Fashion, Apparel & Accessories
Sell Shoes Online Ego Shoes: A Fast Fashion Success Story
The Instagram footwear brand had outgrown their platform.
Ego Shoes was founded over 10 years ago by entrepreneur Mohammed Fiaz, with bricks-and-mortar stores in Liverpool and Manchester in England. It quickly became the ‘one-stop-shop’ for customers and celebrities looking for trend-driven footwear at an affordable price. When the founder’s son Adeel Fiaz joined the company, his cousin and best friend Usman Riaz started to sell footwear from his bedroom on eBay and Amazon. The dynamic duo instantly realized the vast potential in the eCommerce market. By early 2015, customers visiting the family’s footwear stores were asking where they could find their products online. “So we launched an Instagram account to see what demand there was,” Riaz recalled. “Within months we had 40,000 followers. And in three years...one million followers and celebrity fans including Kendall Jenner, Little Mix, and Winnie Harlow.”
To capitalize on their newfound popularity, they planned a website, and Ego Shoes was born. A helpful friend did the coding. “We ordered the site on Thursday and by Monday he had it ready to trade,” explained Riaz. “We launched the website on the 4th May 2015 at 5pm, on Magento Community Edition (now Magento Open Source). Twenty seconds later was our first sale.” During the first six months, sales exploded. Revenue doubled, then tripled each month. The secret, Riaz explained, is “killer products,” and of course, Instagram. “It was a case of contacting influencers, and they’d feature our shoes for free. We call ourselves an Instagram brand.” Soon, Ego Shoes had 35 staff, but it was starting to show that their website was built on a weekend. With “fifty to sixty” extensions the site was “creaking,” admitted Riaz. “The conversion rate was going down...so we decided to take the plunge and go to Magento Commerce 2, on the Cloud.”
With other platforms, you can’t customize it to exactly what you need. On Magento you can change absolutely anything.Usman Riaz
Co-CEO, Ego Shoes
Time is money.
One of the keys to the brand’s success is speed. “We’re the fastest of the fast fashion,” explained Riaz. His team of buyers scan social media for the latest footwear crazes, then they design the shoes, which are made in China and shipped to their warehouse in the UK – all in less than seven days. The EGO team adds between 20-60 new styles each week. Mobile handles 80 percent of their visits and 75 percent of conversions. “Our main claim to fame is we get it first,” said Riaz. Speed is one of the reasons Ego chose to upgrade to Magento Commerce (Cloud), in August 2017 – it cut their page load time by 30 percent.
To tailor the site to the brand’s audience, EGO partnered with Corra, a Global Elite Magento partner. Corra has worked with Magento since the birth of the platform, and specializes in creating the targeted fashion experiences EGO needed. Through in-depth customer research, Corra identified the brand’s key buyer personas as tech-savvy women aged 18 to 24. EGO shoppers are attracted by millennial minimalism, captivating photography, and viral trends, so Corra designed a modular homepage with content that can be re-edited on-the-go. Their new mobile-first experience features fun, playful icons, colorful animations, and a sticky email capture that drives opt-ins without distracting shoppers. Meanwhile, EGO’s glamorous shoes are displayed in huge images, with easy-to-read titles and pricing. Corra even implemented a tap functionality that allows shoppers to see alternate product views right from the product landing page.
For Riaz, the biggest plus point with Cloud is the managed hosting. Now they can offload the technical expertise and maintenance to Magento, and focus on what they do best...shoes. “The infrastructure was a huge plus point, as was the development environment,” he said. Cloud also allows Ego to serve their images faster and in higher quality, better serving their mobile customers.
International expansion made easy.
Ego Shoes’ migration to Magento Commerce 2 took less than four months, and Corra had the new store ready in time for Black Friday. The holiday sales period is the busiest time of the year for EGO, when even Riaz joins his staff to pick and pack products in the warehouse. But Magento Commerce (Cloud) keeps the site performing, no matter how busy they get. “With Cloud we get additional resources to up-scale when we need,” said Haroon Hussain, Ego’s eCommerce Manager. The platform has allowed Ego to embark on the next chapter of their eCommerce growth, easily spinning up new sites for Australia, Europe, Canada, and the United States. They now ship 30,000 units a month.
Despite being based in the UK, 51 percent of their of sales are to the US. EGO’s popularity in America was bolstered when, back in 2016, they manufactured a style of shoe similar to a hot sportswear product designed by a major American rap star. Another shoe, featuring not one but two animal prints, unexpectedly went viral on Instagram, selling out in minutes. Ego Shoes placed an urgent order to China for more stock, but a customized pre-order extension allowed customers to make their purchase, with expected delivery dates. Easily adding new features has helped to boost their Average Order Value, and overall business. “Pay later from Klarna is massive,” said Riaz. “and around 17 percent of our customers use it.”
Reducing the technical debt and complexity of their site’s backend greatly improved Ego’s bottom line. “That’s where Marketplace comes in,” explained Riaz. “We now have the option to decide, is it worth investing in creating a custom extension, or can we save all those hours when there’s a robust solution already available?”