes their running style on a treadmill, enabling in-store experts to make the best recommendations for road or trail running shoes. With the integration of Volumental's scanners, these expert services gain an exciting new dimension, allowing for even more precise recommendations and personalized fittings.
The Power of Data
Volumental's foot scanners provide customers with detailed 3D scans of their feet, accompanied by in-store recommendations. This data becomes a valuable resource for future purchases, both in-store and online. Fascinatingly, Volumental's research reveals that approximately 40% of shoes do not align with the size charts provided by brands, often resulting in costly and wasteful returns. By leveraging advanced technology encompassing computer vision, purchase data, and AI algorithms, Volumental ensures accurate and personalized sizing recommendations, ultimately increasing consumer satisfaction and minimizing guesswork in online purchases.
Alper Aydemir, Co-Founder and CEO of Volumental, expressed his excitement about collaborating with O&CC, recognizing the company's global prominence in the outdoor retail industry: “Volumental is thrilled to become part of O&CC’s superior customer experience to enhance their omnichannel capabilities with an in-store wow factor that also helps their shoppers find the perfect fitting outdoor footwear, even when shopping online.”
The success of the partnership between Volumental and O&CC has earned them recognition as finalists in the 'Best Use of Technology' category at the Drapers' Footwear Awards for 2023. This acknowledgment further solidifies the impact of their collaboration in revolutionizing the shoe fitting landscape.
As O&CC continues its mission to guide customers in making informed choices for their outdoor and running gear, the partnership with Volumental takes that commitment to new heights.