App helps shop­pers see if the shoe fits

Central Leader - - SITUATIONS VACANT - SHANI WIL­LIAMS

‘‘It is in­spir­ing to see a lit­tle Kiwi busi­ness solv­ing prob­lems the world faces.’’

Four friends are mak­ing life eas­ier for online shoe shop­pers us­ing foot scan­ning tech­nol­ogy.

The Auck­land men have de­vel­oped an app that al­lows online shop­pers to find the per­fect shoe size and re­duce the chances of hav­ing to send wrong sized prod­ucts back as re­turns.

The app, called Stru­ta­gio, al­lows online shop­pers to ‘try on’ shoes be­fore they pur­chase them.Shoe re­turns cost Kiwi shop­pers and re­tail­ers more than $1.5 mil­lion each year.

From a pho­to­graph, Stru­ta­gio can iden­tify the ex­act size of a foot, which it then com­pares to the in­side shape of a shoe.

In their early 20s, the friends have al­ready closed a deal with ma­jor shoe man­u­fac­turer Bobux In­ter­na­tional and went live on the man­u­fac­turer’s web­site this week.

Stru­ta­gio, which is a com­bi­na­tion of the word ‘‘strut’’ and the Ital­ian word for ‘‘ease’’, was founded in March 2016.

The app was de­vel­oped by An­gad Nay­yar, Nishij Nim­ma­gadda, Kyle Thum­badoo and Nicky Pen­hall.

Stru­ta­gio chief ex­ec­u­tive and Mt Roskill res­i­dent Nay­yar said the prob­lem of shoe re­turns was mas­sive.

‘‘In the United States shoe re­turns cost com­pa­nies US$260m (NZ$375m) each year and in China US$700m - with siz­ing is­sues be­ing the num­ber one rea­son for re­turns,’’ Nay­yar said.

Stru­ta­gio aims to lower this fig­ure by more than 30 per cent, he said.

Bobux In­ter­na­tional CEO Andrew Sharp said Stru­ta­gio had fi­nally been able to ‘‘crack’’ a prob­lem faced by all online shoe re­tail­ers.

‘‘I am ex­tremely ex­cited we get to share this app with our cus­tomers - it is in­spir­ing to see a lit­tle Kiwi busi­ness solv­ing prob­lems the world faces,’’ Sharp said.

He was con­fi­dent Stru­ta­gio would de­crease his com­pany’s re­turns rate, Sharp said.

Us­ing the app was sim­ple, the Mt Welling­ton res­i­dent said.

Users put an A4 piece of pa­per on a hard sur­face floor, then put their foot on the pa­per and take a top-down pho­to­graph. From here, Stru­ta­gio fig­ures out the ex­act size of a foot and matches it to the cor­rect shoe size.

Stru­ta­gio won the Univer­sity of Auck­land Ve­loc­ity In­no­va­tion Chal­lenge last year and re­ceived a $1000 cash prize. It was also a fi­nal­ist in this year’s Ve­loc­ity $100k chal­lenge.

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