A footwear data service startup was founded in Shenzhen in 2014, by a Ph.D. student graduated from Hong Kong and another two partners from the field of supply chain management. This startup has received Angel Capital1 in 2015 and Pre-A round of financing in 2016. The notion that initially drove this startup is a low-cost and high-accuracy 3D foot scanner technology. This handy scanner is capable to digitize 3D foot models with a measuring time of about 10 seconds and data processing time of about 12 seconds. The mean modeling error is around 1.5mm.

In the first 3 years, the main concern of the startup company team was on product development and improvement to adopt the updated commercial needs from both online and physical stores. At the same time, a database for footwear of different dimensions was also developed. In 2017, this startup has commenced development on intelligent retail and finally developed its third generation 3D foot scanner in a smaller size and with smarter measurement. From 2018, the market positioning has been re-defined as a solution provider for footwear information and technology service. Besides the 3D foot scanner, the startup company has also developed other its own IT products, including C2M System, Distribution Management System, Ordering System, Online Shop, Huawei Cloud Service and Try-On Management System. To integrate these products, the company also provides services of smart retail and C2M business.

The service of smart retail includes: 1) customer registration and user data link; 2) physical store digitalization and customer behavior data analysis; 3) user portrait analysis and precision marketing; 4) virtual cloud shop and online to offline; 5) integrated mobile sale terminal and efficient stores; 6) cross-store sale, intelligent transfer and shock shared models; and 7) Real-time big data analysis and strategy support.

The flow of C2M (Customer-to-Maker) service is illustrated as follows.

As the retail business model of the footwear industry is very traditional or even outdated in most areas of Mainland China, it is extremely difficult to introduce a new technology like their 3D scanner to the traditional brands ranging from large, medium to small scale companies. Therefore, this company changed its business strategy and started to provide technology solutions to help footwear companies establishing the whole IT platforms. Only with the necessary IT platform, the new 3D scanning technology can truly prevail in the industry. Its business model canvas is summarized as follows.

  1. http://www.cloudolp.com/about.html [20-07-2018]