Lessons for E-Tailers from Shoes.com

With deep sympathies for all concerned with Shoes.com, there are lessons to be heeded for all fast-growth online retail concepts. Here is a good summary by business writer Susan Adams in a recent Forbes interview with David Ian Gray https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2017/03/17/seven-lessons-from-the-failure-of-shoes-com/#673fb2284009

Other online pure play clothing and shoe retailers are not immune to the forces that culminated in the shoes.com downfall.  And the latter did indeed have a number of elements right, but the biggest takeaway is that an online seller of fashion is either a fashion brand or a platform for commodity selling. If it is a fashion retailer, if needs to understand the fashion business and understand the nuances of how to be relevant to consumers of fashion (even if a curated house of brands, which is a much harder value proposition than developing one’s own brand).   If it is at its heart a platform, then why not simply sell that system into existing shoe retail?  No one will outdo Amazon at being Amazon.