Does Online Measure Up to In-Store: Running Shoes

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From music to books to expensive digital cameras, consumers have become quite comfortable buying a variety of items online. But there are some purchases, like running shoes, that have traditionally required more of a personal investment.

We picked five of the top running shoe manufacturers, deconstructed their online product pages and analyzed how well online can replace the in-store experience.

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Does Online Measure Up to In-Store: Running Shoes

  1. 1. IN-STORE? measureupto Running Shoes DOESONLINE Tuesday, July 16, 13
  2. 2. THEREARE SOME THINGS WEBUYBY FEEL Tuesday, July 16, 13
  3. 3. runningLIKE shoes Tuesday, July 16, 13
  4. 4. QUESTION:here’s the Tuesday, July 16, 13
  5. 5. “howwellcan ONLINESITES REPLICATE THE IN-STORE EXPERIENCE?” Tuesday, July 16, 13
  6. 6. WEFOCUSEDON 5SITES& 5SHOES *SHOESPICKEDFROMRUNNERS’WORLDSUMMER2013SHOEGUIDE Tuesday, July 16, 13
  7. 7. ASICS Gel-Cumulus 15 Tuesday, July 16, 13
  8. 8. BROOKS Defyance 6 Tuesday, July 16, 13
  9. 9. NEWBALANCE 880v3 Tuesday, July 16, 13
  10. 10. NIKE Free 3.0 Tuesday, July 16, 13
  11. 11. SAUCONY Ride 6 Tuesday, July 16, 13
  12. 12. AND WENT SHOPPING... Tuesday, July 16, 13
  13. 13. FORPERSPECTIVE, IENLISTEDTHE HELPOF Kyle Tuesday, July 16, 13
  14. 14. notonlydoeshemanage arunningstore, healsousestheinternet toresearchshoes. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  15. 15. wetriedtofill inthegraphTOGETHER, online shopping in-store shopping Tuesday, July 16, 13
  16. 16. todetermine thesizeofthe OVERLAP Tuesday, July 16, 13
  17. 17. THISISWHATWEFOUND... Tuesday, July 16, 13
  18. 18. 101howtoresearch runningshoes 1 Tuesday, July 16, 13
  19. 19. mostrunningshoes aremanufactured onatieredsystem, whichmeanscompaniesend upcarryingsimilar“levels” ofshoesatsimilarprices. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  20. 20. SIMPLYPUT... There can often be very little difference between a number of shoes. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  21. 21. thisis where isvery useful.ONLINE Tuesday, July 16, 13
  22. 22. Kyleusescompanywebsites tolookupshoespecs. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  23. 23. thelittledifferencesbetweenshoes arefoundindetailslike: Weight Cushioning system Heel-to-toe drop Tuesday, July 16, 13
  24. 24. close-up viewof ASICS EXPANDED Tuesday, July 16, 13
  25. 25. close-up viewof ASICS Weight Heel-to-toe drop (info to calculate) Cushioning EXPANDED Tuesday, July 16, 13
  26. 26. close-up viewof BROOKS Tuesday, July 16, 13
  27. 27. close-up viewof BROOKSCushioning DOESN’T DISPLAY: Weight Heel-to-toe drop Tuesday, July 16, 13
  28. 28. close-up viewof NEWBALANCE EXPANDED Tuesday, July 16, 13
  29. 29. close-up viewof NEWBALANCE EXPANDED Cushioning Weight DOESN’T DISPLAY: Heel-to-toe drop Tuesday, July 16, 13
  30. 30. close-up viewof NIKE Tuesday, July 16, 13
  31. 31. close-up viewof NIKE Weight Heel-to-toe drop Cushioning Tuesday, July 16, 13
  32. 32. close-up viewof SAUCONY EXPANDED Tuesday, July 16, 13
  33. 33. close-up viewof SAUCONY EXPANDED Cushioning Weight DOESN’T DISPLAY: Heel-to-toe drop Tuesday, July 16, 13
  34. 34. WHATDID WEFIND? Tuesday, July 16, 13
  35. 35. There is NO industry-wide standardization of what product details a company must display online. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  36. 36. Product details are often couched in text, video, or graphics rather than set off in some easily detectable way. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  37. 37. THUS, if you’re not already familiar with these sites, it can be difficult to compare specs between shoes. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  38. 38. howtofityour runningshoes 2 Tuesday, July 16, 13
  39. 39. Evenafterdoingyourresearch, itallreallycomesdownto howtheshoefits. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  40. 40. foronlinetocompletely replicatethein-storeexperience, companiesmustreproducethe individualin-storefittingprocess. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  41. 41. somecompanies don’tprovidethat onlinealternative. MANY Tuesday, July 16, 13
  42. 42. close-up viewof ASICS Two general size and width guides make up the extent of the Asics fit guide. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  43. 43. close-up viewof NEWBALANCE EXPANDED EXPANDED While New Balance boasts a large variety of widths, there is no guide to individually find the right fit. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  44. 44. close-up viewof NIKE Even the customize option doesn’t provide much variety - standard sizes, and 2 width options Picking between shoes in the Nike FREE line? Charts like these are all you get *All of the shoes in the line have a so-called “sock-like” fit. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  45. 45. othercompanies havefigureditout. ARE TRYING HARDER. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  46. 46. BOTHBROOKS& SAUCONY MAKEUSEOF SHOEFITR Tuesday, July 16, 13
  47. 47. close-up viewof BROOKS EXPANDED EXPANDED Brooks provides even MORE options Tuesday, July 16, 13
  48. 48. close-up viewof BROOKS Brooks provides even MORE options Tuesday, July 16, 13
  49. 49. WHATDID WEFIND? Tuesday, July 16, 13
