The retail world like many other industries has been visited by disruptive technology over the last decade. Furthermore, It seems that the rate of these changes accelerates with each passing day. Not too long ago the notion of even placing an order online was a daunting one. Was it safe? How could you be certain you would receive your item. How would you return an item that wasn't what you expected?
It all seemed to be more headache than it was worth. However, companies globally gradually arose to the challenge and addressed these concerns. Today we buy a varied array of products online.
You can now purchase your standardized products with high confidence that will receive the product you ordered without much fanfare. Yet there are some products that consumers may still prefer to experience first hand before making a purchase. Shoes are one such product, but there are many recent innovations that promise to revolutionize the way you buy shoes and the industry as a whole.
The Unsustainable past.
The shoe industry as it has existed in the past few decades is riddled with inefficiencies. The dance between, the brand, the manufacturer, the retailer, and ultimately the consumer is an awkward one that unfolds over the course of months.
First, the brand has to establish a creative vision. Then it has to broadcast this vision to its audience in hopes that it can convince or hypnotize these potential buyers into believing that it's styles are indeed worthy additions to his/her wardrobe.
Anticipating that it will do a good job of this, the brand must simultaneously manufacture large quantities of the style such that they may be available across its distribution channels in time for the season.
The slightest miscalculation in this entire process will find these seasonal shoes in the sales bin of your local retailer. If all does go well however, you can share the latest style and colour scheme with 50,000 of your closest friends each season; 😐 How charming.
Also, had you preferred those stylish boots in brown leather and not the green suede, that's too bad for you because the manufacturer has made that decision for you; Perhaps you'll have better luck next season.
The process is horribly inefficient and wasteful. However, being a product of the industrial era, it was the best way to produce an affordable shoe for the most amount of people. But digital technology is providing us with a ray of hope for a more sustainable purchasing process.
A Custom-made Future.
Custom shoes were once exclusively the purview of the wealthy. The notion of having a shoe made exclusively for you in the 80's or 90's is quickly accompanied by the thought of large expenditure. Such a request would have required the attention of a personal cobbler.
Your cobbler of choice would have needed to hunt down your requested material and to dye it to your preferred tone. While possible, the time and attention such a task required made the thought of having a shoe custom designed un-attainable to the average consumer. This is no longer the case.
With the internet and the corresponding advancements in the visual representation of product, many brands and have been exploring the possibility of creating a shoe made uniquely for an individual consumer. As early as the 90's, brands like Nike introduced customization interfaces like NikeID which allowed their patrons to customize select sneaker styles.
However, these customization efforts were restricted to a few casual styles and were certainly not available for men's dress shoes. That has changed in recent years. You can now create billions of possible dress shoe combinations on photorealistic 3D designer interfaces such as is available at www.mensdressshoe.com/pages/design .
For $195, a price that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago, you can now design a shoe tailored to your specific wardrobe needs and not subject to the whims and dictates of the fashion designer from up high. Though many are still oblivious to this revolution in shoe production, it is gaining traction amongst those whose primary loyalty isn't to a particular trending brand, but to quality and craftsmanship.
The future is bright.