Providing an online shopping experience that's as effective as an in-person, in-store experience, is no easy task. This is especially true when the product you're selling is reliant on the customer trying it on for themselves, like a pair of running shoes. Newton Running, a specialty running shoe company, came to us looking for a solution for that very problem.
Newton Running's shoes had been sold only in specialty running retail stores, but the company knew it needed to reach its customers online as well. Newton Running’s self-proclaimed mission is “to create a running shoe that's different ... Not for the sake of being different, but to make every stride better.”
With most Newton Running customers buying an average of two to three pairs a year, their mission is clearly successful. However, Newton Running’s premium offering of high performance, multiple-model running shoes, based on foot type and running surfaces, presented an interesting challenge for its online buyers.
A large part of Newton Running's marketing is educating people about its shoes' active technology, which is a very visual thing. Doing that visually but concisely, without over-complicating it and making it too technical, is a challenge.
There are things you can do in a physical retail store that you can't do online, and when people are buying high-end running shoes, they more often than not want to try them on for themselves before clicking the "Add to Cart" button.
So how did Newton bridge the physical, in-store retail section of the company with the online, e-commerce aspect of the business?
Newton Running, working with Rapt Media, built an interactive product selector video that allows the online shopper to self-select the type of shoe that’s right for them.
Newton Running wanted a way to show multiple customer storylines in one package, and Rapt Media’s multiple-path, user-controlled interactive video platform allowed Newton Running to do just that. Rapt Media’s architecture made it possible for customers to self-select the content that applied to them and follow one of those journeys to find the right shoe.
In the "Choose a Shoe" experience, shoppers start by selecting whether they are male or female. They then go on to answer a series of questions about their feet, the surface they’ll be primarily running on, and how they plan to use the shoes (train, race, new runner). The interactive video experience provides the shopper with a few shoe recommendations that are unique to their responses. Clicking a shoe then takes you to its respective product detail page where the shopper can then learn more.
Why Rapt Media?
We always ask our customers why they chose Rapt Media over all the other possible technology providers out there. Newton Running’s creative director, Jake Marty, told us he liked the visual-first aspect of Rapt Media’s platform. “It was nice to build on a visual setting to facilitate a non-linear interactive video build,” Marty said. He also said the user interface for uploading and changing styling was straight forward for what he thought would be a complex process.
Another reason Newton Running partnered with Rapt Media is for the data Rapt Media’s platform could provide. Newton Running liked the shopper insights the experience provided (stability vs. neutral shoes, for example), which the company sees as an opportunity for informing future product development and marketing
Speaking of data, Newton Running learned that shoppers were able to better understand what shoes were best for them. This was indicated by both the 90 percent completion rate and reduction in time spent by call center reps created by shopper product confusion.
Here are just some of the insights into customer preferences revealed by those that engaged with the product selector, including:
- 63% of shoppers were male
- 68% of shoppers needed a neutral shoe vs. a stability shoe
- 90% of shoppers were road runners vs. trail runners
- 61% of shoppers plan to use their shoes to train (vs. 21% that are new runners and 18% that will use them for racing)
Learn more about Newton Running's interactive product selector experience, or get started on your own.