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Amazon Quietly Purchases Shoefitr

Amazon has purchased Pittsburgh-based start-up Shoefitr, according to TechCrunch, though neither company has announced the acquisition. Shoefitr uses 3-D technology to help match customers with better-fitting shoes. The company is currently working with the online presence of retailers and brands including Nordstrom, Saucony, and Cole Haan.

Shoefitr aims to eliminate the difficulty of estimating fit, a common problem customers face while shopping for shoes online. Other retailers, TechCrunch noted, like Zappos, have combated this issue by offering customers free returns. Yet, these policies can incur high operating costs. At one point, Zappos’ return rate rose to 50 percent among its most loyal customers, TechCrunch reported.

Using 3-D scanning, the Shoefitr team has created a digital database with fit and sizing information about thousands of shoes. Based on the information the site holds about shoes the customer already owns, it can make recommendations for sizes in shoes she is looking to buy.