ShoeDazzle Barbie Style

ShoeDazzle plans to double down on work with influencers going into 2018.

The online fast-fashion shoe brand is about midway through a collaboration with Mattel that features monthly curated collections fronted by the Instagram feed BarbieStyle that lives on a branded landing page on the footwear company’s web site. The rollout of the curated collections, which began in September and ends in January, has won shoppers over for a number of reasons, ShoeDazzle brand president Traci Inglis said.

For starters, she said, most ShoeDazzle shoppers grew up with Barbie and, second, who doesn’t get a kick out of seeing a miniaturized pair of shoes that they can also own?

“Barbie is outperforming a lot of the influencers that we have,” Inglis said. “She really is the ultimate influencer….She’s super influential in the fashion space. For us, what we’re seeing is a lot of interest and a lot of revenue. We’re both gaining followers from her Instagram as well as direct revenue for us.”

BarbieStyle, with 1.8 million Instagram followers, has so far led to 3 million total impressions since the Mattel collaboration’s launch with 2,000 clicks to the ShoeDazzle site. The company said the Mattel partnership, with most of the shoes priced at $39.95, is on track to beat expectations of driving $100,000 in revenue.

The success will pave the way for a boost in more mash-ups with influencers next year, Inglis said.

It’s particularly important as ShoeDazzle, which is forecasting 2017 revenues to exceed $100 million this year, looks to continue to solidify its distinction in the marketplace from competitors, including even its own sister brand in JustFab. The two are part of a portfolio of brands that make up the TechStyle Fashion Group family that also includes Fabletics and FabKids.

ShoeDazzle shoppers, Inglis pointed out, are much more about pushing the envelope and wanting to stand out with their style selections. The JustFab shopper, by comparison, is still trendy but bases her selections around more classic styles and can be described as the girl next door, Inglis said.

TechStyle — since its acquisition of ShoeDazzle in 2013 for an undisclosed amount — has continued to learn from its customers and refine its assortment accordingly.

To that end, Inglis said the company will launch apparel next year, potentially around March or April.

TechStyle’s brands will often hold meet-and-greet dinners with VIP customers to solicit feedback and conduct consumer research.

“One of the things we heard [during the dinners] is they didn’t think we had apparel that was meeting their needs,” Inglis said.

ShoeDazzle currently sells a limited offering of apparel, but customers “felt it didn’t really match the pizzazz that the shoes brought to them,” she added.

Whether ShoeDazzle would also hit heavier on the bricks-and-mortar front remains to be seen, but Inglis said it’s a consideration, pointing to vacancies at malls as potential opportunities for ShoeDazzle.

Looking out at the near-term, the business looks to best itself once again this holiday season, Inglis said. The company notched record holiday sales last year and expects to do the same this year. Last year’s cyber week saw sitewide discounts of 50 percent, which Inglis said will be repeated this year, but the company will cap such sales to avoid the season-long heavy promotions of some retailers.

“We’re sort of bucking the trend in retail right now,” Inglis said. “If you look around, it’s doom and gloom in most retail organizations. We’re seeing very strong, double-digit sales growth….We’re offering customers value that she wants and trends that she needs and we’re listening to our customers.”

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