At the LA Footwear Innovation Summit on October 2, we came across Volumental, a company that has reinvented the way shoppers select shoes. Volumental has developed an innovative scanning system that replaces the Brannock foot measuring device, which has been in use for 100 years. Intrigued, we set up an interview with Anna Malkan, VP of Sales, to hear a bit more.
Volumental was founded by computer vision experts in Sweden. The company has created a highly accurate 3D foot scanning device and related software that retailers can deploy at the point of sale. After shoppers have their foot scanned with the device (which takes about 4 seconds), a salesperson displays the data on a tablet including the measurements, the scan and a list of recommended shoes by brand and model. The insights also include a percentage of shoppers with similar feet who purchased a certain shoe. For example, I was told that 82% of shoppers with feet similar to mine most often purchased a New Balance shoe of a certain model/size.
It turns out that many of us are wearing the wrong size shoe. With the Volumental scale-like device, the precise measurement of each foot is recorded, as well as measurements like arch size. The device creates the opportunity to bypass inconsistent sizing across the many footwear options found in stores, and focuses the shopper on a narrowed selection to try on based on individual foot anatomy.
Fun and faster shopping, higher post-purchase satisfaction, and fewer returns are key to Volumental’s strategy. And with over 1.5 million pairs of feet in their database, they have a deep base of analytics to share with brands and retailers for use in R&D or even for custom footwear. New Balance uses the scanner in over 20 countries and Fleet Feet Sports is also a customer.
Shout out to Volumental for being a player in reinventing the customer retail experience.