Success case

ZACH Footwear

Fight returns with 3D first: How ZACH Footwear reduced returns by 29%

From day one, Zach Footwear has been committed to creating an exceptional customer experience by embracing a 3D-first approach on their e-commerce. Here’s the story of how Zach’s ambition to help customers make smarter shopping decisions led to a 29.4% reduction in returns allowing them to reallocate their budget from product photography to expand their 3D strategy.

ZACHS’s assets

London-based shoe brand Zach Footwear handcrafts unique shoes, combining luxury Italian leather and fabric, meticulously crafted by local artisans in Portugal, in limited quantities. Since 2021, Zach has aimed to create an exceptional customer experience, including top-notch packaging and communication that align with their premium products.

– Understanding the audience of your brand and how they want to experience your product is important for any brand. To have 3D and AR is definitely an important factor for us. They’re paying for a premium product, so they need a premium offer, customer service, website and experience, comments Robbie Thompson, founder and CEO of Zach Footwear.

“Originally, we wanted to make something that stood out, and no other shoe brand did. Being a smaller brand, we could make the decision to do something cutting-edge much faster than larger brands.”

/Robbie Thompson, founder and CEO of Zach Footwear.

Fighting returns is a nightmare”

Returns are a challenge for any shoe brand, as trend reports and research indicate that more people now prioritize sustainability when making online purchase decisions. Robbie agrees that brand sustainability is important, and finds the returns process a challenge.

     – It’s a nightmare! Aside from the routine process of handling a return, there are additional tasks like replacing ruined boxes, repacking shoes for shipping, customer communication, creating shipping labels, and providing drop-off instructions and so on. It is possible to reduce costs by handling returns manually this way, but it’s very time-consuming, says Robbie.

According to Robbie, the actual cost is one thing and it fluctuates, but time spent handling returns is another, and it’s a much harder parameter to measure in terms of costs. But a year after having implemented Fibbl’s 3D experience, something remarkable happened that would turn the issues of returns on its head.

A remarkable game changer

One of the most frequent reasons for returns is the discrepancy between the physical product and its product images online – it doesn’t look the same shoppers would claim. It suddenly dawned on Robbie that no one had used that specific reason for a return until 8 months into the year. Investigating it further it turned out that the only returns this year has been for sizing.

The only change we made on our product pages is the inclusion of 3D models from Fibbl and the accompanying experience. It has had a substantial impact because trying on the shoe and seeing it in detail makes returns less likely. We observed a 29.4% reduction in returns, which is a game-changer for us and eliminates one problem we had to solve, Robbie comments.

Robbie also mentions that they categorize return rates in various dimensions, and some, such as size and weight, still pose challenges. However, there’s no doubt that one major return category has now been resolved, allowing Robbie and his team to focus on addressing other types of returns. Inspired by the results Robbie is eager to explore additional possibilities using 3D, such as enhancing their marketing efforts. He knows from where he will get the budget to do that.

Reallocating budget from product photographs

Implementing 3D first on their e-commerce helped Zach solve another problem by default: production of product images. These images are automatically generated and included in the delivery when we convert a shoe into a 3D model, saving Zach a significant cost. Robbie plans to use the money saved to further expand the brand’s 3D strategy, leveraging the abundance of visual content assets.

Fibbl includes 3D videos, Virtual Try On, AR placement, and 360 viewer experiences in all deliveries for instant distribution across online channels, making it a gold mine for brands’ marketing departments and partners, such as agencies. Check out the full breakdown of all Zach’s gains using Fibbl:

  • 29.4% reduction in returns
    By delivering an exceptional customer experience that helped customers make smarter shopping decisions, Zach reduced their returns when comparing year-over-year data for the same time periods (April 2022 – September 2022 and April 2023 – September 2023).
  • No more product images
    Fibbl’s product images eliminate the need for Zach to produce and manage product photographs themselves, saving them at least 120,000 SEK per annum (£10,000).
  • Exceptional customer experience
    By embracing a 3D-first approach on their e-commerce, Zach has created an exceptional customer experience that stands out, keeping visual consistency for the brand across all online channels.
  • Abundance of 3D content
    Fibbl includes 360 viewer, Virtual Try On, AR placement, product images, and 3D video experiences in all deliveries for instant distribution across online channels, giving Zach an abundance of content assets for their marketing efforts.

More success stories

Want to explore the possibilities?