Are you planning to venture into the footwear business? Stocking your inventory and building an interactive website are some basic things to do. But you will have to do more than that to make your business succeed in the stiff competition.
AI is the latest trend to cling to in the eCommerce industry. With its fast-growing nature, AI found its way into multiple industries, including education and marketing. Now, AI has also decided to help the fashion industry.
The Impact of AI on the Fashion Industry
With technology making its impact felt in most fields, it’s no surprise that fashion and technology are growing hand in hand. Consumers have become inclined to online shopping for apparel and footwear due to the greater convenience and personalization.
AI and deep learning have been assisting the fashion industry in multiple ways. Chatbots answering common queries and solving issues have improved customer experience to a great extent. Bots are also recommending clothes and shoes based on customers’ height, weight, shape, and other attributes.
AI has also been offering convenience by removing the need for human involvement in menial tasks. It enables workers to become more productive. AI can do everything from tracking inventory movement to dealing with returns. But let’s focus more on how AI can help footwear retailers.
AI and Footwear Retailers
One of the most significant issues faced by footwear retailers is returns. Sometimes they return the products due to sizing differences. In some cases, they return the shoes in such a state that it becomes hard to resell the pairs.
Sometimes the shoes are returned because, despite the photos, they cannot match customers’ expectations. All these issues contribute to 40% of online purchases’ returns and prevent retailers from enjoying the big bucks.
But thankfully, AI can help solve some issues and take some of the burdens off your shoulders. Let’s find out the applications of AI that will become relevant to growing your shoe business.
1. Automatic Background Removal
Setting up an online footwear business will need good photography. Placing your products against a nice and clean background can instantly elevate the quality of photos. Sometimes you might click the pictures against an attractive background, thinking it would create a more personalized customer experience.
However, while going through the pictures, you might realize that the background is stealing the main focus from the shoes. Thanks to AI, you don’t have to start the photoshoot from scratch with a plain background.
A background remover will help you get rid of the clumsy background. The pictures of your latest footwear will have a clear background for your customer to appreciate the product quickly.
2. Automatic Tagging
AI can be used to identify the features of your footwear from the images and generate automatic tags good for SEO. It will enable customers to discover your products more easily. They will also be able to gain deeper insights into your products.
Automatic tagging will also help you detect the latest trends in the footwear industry. It will ensure that you can stock your inventory with products that are in demand. Since the tags are good for SEO, you will also notice a steady growth in your sales and revenue.
3. Visual Search
Imagine you are out window shopping and you discover a pair of boots totally your style. But unfortunately, the store lacks your size, and they can’t tell you when it will be available again. Isn’t it heartbreaking to not get the boots that would have looked so stunning with your leather jacket?
Don’t fret since AI can help you out in this situation. But you should remember to take a picture of the shoes you loved so much. When you upload the image to a search engine, it will run a visual search to look for similar shoes.
As a budding shoe business owner, enabling customers to run a visual search will prove highly beneficial for you. But you will have to add really good photographs of your footwear collection for the visual search feature to work.
Add shoe images from multiple backgrounds to help customers assess them better before making a purchase. Take help from photo background removal tools like Slazzer to make your footwear shine against a plain background.
4. Virtual Merchandising
A website to sell your footwear isn’t enough if it can’t generate sales. You need to ensure that customers are willing to stay on your site and scroll your website with the intention of buying something.
Virtual merchandising involves optimizing products to highlight their best features. Your shoe business needs to convince customers why they should invest in particular footwear from your brand.
Is it the comfortable soles or the bright hues? Your editing skills will become relevant here. Hiring a designer specializing in UX/UI design with AI tools will be prudent.
5. Trend Prediction
When you can foresee trends before they become hot cake, it will help your shoe business to a considerable extent. It will make customers perceive you as a brand with all the latest trends in stock. Several websites use the power of AI to forecast fashion trends.
It helps with inventory optimization and ensures that you are not stocking your inventory with commodities that won’t sell. AI tools also have the power to recognize localized trends. Therefore, you will know which pairs will sell out faster. In fact, you will also gain insight into which sizes are the most popular in your area.
Technology will bring the much-required flexibility in your shoe business from production to marketing. You will also be able to gain insights and adapt better to the latest trends in the footwear industry.
In the post-Covid world, customers have become more discretionary with their spending. They only prefer brands with whom they can develop a personal connection.
Therefore, embracing AI to grow your shoe business has become more than necessary. AI technology is here to help retailers provide a unique shopping experience to customers in an efficient, creative, and cost-effective manner.