Amazon: Good news for online shoe customers

A problem tormenting online shoe retailers like is how best to serve their customers with comfortable fitting shoes. Seems Amazon may have the answer after they bought up Shoefitr, which uses 3D technology to help people virtually choose the correct shoe size without trying on the footwear. Shoefitr uses 3D technology accurate enough to measure the thickness of human hair. Users are prompted to enter the size and model of their current shoe and Shoefitr compares this with its database of scanned shoes to recommend which size that user will need for any particular shoe. It takes into account lots of different variables such as shape, sole thickness, weight etc. The company are aware their system is not yet perfect, but Shoefitr claim the technology is helping reduce the number of shoe returns by 25 percent. This could be a huge help to Zappos, which has an average return rate of 35 percent and a rate which rises to almost 50 percent for loyal customers. Shoefitr already works with some of the biggest names in both sports and fashion footwear, including Brooks, Cole Hahn, Ecco, New Balance, Puma and Toms, among others. It's unclear how the Amazon acquisition will affect the relationship between Shoefitr and these existing customers .

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