Mobile Applications

Nike Introduces Smart Shoes

Nike is launching a new service within its app that will scan a user’s feet to determine their correct shoe size. Nike Fit in North America will officially launch in July. The company said it sees a real need for the service since, at any given time, 60 percent of consumers are wearing the wrong shoe size, which can lead to discomfort and even injury.

“This is going to make a lot of lives easier,” said Heidi O’Neill, head of Nike Direct, according to CNBC. “It’s going to have a virtuous impact on [our] business as well. … We think this is a problem people have been trying to solve for a long time.”

The service, which will launch first in the U.S. before hitting Europe in August, will be available within Nike’s mobile app and in its stores. Customers can scan their feet (using a smartphone at home), then receive shoe recommendations, which will be precise down to the millimeter. Consumers might be surprised to learn they are different sizes from what they thought, depending on the brand of shoe.

“We are going to have to educate consumers,” said Michael Martin, Nike’s global head of digital products. “We need adults to realize their sizing … continues to change as you are an adult. Most people think that once you hit age 17, you never touch [a Brannock measuring device] again.”

Since kids’ feet are constantly growing, for parents, “Nike Fit is game-changer,” said Martin.

In addition to helping its customers get the right fit, Nike plans to use the data from the Nike Fit scans to create shoes that fit better, as well as stock a better mix of sizes at its stores.

The company has also been embracing technology to improve the customer experience. Late last year, Nike took a decidedly digital approach with its New York City flagship: That is, the customer payment and shopping experience in the new space is powered by mobile technology.

The store’s concept, dubbed Nike NYC, blends the online and offline worlds with the help of smartphones. Nike Chief Digital Officer Adam Sussman said at the time, “Mobile is at the center of people’s everyday life, and when people come into the store, they come in with their digital device. We want to create a seamless connection between the physical and digital experience.”

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