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British Footwear Association teams up with ShoeAI to help retailers make it easier for customers to order the right size of shoes online

The British Footwear Association is working with ShoeAI. Image courtesy of ShoeAI

The British Footwear Association (BFA) has teamed up with ShoeAI, enabling its members to use technology to ensure that customers order the right size of shoes online. By doing so, it aims to help them move away from cutting prices in order to clear their stocks of shoes.

ShoeAI says footwear retailers are currently going through an “overstock crisis” that is resulting in retailers ordering less or offering discounts in order to sell.

“A perfect storm of post-pandemic footwear overordering followed by unprecedented falls in online demand as the cost-of- living crisis bites has left many footwear brands and retailers with falling sales and high inventories,” says Timo Steitz, founder and chief executive of ShoeAI.

Its online sales assistant uses guided selling to help customers ensure that they are buying shoes that both fit and are available to buy. That process includes asking customers about shoes that they already own, about their size and their shoe preferences. The sales process, which uses machine learning processes, ends with recommendations on shows that are both in stock and in the right size.

“Because customers are much more likely to buy a pair of shoes in a shop with a human assistant, this process is as close to a real-life experience as possible,” says Polly Lythall, business development manager at the BFA, whose members include online and in-store retailers, suppliers, wholesalers and emerging brands.

ShoeAI’s software is already used by retail and shoe brands including Le Chameau, LK Bennett and RM Williams. 

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