In a packed hall large enough to easily fit two jumbo jets and more, homegrown online retailer Shoes of Prey stole the show on day one of the biggest retail show in the world, held in New York this week.
NRF’s (National Retail Federation) annual 106th Retail’s BIG Show commenced on Sunday this week and ran over three days, featuring industry heads in retail, including exhibitors, sponsors and thousands of retailers, all either offering or seeking solutions to the challenges faced in the world of retail in 2017.
Over 300 speakers partook in the international conference. Shoes of Prey’s co-founder and chief creative offer Jodie Fox was one of a handful of keynote speakers at the event. In a keynote session titled Tailoring the 21st Century Customer Experience, Fox enthralled the audience with her Shoes of Prey smarts.
A banking and finance lawyer by trade, Fox shared some of her company’s secrets of success and what it takes to be a successful online retailer, but also addressed why mass customisation is the future of retail.
“For me, at the heart of Shoes of Prey, it’s about making sure we are always putting our customer at the heart of everything that we do.”
According to Fox, mass customisation and personalisation is not a trend, it’s here to stay. “We all say things that lead me to believe that mass customisation and on demand manufacturing is the answer.”
“Previously the conversation went like this: “I need a new pair of shoes. I’ll just go grab a pair off the shelf. But the evolving customer’s need that we see now is: I wish I could buy shoes that I like that fit well, but I can only pick up what is on the shelf.”
Fox says her vision of retail for the future is walking into your wardrobe, which will have a hologram or screen which greets you, and syncs with your calendar and the weather, advising what outfits would be ideal for the day’s events and the natural elements. It will also sync with the wardrobes of the people you’ll be meeting with that day, and ensures that your outfits don’t clash, making recommendations on shoes, outfits and accessory pairings.
“The way we get to innovations like this is again, by putting the customer at the heart of everything we do,” says Fox.
Launched in Sydney in 2009, Shoes of Prey is an online retailer that allows women to design their own shoes. To date, the company has had over 6 million pairs of shoes designed on its website, ships to over 100 different countries on a monthly basis, has raised around US $25 million in capital and Nordstrom are the brand’s investors. The company has built its own manufacturing to support this, and it develops its own technology in house. Once women design their perfect pair of shoes online, it gets manufactured and shipped to their door within two weeks.