  50. 50. The industry as a whole doesn’t seem to agree that adding in-depth fitting guides is an online priority. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  51. 51. Applications like SHOEFITR can greatly benefit online shoe shopping, but only if more companies adopt it. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  52. 52. BUT despite these efforts, Kyle points out that onlyarunningshoe specialistcantellyou ifthatbunionwillput pressureonthatspot. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  53. 53. SIMPLYPUT... Even the most innovative online applications can’t replace analysis of the individual foot. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  54. 54. 3 OUTSIDEOPINION(reviewsvs.expertconsultation) Tuesday, July 16, 13
  55. 55. ATTHEENDOFTHEDAY, SPECSANDDIAGRAMSCAN’TTELL YOUEVERYTHING...YET. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  56. 56. EXPERTCONSULTATIONCANGIVEYOU CONFIDENCETHATYOU’REMAKING THERIGHTINVESTMENT. CANTHESAMEBESAIDFORREVIEWS? Tuesday, July 16, 13
  57. 57. REVIEWSFROMOTHERCUSTOMERS CANBEINCREDIBLYHELPFUL, IFTHEY’REDONERIGHT. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  58. 58. close-up viewof ASICS * No reviews about Gel-Cumulus - this is for a different shoe Star ratings for quick take-away Brief consumer personal profile Tuesday, July 16, 13
  59. 59. close-up viewof BROOKS Quick, pre-set questions for general aggregate review summary Questions about individual fit Brief consumer activity profile Tuesday, July 16, 13
  60. 60. close-up viewof NEWBALANCE Questions about individual fit Consumer personal and activity profile Tuesday, July 16, 13
  61. 61. close-up viewof NIKE Brief consumer activity profile Tuesday, July 16, 13
  62. 62. close-up viewof SAUCONY Questions about individual fit Consumer personal and activity profile Tuesday, July 16, 13
  63. 63. WHATDID WEFIND? Tuesday, July 16, 13
  64. 64. Many review templates ask consumers the same personal/activity details an in-store running shoe specialist might. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  65. 65. THUS, if all the consumers reviewing a shoe have similar personal/activity details to your own, chances are you’re looking at a good shoe for you too. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  66. 66. But whereas in-store specialists talk to hundreds of consumers, the shoes we looked at only got between 5-10 consumer reviews. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  67. 67. Is this enough aggregated perspective to go off on? The choice is yours. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  68. 68. CONCLUSION 4 Tuesday, July 16, 13
  69. 69. THEBIGCONSUMERQUESTION: “HOWMUCHINFORMATION DOINEEDBEFOREMAKING ANONLINEPURCHASE?” Tuesday, July 16, 13
  70. 70. KYLESAYS: “The idea is that doing research can make you a bit of an informed consumer. But even the most informed consumer isn’t trying on the shoes.” Tuesday, July 16, 13
  71. 71. evenasarunningshoespecialist, Kylesayshealwaysusestheinternet whenhewantsanewshoe. (he’sevenusedmobilesitestolook upshoespecsonthefly.) Tuesday, July 16, 13
  72. 72. hejustdoesn’t buytheshoes ONLINE(Hehastotrythem onin-storetosealthedeal.) Tuesday, July 16, 13
  73. 73. BUTPEOPLEARECLEARLY STILLSHOPPINGONLINEANYWAY. SOWHAT’SUP?Tuesday, July 16, 13
  74. 74. INSTEADOFTRYINGTO SPEAKFORTHEPEOPLE, WEREALIZEDWEHADTOJUST LOOKATOURRESULTSAND ANSWEROURINITIALQUESTION: Tuesday, July 16, 13
  75. 75. IN-STORE? measureupto DOESONLINE Tuesday, July 16, 13
  76. 76. THERE ARE 3 GENERAL COMPONENTS TO BUYING A GOOD PAIR OF RUNNING SHOES: RESEARCH THE FIT OUTSIDE OPINION Tuesday, July 16, 13
  77. 77. PROS: • Websites provide more product detail than is generally available in-store • (Ideally) you can quickly compare specs between products CONS: • Because there’s no standardization of which product specs to display and how to display them, making quick comparisons across sites can be difficult THE RESEARCH Tuesday, July 16, 13
  78. 78. PROS: • If you’re a running shoe connoisseur, there are apps that quickly recommend related shoes, and estimate fit CONS: • You can’t try them on • Most companies don’t tailor their online fit guides to the individual foot THE FIT Tuesday, July 16, 13
  79. 79. PROS: • Websites provide a variety of personalized review templates that bring consumers closer to others who’ve used the product • You (potentially) have many perspectives, versus just one in- store CONS: • Online reviews either get many perspectives or none at all; a running shoe specialist looks at hundreds of cases • A running shoe specialist can ensure the shoe is right for the individual foot OUTSIDE OPINION (via reviews) Tuesday, July 16, 13
  80. 80. YESTHEANSWER?: Tuesday, July 16, 13
  81. 81. BUTDOESONLINEFULLY REPLICATETHEIN-STORE EXPERIENCE? Tuesday, July 16, 13
  82. 82. NOTHEANSWER?: Tuesday, July 16, 13
  83. 83. WHILEONLINECANPROVIDEMUCH OFTHESHOPPINGEXPERIENCE, WEBSITESMUSTDOMORETOPAY ATTENTIONTOTHEINDIVIDUAL CONSUMER. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  84. 84. WHENITCOMESTOPRODUCTSPECS, WEBSITESMUSTFOCUSON QUALITY,AVAILABILITY& CONSISTENCY. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  85. 85. THEYMUSTALSO PAYMORE ATTENTIONTO FIT. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  86. 86. ONCETHOSE THINGSHAPPEN, Tuesday, July 16, 13
  87. 87. itsuptothe consumer todecide. Tuesday, July 16, 13
  88. 88. Tuesday, July 16, 13

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