Buy shoes online – the smart way

When it comes to fashion shopping, are you a brick-and-mortars' aficionado or an intrepid online hunter? Department stores are struggling in the last years: in 2017, the number of US retail outlets fell from the first time since 2009[1]. Are we in the middle of a retail apocalypse? Are traditional stores disappearing? We don’t think so, but retailers need to transform quickly to meet the needs of the upcoming generations.

A clear trend among millennials is: spend more on experiences like entertainments, exclusive dinners, travels and less for stuff like clothes or shoes. Does it mean next generations won’t be well dressed? Of course not.

One of the reasons shopping of physical non durable goods, particularly clothing and footwear, is shifting online is because of the considerable price differences. Technology has made shopping a lot “smarter”. This is particularly true for online fashion sales, doubled in value in United Kingdom since 2012 and with a strong double-digit growth forecast for the next five years[2].

A shoes shopper can save an average of 30% compared to brick and mortar prices. Therefore, saying that people are taking less care on the way they dress would not be wholly accurate. We might say people are taking more care on the way they shop using technology to make smarter decisions.

Introducing Shoemondo

Although buying fashion online can save you a lot of money it is not all rainbows and unicorns. The number of available shops is overwhelming and increases every day. This highly fragmented environment makes it hard and time consuming for an average shopper to find what she is looking for at the best price on the market. Fashion meta search engines can mitigate these issues but being too generic can sometimes be seen as cluttered and require too many clicks to arrive at the final destination.

Shoemondo was born from a personal need: a one stop place to search and compare shoes from different online stores. We think that restricting the search to shoes only gives a tailored experience to the end users simplifying the entire shopping journey.

Under the hood, our platform collects data from our partners inventories. Aggregating this data in one place opens up a number of new interesting possibilities. Our long term goal is to unlock the value inside the data identifying patterns and applying machine learning techniques to provide useful insights and improve our users' shopping experience.

In this first post we want to show a simple analysis based on the shoes catalog currently available on our site.

The Data

  • Date: 3 June 2018
  • 114,175 shoe's models
  • 12 United Kingdom stores (7 multi brands, 5 single brand)
  • 1,383 brands

The Analysis

Adidas and Nike are head-to-head with around 8,000 different models available each. It's interesting to see Office and Asos private labels in the top 20 brands.

products by brand

Let's get to the meaty part of the analysis: prices. The box-and-whisker chart below shows the prices distribution for the top brands. Even if it could seem a bit intimidating at first sight it's quite easy to read. Taking into example Geox: most of the shoes range between 50 and 80 GBP, the cheapest models are around 30 GBP and most expensive ones more that 175 GBP.

This plot makes it easy to identify similiraties in term of price models between different brands: Adidas and Nike or Timberland and Clarks.

price distribution by brand

The last part focuses on on-sale products: which brands offer the best discounts? In this chart each bubble represents a brand and the size is proportional to the mean discounted price. The more at the top a brand is positioned the more on-sale products it has. The more on the right is positioned the higher is the discount.

brands discount

All Grace shoes products are on sale with an average discount of 60%. Office follow with an average discount just below the 50%. Among the sport contendents, Asics seems to be a very price competitive brand at the moment with 60% of the available products on-sale and a generous 40% average discount.

Conclusions

This simple study shows that data can help to buy shoes in a more conscious way. We are planning to introduce more insight features and make them available through an easy process. Our goal is to integrate this knowledge in Shoemondo in order to help shoes shoppers in their buying journey.

Head over to Shoemondo to find your next favourite pair of shoes.


Resources
  1. Retail apocalypse: Number of US stores fell last year for first time since 2009 - Fox Business - March 19, 2018
  2. Brits hung up on online fashion: online sales of clothing, fashion accessories and footwear grow by 17% in 2017 - Mintel - September 15, 2017
  3. Photo by bruce mars - Pexels