The New York-based footwear company survived a tumultuous vendor relationship and found success in a new agency partnership.
The relationship clients have with their vendors can resemble the relationship citizens have with their politicians: Promises are made, and then quickly broken. Miz Mooz Inc., a New York-based women’s footwear brand, experienced this firsthand when it launched its first e-commerce site.
Miz Mooz launched as a brick-and-mortar company in 2001 and expanded into wholesale in 2004. But it wasn’t until early 2015 that the brand built its first e-commerce site. Ron Kenigsberg, president of Miz Mooz, says the company stayed away from e-commerce out of fear that having an online business would create competition with sister brand InfinityShoes.com.
The company hired a branding organization to build its e-commerce website, but unfortunately it picked one that had over-promised and was now under-delivering.
“When they tried to fix one hole on the site, they would open three more,” he says.
The companies parted ways in November 2015, and the vendor recommended CBI Digital to take over.
A new beginning
At first, CBI Digital’s work was primarily maintenance. It worked on eliminating downtime, tagging, and overcoming a bot attack that had impacted Miz Mooz’s rewards program. Once the holiday season was over, Miz Mooz and CBI Digital started working on optimizing the site, such as by boosting SEO and coming up with more ways to drive organic traffic and conversion.
After learning that the majority of its traffic was landing on its homepage but wasn’t converting, for example, Miz Mooz worked with CBI Digital to reconfigure its filtering capabilities and make it easier for customers to search for footwear by style, season, color, price, size, and more—driving more shoppers to simplified category and product pages. The company also started verifying shipping addresses at checkout and experimenting with Adwords and Facebook lookalike targeting. In addition, Kenigsberg says that each banner on Miz Mooz’s site now has a clear call-to-action and high-resolution image to drive sales.
“We want our website to function like J.Crew,” Kenigsberg says, “but my business is probably one-one thousandth of what theirs is—and that’s being generous to my business.”
Reinvesting in the future
In May, Kenigsberg said that Miz Mooz had increased its conversion rate from about 0.65% or 0.70% to about 1% after partnering with CBI Digital—sometimes entering the 1.2% or 1.3% range. And in late November, he stated that Miz Mooz has “held steady” to that 1.2% to 1.3% range, despite running traffic-building campaigns that often decrease conversion (primarily due to there being an increase in new customers who aren’t ready to purchase).
Kenigsberg says Miz Mooz was also able to manage increases in traffic this Thanksgiving weekend and that the brand’s server did not experience any downtime. The only issue, he notes, was a brief external one, when the company’s payment processor experienced issues due to too many transactions flooding its servers.
“Everything from our end went as smoothly as possible, from a technical standpoint,” he says.
Indeed, no technology solution is perfect and glitches are going to occur. That’s why Kenigsberg advises brands to always have a troubleshooting plan in place.
“E-commerce problems will always arise,” he says, “but if you have an action plan and are prepared to deal with these issues, then they can be controlled and rectified quite easily.”
He also encourages brands to continually invest in their technology. For instance, he says that Miz Mooz’s success inspired him to update InfinityShoes.com’s shopping cart and user interface.
As he puts it, “The model of e-commerce today is that you constantly have to reinvent and reinvest.