Maximizing Retail Footwear Sales in 2023

Growth is expected for the industry, although how much is still TBD. Now more than ever, footwear brands can reach new levels of customer loyalty by resonating with the consumer on a deeper level. Here's how.

These days, it looks like consumers are holding onto their scuffed up kicks just a little longer, which isn’t great for retail footwear sales in 2023.

According to a recent survey by AlixPartners, 43% of women and 30% of men said they were deprioritizing shoe purchases due to inflation. This might translate to slower growth, with industry experts projecting only a 1% revenue growth in the space through 2025.

Overall, a stabilization in sales is a good sign after years of pandemic-related volatility, but no shoewear brand wants to see just “1% growth” at a time when consumers are ready to come back into physical stores, in addition to strong ecommerce shoe sales. How can your brand beat the average and grow your revenue much more this year?

It’s all about increasing loyalty.

Footwear Brand Loyalty Moves Markets

Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Toms, Crocs. Footwear brands create some of the most loyal consumers in retail. Besides the most ardent sneakerheads, shoe purchases are less frequent than other apparent, so it makes sense that when a consumer finds a brand they like due to style, comfort, durability, and price; they tend to stay loyal to that brand, purchasing over and over again.

Customer Loyalty Leaders via Marketing Charts

Brand loyalty in the footwear space is what moves markets, and also products. But it doesn’t have to be on a level as large as Nike. Much smaller footwear brands have found ways to thrive by leveraging the loyalty of their core audience.

Koio, a NY-based sneaker brand, leveraged segmented customer marketing messages to notify their loyal customers of new releases and in-store events. These targeted messages accounted for a large portion of their in-store sales during launch events, and became a repeatable process to market to their core audience.

So how can footwear brands foster more loyalty in order to drive more sales during a stagnant period for retail?

Increasing Footwear Brand Loyalty

The first and most obvious box to check is having a great product, and you may be surprised what turns casual shoppers into loyal ones. The main factor isn’t style or even price. Research shows that when it comes to footwear, the main driver of loyalty is comfort.

Survey comparing responses to "How loyal are you to your favorite brands?" and "Which is the main reason why you own a pair of running shoes?"

But outside of the comfort of the product itself, which is a given, brand loyalty truly increases when the company can create an emotional attachment between the brand and the customer. When consumers feel emotionally attached to a brand, they are more likely to continue purchasing from that brand and recommend it to others.

The values and personality of a brand can also create emotional attachment by resonating with the consumer on a deeper level. For example, a footwear brand that prioritizes sustainability may appeal to a consumer's values and create an emotional attachment to the brand. By aligning with the consumer's values, the brand can create a sense of shared identity and community that fosters brand loyalty.

Toms Shoes is well known for their commitment to sustainability that creates an emotional connection via their values. When purchasing their products, consumers feel engaged with their mission. Their loyalty increases. And when they need to buy another pair of shoes, they turn to the brand they relate to most.

Using Endear to Foster Emotional Attachment

The Endear CRM was built with this level of engagement in mind for retail brands. With a core focus on delivering clienteling experiences to consumers, brands have been leveraging Endear’s features to communicate on a personal level, en masse.

Endear’s CRM allows retailers to create a 360-degree view of their customers by consolidating customer data from multiple sources into one platform. This data can be used to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history. This information can be used to create personalized marketing campaigns, loyalty programs, and targeted recommendations that resonate with the individual consumer. By providing a personalized experience, footwear brands can create an emotional attachment with their customers, which can drive continued brand loyalty.

Furthermore, Endear CRM also enables footwear brands to provide a seamless, omnichannel experience for their customers. Customers can interact with the brand across multiple channels, including email, social media, and SMS. This creates a consistent experience for the customer, which can drive trust and create a sense of security that drives continued brand loyalty.

The footwear brand Koio mentioned earlier used Endear’s messaging features to drive a 36.2% open rate (vs an industry average of 15%), directly leading to increased audience engagement, and ultimately more sales to both repeat and new customers.

It’s all about loyalty when it comes to maximizing your footwear sales this season. Assess the emotional engagement that your marketing garners and take action to increase your clienteling services by leveraging Endear.

Want to see *exactly* how much more you could make with Endear?

Increase revenue and track the whole process by reaching in-store customers remotely and bringing eComm customers into the local store.