Mybudapester.com: How to sell luxury shoes online

Berlin - Luxury brands follow particularly strict, exclusive rules - even when selling online. Traditional shoe retailer mybudapester.com took the plunge and stepped into online marketing and sales with a web shop in 2015. Today, the Berlin-based company is one of the leading retailers for luxury shoes on the Internet and has implemented its global growth strategy primarily with the help of product data marketing. How does this work?

For luxury brands, selling their products online is often a tricky business. After all, they must ensure meticulously that their goods remain exclusive despite a long distribution range. After all, luxury is something not everyone can have. In general, the industry solves this problem with an artificial scarcity of their goods and strict monitoring of sales channels.

Venerable retailer of luxury shoes with brick and mortar stores in Berlin and Hamburg, mybudapester.com, knows this manipulation: “To keep up brand desirability in the market permanently, luxury labels are not just producing fewer products than they could sell. They also distribute their goods in a very targeted manner, and retailers only get a pre-defined batch size“, explains Matthias Nebus, co-founder of mybudapester.com.

Technical solutions for reach and growth

Budapester was founded in Berlin in 1939 as an exclusive shoe store and ventured into e-commerce in 2015. Today, the company sells shoes of over 120 top designers from all over the world and lists an average of around 3,600 products in its online shop, mybudapester.com. In order to build up a good range for the newly launched online shop as fast as possible, the team headed by Matthias Nebus first tried to create the data feeds demanded by platforms such as Google Shopping, mybestbrands.com or stylight.de themselves. "We gave that up very quickly because every time our shopping system was brought to its knees when we wanted to upload the data. In addition, it was simply too time-consuming for us to meet the data-feed requirements of the different platforms," recalls Matthias Nebus. So a technical solution had to be found, which on the one hand did not burden the shop, allowed an automated and well-arranged handling as well as controlling the data feeds and made fast international growth possible on the other.

Mybudapester.com: How to sell luxury shoes online

Global availability, independence of seasons

In the luxury segment, customers are searching worldwide when looking for a particular pair of shoes. Thus, the international growth goals of the shoe retailer were at the top of the list of requirements for the new solution: "The luxury market per se is a very global one," explains Matthias Nebus. "We understood that our product range would be interesting for shoe lovers around the world. All we had to do was find a viable and quick way to address this international audience. Product data marketing supported by Feed Dynamix's feed engine was the silver bullet here.” This was the only way the company could quickly enter new markets, gain experience and progressively optimise its marketing strategies. But international distribution was also important for mybudapester.com because it meant the company could become more independent of the seasonal business. “If it is summer in Germany, we can sell our winter shoes in Australia,” comments Matthias Nebus. This also saves storage costs because when the winter collection arrives in Berlin at the end of July, it is usually too early to sell it to German customers while in the southern hemisphere, the winter season is booming.

Exclusivity needs to be regulated

Rule-based control of the data feeds in particular was very important for mybudapester.com. Top labels, which would have sold out online in just a few minutes, had to be held back for the brick and mortar shops to ensure an attractive selection there as well. In general, it is very important for mybudapester.com that all goods that are available at the stores are displayed online in real time as well - but not at any cost. Today, the feed engine regulates automatically that shoes with less than two pairs in stock or that are only available in odd sizes are not even delivered to the marketing partners. Cost capping is also integrated in the tool. "This approach saves us a lot of money," says Nebus, "because a top shoe can get hundreds of clicks in a very short time, which means high costs that we could not cover if we had only a few pairs in stock.” Mybudapester.com is able to reorder only about 30 percent of the designer shoes offered from the manufacturer.

Mybudapester.com: How to sell luxury shoes online

Growth at the push of a button

The company has been expanding its sales platforms continuously since 2015 and tests new portals regularly. “With this trial-and-error method, we found out that billiger.de or idealo.de are only interesting for us when promoting discounted articles.” Such testing requires little effort as numerous national and international distribution platforms are already integrated in the feed engine by default. Mybudapester.com even updates Facebook, Instagram and YouTube with product data feeds - some of them with emotional unboxing videos, which are very popular with customers. When it comes to mobile sales, the company relies heavily on Facebook's dynamic ads, remarketing and native ads.

Feed-based marketing for ambitious goals

Today, mybudapester.com sells worldwide, from Europe to USA and Australia to Asia. Though Germany, Austria and Switzerland still account for 85 percent of sales, mybudapester.com is aiming for a foreign share of 50 percent in just a few years. Therefore, a steady expansion of the distribution network, especially towards Asia, is planned. “Feed-based campaigns are by far the most important marketing tool at mybudapester.com,” concludes Matthias Nebus. “Around 75 percent of our customers today are generated via product data feeds, which is about 10,000 users a day. For us, who want to grow fast without a huge marketing budget, this form of customer acquisition is the ne plus ultra.”

This article was originally written for FashionUnited.de. Translated and edited by Simone Preuss.

Photos: mybudapester.com