A recent McKinsey & Company survey suggests that the use of digital and socially distanced options for shopping is rapidly increasing and activities such as contactless checkout services or in-store pickup are here to stay.

For those Americans who are ready to resume physical in-store shopping trips, many are actively looking for safety measures when deciding where to shop, such as enhanced cleaning, masks, and barriers. Retailers are now appealing to both ends of the spectrum by adapting their in-store experiences to keep consumers safe and confident in their decision to leave their homes. 

In the traditionally high-touch world of run specialty retail, stores have turned to technology to refine their fitting process, increase customer satisfaction and create a safe environment for staff and shoppers.  

For many retailers, consumer-fitting experiences like the ones powered by Fitstation by HP technology and New Balance Stride ID, supported by the Volumental Fitstation solution serve as the backbone that allows for in-store physical distancing. Using 3D scanners, dynamic gait analysis, and an iPad or computer screen, sales staff can dial in an accurate fit assessment from a distance.  

“As retail reopens and consumers return to some semblance of normalcy, that normal will have a new definition. Shoppers are adopting new habits into their everyday lives, whether that be local delivery, curbside pickup or social distancing guidelines while in stores,” explains John Rauvola Superfeet CEO. “With solutions like the ones supported by Fitstation by HP as part of the fitting and shopping experience, retailers are able to invite shoppers into their stores for a safe in-person fit service.” 

Staff at retail stores can use the Volumental and Fitstation platforms to walk customers through the fitting process from the recommended distance while creating a fit profile and providing a tailored footwear package. The dynamic gait analysis from the platform can also be used to create custom Superfeet 3D-printed insoles and personalized Superfeet Aftersport recovery slides. 

"Customers don’t want to forgo the fitting they expected before COVID-19, but they still want to be safe,” says Michael Disibio, a Pedorthist and owner of New Balance stores in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

“The Volumental/Fitstation technology allows us to hold an iPad in hand and measure people’s feet accurately, from a safe distance, to provide the same quality fit experience we always have,” he adds. “Our sales staff love it because they can stay safe and give the professional experience we built our business on. Our customers like it because, without any explanation, they can see how our process is compliant with what is going on right now." 

 Megan Searfoss, owner of Ridgefield & Darien Running Company (in photo above, pre-COVID) sums it up this way: ”Fitstation is the centerpiece of Ridgefield Running Company's fit process. The consumer loves the information that the Fitstation provides, and it provides an excellent conversation starter for our team. It’s a solution that provides the technology piece that consumers crave without losing the personal interaction that makes run-specialty work.” 

For a list of run specialty doors with Fitstation technology here: https://www.superfeet.com/en-us/ME3D