Luxury Shoe Club Launches: Co-Founder Scott Van Valkenburgh Discusses Its Unique Retail Tech
Memberships to LSC also offer some perks, beyond the ability to buy and sell shoes. Personalized shopping, express shipping, free shipping boxes, at home pickup and a 7-day return policy are a few of the features that the three membership levels offer. Depending on the membership level, Intrigued ($49/year), Passionate ($99/year), or Obsessed ($149/year), benefits include bonus Club Points for shopping, savings on Club Point purchases, discounts on shoe repair and polishing, as well as free shipping for shoe purchases.
Logistically, getting express shipping options and at home pickup off the ground takes teamwork.
"It’s all about partnerships," says Valkenburgh. "We were lucky enough to have connected with the founder of Endicia who helped us create and establish our shipping capabilities for members that lets them create pre-paid and printable labels from the LSC App and ship directly to each other. In addition they connected us to a specialized e-commerce team in USPS that helped us integrate our technologies with them to allow 1-touch next day pick-up from our app and also order and send complimentary priority mail shipping boxes to their homes when they join."
Personalized shopping is another must-have in today's e-commerce retail environment. When members join LSC they share their shoe preferences by size, brand, style, colors, etc. A "For You" section in the app highlights shoes that match these preferences.
"As the members interact more we capture this data and in the future will be giving even more personalized recommendations based on their past usage," explains Valkenburgh.
Valkenburghadvises building an e-commerce first business takes a lot of patience and learning.
"First and foremost, you need a useful product or service and from there you need to build and understand how the technology, data and analytics can combine to build a business that scales," he says. "If you can make this happen and you can have insights into how users behave, what they see as valuable, and can easily adjust the technology, you’ll have a great chance to succeed. If you’re stuck without these in place, you really will have a tough time to be agile and adjust quickly enough."