Comfort is mandatory in 2020 and most footwear brands lack a strategy for how to increase comfort. The best brands use a consistent approach to improve one area of comfort every year and see benefits of increased sales, less returns, and higher online ratings. This post outlines the three steps for improving comfort in 2020 followed by examples of these from Heeluxe’s analysis:

  • Focus on One Area Each Year
  • Set Measurable Comfort Goal
  • Plan for The Future. 

Comfort comes from many aspects of footwear, including Fit, Insole Contour, Movement, and Cushioning. Reviewing your brand’s current products identifies on area where most products are failing (low sales, high returns, bad reviews). In 2020 you must be laser focused on this area and not be distracted by the others. Most brands have made significant improvements in cushioning in 2017-2019 and now most are focusing on fit. Don’t make the mistake of trying to fix everything at once!

Goal setting for comfort is critical to achieving market success. Once you’ve identified the comfort area your brand will focus on in 2020, you need to identify how much you’re going to improve in 2020. Many brands Heeluxe works with select a competitor that they’re going to benchmark against for these goals. Effective comfort goal examples include:

The forefoot fit pressures of our styles will be equal to or less than (top competitor) styles. 

We will improve insole cushioning by 10% for all styles.

Once you’ve laid out your Focus and Goals, brands must plan for 2 things: how to tell sales staff/retailers/customers about these comfort improvements and what to focus on in 2021. This plan ensures that your hard work on improving comfort will be appreciated (and increase sales!). Additionally, management will retain comfort improvement as a strategy for the brand which ensures your success will not be short lived. 

Comfort continues to drive shoe purchases in all categories and your top competitors are working on comfort strategies. Be sure to work on your footwear comfort in 2020 to meet your customer’s continually rising expectations! For more information contact [email protected].