The Red Wing Shoe Company has launched an AI-driven experience that uses 3D mapping to provide consumers with a better fit. The revamped Ultimate Fit Experience is launching across the brand's 500-plus retail stores, with the goal of providing better fitting shoes that reduce fatigue and protect feet.
Customers will step onto a 3D scanner, powered by Volumental, which assesses 16 foot data points in about five seconds. A pressure plate then provides a more dynamic reading of their gait and pressure points. Once the 3D render is complete, Red Wing recommends an ideal work boot size and any additional support accessories.
Red Wing fit specialists will continue to assist consumers, taking into account boot, insole, and sock measurements, and assessing the personal and work environments and safety requirements of customers.
The company stores this data in its ecosystem so that it is easily accessible for future purchasing needs, allowing consumers to view their work requirements and fit history to find other personalized products.
The company has partnered with Superfeet stores to allow customers to purchase custom 3D printed footbeds designed to meet unique foot shapes and movement patterns. These stores will offer insole recommendations and mail the custom footbeds — which take into account arch size, flex zones, and flex lines — directly to consumers.
Additionally, the Red Wing Shoe Company will be combining the data generated by the new AI-powered system with retail purchase data and insights collected from personal assessments to provide personalized recommendations across its catalog of footwear.
Mike VanGoethem, vice president and chief services officer of Red Wing Shoe Company, said the company recognized an opportunity to advance its existing Ultimate Fit Experience to deliver even more personalized offerings.
"Our previous experience focused on standard 2D measurement and foot pressure points, and now we are enhancing that, adding in gait assessment and whole foot volume 3D measurement,” he said. “We're excited to merge the art of our purpose-built shoes, with the science of this new dynamic, tech-driven approach to ensure the best fit for worker comfort and safety."
Retailers are continuing a push toward AI-based personalization in order to extend customer lifetime value and incentivize continued purchasing. The tech has been applied heavily across digital formats, such as with L'Oreal's and Walmart’svirtual try-on services.
“I hear positive feedback of the Ultimate Fit Experience process nearly every day from at least a customer or two. Once customers have a better visual understanding of things like sizing, arch height, and foot pressure distribution, they’re more liable to make purchases based off of that,” said Branden Rion, aVirginia Beach Red Wing Shoe store associate.
While digital twin technology has been implemented in the retail industry for years, many CPG and retail brands are just now beginning to understand the true potential, unlocking their transformative ability to leverage data in new ways.