Tech startup company Neatsy.ai has entered the footwear market as a new technological player looking to solve the problem of online fit mismatch for retailers. The backbone of the effort is a mobile app that guides the user through a step-by-step process that helps him/her retrieve sneaker recommendations based on the size and shape of their feet.
The first step consists of installing the app and filling out a brief survey about the user's preferences. Then, the person uses his or her iPhone’s camera as a scanner in order to create a full 3D map of his/her feet. Later, through AI machine learning techniques, the app helps predict which size fits best and provides a catalog with major sneaker brands, such as Puma, Nike, Jordan Air and Adidas.
Finally, the user gets the accurate measurements and personalized recommendations on the best shoes, so that the chances of returning fall dramatically. Once the user makes the selection, the app directs to the online store to finish the purchase.
In times of uncertainty and confusion, feet scanning technology has become one of the most remarkable solutions for online buyers. The COVID-19 crisis has changed the game and forced shoe companies to look for innovative solutions in the short term. Though some stores have reopened their business, a recent study made by IBM´s U.S. Retail Index proves that the fear of being exposed to the virus has led to a reduction of 25 percent of department store sales in the United States in the first quarter of 2020.
Although it is true that fashion e-commerce is looking for new digital business opportunities, it is also true that there are some common flaws in the system. For example, online buyers have proved to be very cautious when buying shoes online because of the high probability of fit mismatch. There are currently 125 million e-commerce users who state they feel unhappy with their fit when buying shoes.
The problem of mismatch has led to 50 percent returns to all orders, which means that $30 billion dollars are lost each year due to the destruction of boxes, missing sneakers, cost in logistics, and other factors.
"We envision online shopping as though a person were at the mall, tried a lot of sneakers and finally found the ones that fit. The catch is, that he/she went through the process within five minutes, by using their phone and relaxing at home” says Artem Semyanov, Neatsy.ai CEO. “Our team strongly believes that body scanning is a powerful and promising technology that must keep developing to simplify people´s life.”
Neatsy.ai works through combined computer vision, AR scanning and machine learning techniques that ensure smooth and simple choices for the best-fit sneakers.