Don’t Buy New Shoes: Let 3-D Printers Make Them

No more need to try on shoes and make decisions about which ones you like.  Not to mention testing them for comfort and how they look on your foot, or with your desired fashion look. Listen up you men too.  Go online, baby!  It’s all about “mass customization” and saving yourself the trip to the shoe store or the shopping mall just to browse at your leisure, and maybe spend some time with the masses (family and friends too) as they look for the latest or the least expensive prices they can find.  I think I may be getting too nostalgic here, because shopping for anything these days has evolved into a predominantly online experience.

For many shoppers, it may be an exclusive online experience that allows them to spend more leisure time to do whatever other activities they may be interested in.  Ironically, that might mean spending more time online doing other “things.”  Social media seems to be replacing “socializing” in the traditional sense of spending time with friends and family outside of the work environment.  Now what does all of this have to do with buying shoes?   I think it is just a very graphic example of how we don’t have to engage with another person(s) in making a purchase for a basic commodity that everyone needs.  Technology has made this possible, creating more options for the consumer searching for the right shoes for different uses and different occasions.  But some people have more choices of shoes than they will ever need.  Do you think Imelda Marcos (widow of deceased  Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos) really needs more than a thosand pairs of shoes.  I don’t think she ever has, or ever will go online to buy a pair.

True confession: I used to sell women’s shoes.  I worked part-time on Saturdays during my college days.  I was never  as successful as the full-time staff, who really seemed to read customers’ preferences much better than I.  So you really don’t have to worry about salesmanship anymore.  Who needs a sales person?  Just go online and customize whatever you want.

Ray Myers


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