The Disruptors: These Schutz are Made for Walking

A Brazilian footwear giant has implemented omnichannel commerce from hybris to differentiate itself from the competition.

Shoes, perhaps more than any other type of apparel, make a statement about who we are or who we aspire to be. By some estimates, shoes make up one-third of all online spend for apparel. We’ve all heard the clichés about how women can’t stock enough shoes in their wardrobes, and studies seem to support this. Women in the U.S. for example, are said to spend on average over $20,000 on shoes over their lifetime while women in the UK are said to buy on average 13 pairs of shoes annually, which is of course very difficult to believe. But don’t let these stereotypes fool you: this focus on shoes is also shared by many men, especially under the age of 45, who are on the heels of the women in their designer trainers. It is clear that regardless of gender, the fashion market shows no signs of slowing down.

The fashion industry is poised to profit even more from the increase of women in the job market and their continued upward mobility. This trend is perhaps nowhere as strong as in Brazil, where 11 million women have entered the labor market in the past decade.

Thanks to this phenomenon and a focused approach to innovation, Brazil’s hottest footwear company Arezzo is enjoying a boom. Arezzo includes four different brands such as Schutz, each catering to different income and age segments, covering the entire gamut from luxury snakeskin models for customers like Giselle Bundchen to trendy flats and stylish stilettos for the average working women. All four brands have stores at Brazilian shopping malls, each with a different look and feel.

Pioneering the Omnichannel in Brazil

One of Arezzo’s biggest challenges was creating an aligned brand. The first step was to implement SAP ERP throughout the company last year to integrate processes. Next, they made a strategic decision to treat their e-commerce business like a flagship store. They implemented hybris B2C Commerce, a complete, omni-channel commerce solution that delivers an exceptional customer experience via digital and physical touchpoints, enabling their online business to act as a showcase for the brand, differentiating itself from competitors. This move helped strengthen loyalty and drive sales.

This month, the company announced the results for 2014: a two percent growth in profit despite an increase in operating expenses. With economic growth in Brazil practically at a standstill, these are very positive results indeed!

Read more stories from The Disruptors, a series of short stories of customer innovation from around the world.

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