An app which allows customers to find more accurate information about the shoe size they need to order has managed to reduce fit-related returns rates by 23%

US retailer Running Warehouse has been using the Shoefitr app on its product pages since 2010, and the tool has been very popular with consumers. 

By reducing fit-related returns, the app has enabled Running Warehouse to increase its profit margins by 2.5%. 

Previously, around 65% of the retailer returns were due to size related issues, but now 20% of orders come in from customers that have used the app. 

According to Running Warehouse CEO Joe Rubio: 

Anything that improves the shopping experience for the customer is a huge bonus. Shoefitr increases the confidence customers have in ordering a product correctly, thus making the buying decision easier. It also has helped decrease our return rate which positively affects our bottom line.

The Shoefitr app uses a database of internal shoe measurements, acquired using 3D imaging technology, which allow it to compare the size and shape of a shoe a shopper is currently wearing, to one she wants to buy.

The app is embedded into Running Warehouse’s product pages: 

It then asks shoppers to enter details about their current running shoe, so the app can compare the fit:

The results the recommend the best size, and the customer can then see more detail about the fit, and compare it with other sizes:

Buying shoes and clothes online can never quite match the in-store experience, and one of the main issues with this is that it can be hard to gauge the fit and feel of products. 

According to stats, the average returns rate for online fashion retailers ranges from 17% to 25%. For Zappos, with an easy returns policy it’s 25%. One of the major factors is sizing. 

There is plenty retailers can do to minimise the problem, such as offering detailed images, videos and information which allow shoppers to form a better picture of the fit. 

Online ‘fitting room’ tools are one way to do this, such as the one used by sojeans, though they aren’t always successful.