The online footwear retailer — whose owner snapped up the domain name Shoes.com from its defunct Canadian parent in April — has reimagined its website and identity, a feat bolstered by the immense backing power of Walmart and Jet.com.
“Since joining the Jet.com family under the Walmart U.S. eCommerce division, we’ve added massive firepower to our growth plan and momentum in building a meaningful brand,” Alex Proelss, SVP of brand marketing and creative, told Footwear News. “It has created new opportunities and added resources, given us best-in-class knowledge sharing, and cutting-edge retail and technology insights.”
The new site — unveiled this week — will add trendy brands such as Sam Edelman and Hunter to its assortment.
Here, Proelss gives FN the scoop on the key facets of the relaunch.
What is the value of rebranding Shoebuy as Shoes.com, particularly at this juncture?
“Our mission is to be the world’s first thought for shoes, so it is very intuitive to be Shoes.com. After purchasing the domain, we were live in 45 days, moving from Shoebuy.com to Shoes.com. This was an incredible achievement for our team, especially our tech department, which ensured the fullest value of the asset. To maximize the category-leading domain, we embarked on a brand deep dive and exploration across consumer, competition and culture. This led to a more meaningful and relevant brand that is true to our DNA. Doing the relaunch now, before the holiday season, is perfect for ramping up our marketing efforts at a lower-risk time. We’ll test and learn while continuing to roll out brand enhancements through the rest of the year and 2018.”
What kind of consumer insights drove the relaunch?
“We launched several quantitative and qualitative initiatives to sharpen our understanding of the current consumer and determine the best target audience. We studied consumers’ shopping behavior, affinity for shoes and personal aspirations through digital diaries. We benchmarked ourselves against the competition from the consumer and business lens to ensure our future brand fills a clear need in the marketplace. We also pressure-tested our new brand and creative to see how it resonated with real consumers. These insights helped determine how to improve our site experience and brand marketing efforts for the relaunch, as well as everything we do going forward.”
What are the key changes Shoebuy has made to its business strategy in order to rebrand as Shoes.com?
“We’ve just begun our transformation, but at our core, we are a technology brand and a shoe brand. We’ve expanded our product offering to include beloved brands like Hunter, Sam Edelman and Toms. We recently became the title sponsor of the Two Ten Foundation’s Footwear Cares. We’ve also launched site enhancements across Shoes.com like our Curated Concept Shops and a fresher updated site experience. We’ll be implementing more site enhancements over the next six months, creating a more personalized customer shopping experience.”
What kinds of new opportunities does Shoes.com have now under the umbrella of Walmart and Jet.com?
“Some specific examples of this are: our new state-of-the-art corporate headquarters on the Waterfront in Boston, which has emboldened our culture, work environment and ability to hire top talent. And additional warehouse capabilities to streamline our shipping practices and get orders to consumers faster. We’re now responsible for enhancing how shoes are sold across partner sites Jet.com and Walmart.com. With our industry expertise, we’re working toward improving the shoe-shopping experience for 90 million consumers monthly.