Friday, July 27, 2012

Outbound VC Dialing Programs – Total Disrespect for Entrepreneurs

Great article. We received lots of contact like this after our TechCrunch write ups and I wasted quite a bit of time doing these calls thinking it would help us with our funding round. None of them came to fruition.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model

Last night at 9pm in the UK the latest episode of Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model aired in the UK and Ireland. The key challenge in the episode was based around a Shoes of Prey shoot! The models were styled in beautiful dresses with Shoes of Prey shoes, then they were hoisted up into the air for the shoot.

Jodie flew over to London for the filming a couple of months ago and outlined the challenge on the show, and was at the shoot as the client. We watched the episode at 6am in Sydney yesterday over Skype and the show and coverage we received was fantastic!

Unfortunately though, traffic to our site, and therefore sales haven't increased significantly. The company that produces the show contacted us to ask if we wanted to be involved in the show, and the pricing they offered us was very reasonable, but we couldn't negotiate in to have our designer on the show. That's our 'purple cow' and it was easy to miss the fact we're a custom designed shoe company.

Still, it was a fantastic branding opportunity to be associated with the show and we now have some fantastic images and content we can share with existing and potential customers to drive sales over the coming months, so overall a very good result.

The final images from the shoot:

And a behind the scenes video we put together:

Monday, July 23, 2012

SurfStitch - How to react when your site goes down

SurfStitch, winner of 'Best Online Retailer' at this year's ORIA awards had their site go down during a sale a couple of weeks ago.

The way they reacted to this on Facebook was impressive. Their two posts apologising for the issue, then postponing and rerunning the sale, with a higher % off, once the site was back up and running was a fantastic way to react to the issue on the fly. (You can click the images to read their Facebook posts).

A perfect use of social media to respond to a crisis.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Online Retail Industry Awards 2012

Apologies that it's been a little while between blog posts, we've had a massive week!

Wednesday night saw the 2012 Australian Online Retail Industry Awards night and we're incredibly proud to say we came away with 4 awards across both Sneaking Duck and Shoes of Prey!

It's always so much fun to get together with others in the online retail industry in Australia, it's such an inspiring group of people building amazing, rapidly growing businesses. It was nice catching up with the likes of John Winning from Appliances Online, Gabby Leibovich from Catch of the Day, Rolf Weber from BrandsExclusive, Ben, Mike and Nick from Tinyme and I had the pleasure of meeting lots of other amazing online retail entrepreneurs including Justin and Lex from SurfStitch (who took out the big one - Online Retailer of the Year award) and Jane Cay and her team from Birdsnest, an online fashion retailer based in Cooma, south of Canberra which employs 60 people out of a town of 6,500!

On a personal note I was extremely humbled and honoured to win this year's Industry Recognition Award. I fell in love with retail back when I worked at Supercheap Auto and it's so exciting to be part of such a fast paced, innovative part of the industry as an online retailer. Thanks to everyone who reads our 22michaels blog as I'm told that sharing our story and thoughts on the industry here was one of the key reasons that happened.

THE WINNERS

Best Pureplay Retailer
SurfStitch

Best Multichannel Retailer
Woolworths

Best New Online Retailer
The Iconic

Best Use of Technology
Shoes of Prey

Most Innovative Online Retailer
Sneaking Duck

Best Online Retail Marketing Initiative
Woolworths

Best Customer Experience
Sneaking Duck

Best Aggregation Channel
GetPrice

Best Site Optimisation and Design
SurfStitch

Best Mobile Commerce
brandsExclusive

Online Retailer of the Year
SurfStitch

Industry Recognition Award
Michael Fox, Shoes of Prey / Sneaking Duck

Coverage from Power Retail here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friends and Family Sale

You are invited to the Shoes of Prey Friends & Family Sale.

Visit our Sydney showroom to select from over 1000 handmade, one-off designs in sizes 2.5 to 15.

Ballet Flats: $220 $80
Heels: $275 $100
Ankle Boots: $375 $130

When: 5:00pm - 8:00pm, Thursday 12 July, 2012
5:00pm - 8:00pm, Friday 13 July, 2012
10:00am - 3:00pm, Saturday 14 July, 2012

Where: Shoes of Prey Headquarters
Studio 12, Level 1
285A Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010 (30m from The Winery)

Why we lie

Fascinating article: Why we lie.

The vast majority of people, when given the opportunity cheat a little. The best way to prevent this? Remind them of their morals and that they're being asked to be honest prior to the activity that can lead to cheating.

via @nativedigital

Monday, July 9, 2012

Welcome to the team Anna and Marcela

It's with great pleasure that we introduce Anna Dixon and Marcela Perez to the Shoes of Prey team as Customer Service Wonderpeople!

Anna has a passion for fashion, and specifically shoes. Anna studied a Bachelor of Design (Fashion Design) from the Canberra Institute of Technology and recently completed a 1 year course in Custom Footwear Design at RMIT, so like James and Andy in China she can design and make a pair of custom shoes from start to finish!

Anna has worked in retail roles at a clothing store in Canberra and a florist in Melbourne. Most recently Anna has been working as an assistant to a Senator at Australia's Parliament House in Canberra.

Originally from Colombia, Marcela studied a Diploma in Design Studies at Griffith University in Brisbane, followed by a Bachelor of Fashion Design at LaSalle College in Columbia, graduating with honours. She began her career as a fashion designer designing smart casual wear for Double R in Bogota Columbia. Marcela moved to Sydney in 2007 working as a marketing co-ordinator at SUPRÉ before spending the last 3 years working with the marketing team at Strandbags Group.

Having grown up in Colombia Marcela is fluent in Spanish. She enjoys design and pop culture, traveling and of course fashion and shoes!

Please join me in welcoming Anna and Marcela to the team.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Custom Vegan Women's Shoes

We're very proud to announce our new range of animal free material options so our customers can now design vegan women's shoes!

Certified by The Vegan Society, our new range includes eight fabrics free of animal products and testing. When our customers design a pair of shoes using all vegan materials, we'll automatically use vegan lining in the shoes. And we've had all our glue and other manufacturing materials tested and certified vegan as well.

It's been a been a long time in the making and wasn't a simple process to go through, but it's been a highly requested feature (sometimes very passionately!) and one I've personally wanted to offer since we launched the business.

Thanks to everyone who kept recommending this to us along the way, particularly Marion Isobel, Lara Furst and Christine Knight who suggested this to us from very early on, as well as some of the other inspiring vegans/vegetarians in our lives - Cameron Elliott and Emily D'Ath amongst many others. And thanks to the people on our team who made this happen: Dave, Mel, Steph, Susie, Helen and Jade.

More on the Vegan Society accreditation: in 1944 The Vegan Society created the word 'vegan'. Products achieving certification and bearing The Vegan Society's international vegan standard trademark must meet the following criteria:

Free of animal ingredients - The manufacture and/or development of the product, and where applicable its ingredients, must not involve, or have involved, the use of any animal product, by-product or derivative.

Free of animal testing - The development and/or manufacture of the product, and where applicable its ingredients, must not involve, or have involved, testing of any sort on animals conducted at the initiative of the manufacturer or on its behalf, or by parties over whom the manufacturer has effective control.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Why do e-commerce startups come in waves

Brilliant article on Pando Daily by Jeremy Liew, managing director at Lightspeed Venture Partners (and an Australian). "Why do e-commerce startups come in waves."

We need to find our “new, scalable and inefficient customer acquisition channel." Any ideas?