When I was a kid, there was this one spot in the shopping mall where my grandmother spent a long time lingering at before proceeding to check out – the shoe department.
As I grew older, from my grandmother to my mother, then aunt, and now my girlfriend; the shoe department is still that one place where they spend the longest time before checking out. To be fair, I take time to consider my clothing purchases but buying my shoes takes only half of that. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been trying to find an answer to this old question of mine: Why do women like shoes?
That question was still lingering at the back of my mind when I stumbled upon She Likes Shoes, a shoe-subscription service where you pay for a monthly delivery of shoes to your doorstep.
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According to Aggi, content manager for the website, the idea came from a shoe club website in the U.S. called ShoeDazzle. “You pay a certain amount monthly to pick out a pair of shoes from their selection and have it delivered to you. Why not bring this service to the Philippines?” she said in an email interview with Vulcan Post.
The website is founded by another startup company called A-Solutions, a builder of e-commerce platforms. With the growing e-commerce scene in Southeast Asia, they believe that there is a niche here for a shoe subscription service.
The target niche market? The busy woman.
“She Likes Shoes was built because subscription commerce is something new in the Philippines and we’re excited to get it rolling here. And, well, SHOES. It’s rare to find a woman who doesn’t like shoes. We thought it might be a good idea to start a shoe subscription website for a busy woman who loves shoes, but doesn’t have the time to go through bad traffic to go to a mall, walk around to choose a shoe, and then brave bad traffic again to go back home,” said Aggi.
Looking through the website, I was first greeted with an email subscription page. Thereafter, I was taken through a detailed registration page to fill in my name and details. I don’t know how everyone feels about email subscriptions but I would preferred browsing the shoes first before subscribing. What if I’m not actually interested in the shoe options?
After I signed up, I finally got to see the wide selection of shoes that the website had to offer. As I had predicted, the website currently only sells Philippine-made shoes. Aggi said this is the their way of promoting Philippine-made products. However, they plan on bringing in designer brands in future.
How to Subscribe for Shoes
Okay, so you’ve seen the shoes, how do you subscribe to receive them? She Likes Shoes allows you to get these shoes delivered to your house through a method called “STEPS.” According to Aggi:
“We use the points system in She Likes Shoes, but instead of calling them “points” we call them “steps.” 1 step is equal to Php 500.00. Each month, subscribers are charged a flat rate of Php 499.00, and automatically get 1 step in their account (Php 1.00 discount). They can select any of the shoes under 1 STEP in the website. But if they like shoes under 2 STEPS and 3 STEPS, they would have to buy more steps (at Php 500.00 for 1 step). “
I asked if there’s a catch. Aggi said there is none. If the payment was not made, the subscription is cancelled. Pretty straightforward if you ask me. “If the customer wants a replacement, we’ll have the shoe picked up and replaced.”
She Likes Shoes, as a shoe-subscription service, is still a relatively new concept in the Philippines. Most Filipinos are probably subscribed to a mobile plan. I am subscribed to Spotify. I pay monthly rent. The concept of subscribing to get shoes every month however still feels radically different from anything else. As a guy, shoes are still a one-time affair and I don’t buy shoes every month.
But maybe that’s exactly it. I am not their target market. Aggi sent me some testimonials they received from women who are self-confessed “shoe lovers” and buy shoes every month. These people will probably find this service extremely appealing.
But why do women love shoes anyway? Aggi tried to give me an answer:
“I don’t know exactly why. Prior to launching the site, we did a lot of research, conducted focus groups and surveys, and the results are always the same — there are more women who like shoes than there are those who don’t. And almost everyone of those who obsess over shoes don’t have a super definite answer as to why they like shoes except that good / pretty shoes make them “feel great”. Personally I like them because they are usually beautiful and they can really make a boring outfit look instantly more interesting. I think beautiful shoes add a big boost of confidence for the wearer, especially it the shoes are heels. And I think that’s why some of the respondents said good shoes make them “feel great”.”
Shoe lovers living in the Philippines can check out their website here.