Customer experience and on-demand manufacturing
We explore how, Shoes of Prey, a simple Australian idea powered by innovative technologies exploded into a global phenomenon through data and on-demand manufacturing.
“On-demand manufacturing in my opinion is the future of retail, particularly in fashion,” says Jodie Fox, Co-founder and CCO of Shoes of Prey.
“The model that we see currently is mass production and in mass production you’re forced into minimal order quantities that are just enormous, freighting them all over the world hoping that people will buy them and then again when they don’t, there’s a discounting process and then in the worst-case scenario landfill.”
She says on-demand manufacturing is not only more financially friendly but is also an important step towards reducing a company’s environmental impact. In addition to reducing waste, the model also empowers innovators, by reducing the barrier to entry for new designs.
“Think about all the designers that never surfaced because they couldn’t afford to commission their first collections. There’re lots of great reasons that this on demand manufacturing is a great solution for all facets of a business.”
Customisation at scale
In order to manage the manufacturing costs of millions of bespoke shoes, Shoes of Prey designed its own factory line.
“Every single pair of shoes is made one at a time. To do this there is a lot of innovative technology, manufacturing innovations and intellectual property that we’ve built.”
The concept of designing your own shoes rather than picking them up off a shelf in a shoe store will be a paradigm shift for many, but Jodie is confident that it will soon become the norm: “I think everything in retail in the next five years will be a form of mass customisation,” she says. And data has a big role to play in that shift.
While data is critical for defining how Shoes of Prey approach customers, Jodie’s says they pay equal mind to the emotional component of the process.
“If you’re not asking the right insightful question of the data, the data’s going to spit something out that is useless,” Jodie says. “We make sure that we really do pair both of those things up to get to the right kind of messages, insights and ways that we interact with our customer.”
“Data underpins everything, absolutely everything at Shoes of Prey, we’re data driven, we’re really careful to make sure that we implement that kind of thinking into nearly every single decision that we make but - not at the cost of the gut.”
Marketing uncertain products
Addressing the success that Shoes of Prey has enjoyed connecting to audiences using digital media, Jodie says that digital marketing is something that is constantly simmering – there’s no silver bullet answer. But because there are approximately ten trillion possible shoes you can create on the website, searches for a specific shoe will usually surface Shoes of Prey readily.
“We approach all of our SEM and social through the lens of wanting to help you get the most relevant answer quickly. And, when you’re not looking for an answer, we share content that we believe you’ll enjoy most at that time, on that platform”