Thursday, January 14, 2010

Please be blunt... rude even!

Part of the problem of running your own business is that you tend to view everything through rose colored glasses. Everything looks perfect because a) it's your own work and b) you have specialised domain knowledge. However this way of viewing the world is incredibly debilitating.

Since we started selling custom women's shoes on our website last year, we've received mountains of enthusiastic feedback. People seem to be genuinely delighted with our website and product. If we had a dollar for every time someone said, "what a great idea!" we could stop selling shoes entirely! However, it's actually the negative feedback that we're craving. We want to take our business to the next level this year so we'd love it if you could give us uncensored feedback about how we are going. What do you think is working? What isn't working, and why? How can we do better?

It goes almost without saying that we're particularly interested to hear from women. If you haven't purchased a pair of shoes yet, why not? If you have, what convinced you? And if you're male, what could we do to prompt you to buy a gift certificate for your lady friend?

Please be blunt. Rude even!

(Photo credit)


  1. The cost means I have to be really sure- so I'm a little nervous! Especially when almost ever pair if shoes rips my heel to shreds!

  2. Hi Anonymous - did you see our returns policy? Concerns like yours are exactly why we decided to go with a very generous returns policy. If you didn't see it we should look into highlighting it some more. If you did see it, what else can we do to allay your concerns?

  3. As I said to Foxy, the black and white home page image (even with the red or the now yellow shoes) doesn't do it for me. It makes me think smoke filled, back room of a boot repairer. Sorry but it does.

    Think you could test home page images with WO.

    I imagine:
    - the factory filled that's filled with endless possibilities of colours and textures. Then someone in the midle of the colour swirl designing shoes.
    - a close up of a sexy stilleto being made. The artisan should be attaching detailing (beading or buckles or something) rather than the sole.
    - fashion style polaroids showing each step in the process (just like the ones you provide with the end product).

    Hope this helps.


  4. A very good suggestion Sib. Based on what you've said in this comment, and your comments to me a few weeks back we've just changed the home page image today. :) And we're planning to do a fashion shoot in February to give us some more images along the lines of what you've suggested, and so we can run a Website Optimizer test on a few different types of images.

    You're spot on, thanks again for pointing that out to us Sib, much appreciated!

  5. Foxy! I love the fact you took action so fast! Nice one. I hope the bounce rate and 'start designing' rate improves dramatically.

    Exciting news about the photoshoot.

    To be really honest, I'm going to stay I still don't love the photo.

    I love lines of the stairs. Her outfit classic enough to draw attention to damn hot shoes.

    Now for the problems ...
    - Given you are selling shoes, the shoes aren't well featured - one is cut off and both are faded out by the white semi transparent mask.
    - (On my screen) the legs largely blend into the torso and her right foot just appears out of the black blob. From a life drawing point of view, I find the pose quite closed and a little akward (but probably natural for riffling through a bag).

    I guess the landscape layout and size make it hard to find the write pictures. So hopefully you get heaps of good horizontal ones in the photoshoot for the website.

    I really hope this hoenst feedback helps and isn't annoying.


  6. Hi Sib, agreed on the photo still being far from perfect. Interesting thoughts from your art background on the pose in the photo, that's good advice!

    We'll think all that through for the photo shoot and hopefully get some great shots.

    Your feedback is great, please keep it coming!

  7. I'm the first commenter-

    I have! I know it well, but I find returns a bit of a hassle to be honest (I have to trek to the post office and be out of pocket and find the address etc) and I often don't know if shoes rip my heels to shreds until a day of wear them in which case I don't know if you'd accept them anyway!

  8. Hi again Anonymous. Those are very good points about our returns policy. Where sizing is an issue we add the cost of your return postage as a credit to your Shoes of Prey account, but you're right, there's still the hassle and the issue of not knowing exactly how the fit is until after you've worn them out for a night.

    If it helps at all, we get the size right first time for 80% of our customers, and we've had quite few comments that the shoes are very comfortable - we just had a comment on our Facebook wall from a bride who wore our shoes on her wedding day. She said they were 'the most comfiest I have ever worn and I didn't take them off all night'!

    Perhaps we should highlight these things more on our website.

  9. I don't dpubt your returns policy! I actually think it's fantastic- but my issue of the shoes tearing up my feet remains (I can try on a pair of shoes in store, find them fine, then spend a day in them and realise they're actually quite horrid..but it's not until 5pm that day that I work that out)

    The digging in issue plays a huge role in my choice of footwear- to the point where I don't both buying ballet flats unless they have that new elastic back, none of them work. (This quite a serious shoe conversation isn't it?) Which is why I'm so nervous! Imagine my dream shoes hurting my backs! Cry!

  10. The digging in issue sounds like it makes buying shoes very tricky for you. Aside from only choosing ballet flats with elastic backs, how do you deal with the issue when buying shoes normally? It must make it hard given you only know if the shoes are going to be problematic a day after wearing them.

    I experienced the same thing with a pair of beautiful brown leather shoes I bought recently. I should have ideally been a half size which they didn't have so I chose a size up. I walked 3km in them the other day and had blisters on the the backs of both of my heels. I've fixed the issue a little bit with inserts, but it's still not perfect, and now the shoes are worn and unreturnable, so I know what you mean! That's the first time that's happened to me in a long time though, so I shouldn't complain. :)