Start Up Blog

I wanted to give them my money – Vans

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on February 13, 2014

I’ve been a Vans off the wall fan since I did my first cross up on my BMX way back in 1982. My fav’s are the original checker board slip ons, as sported by main man from Ridgemont High – Spicoli.

Spicoli shoes

Well today in a classic web enabled distraction I decided to see if I could make a custom pair over the web. I found that Vans do have a design your own shoe service – like most shoe brands these days. I was prepared to pay a premium – maybe double the usual price. For these wouldn’t be the Spicoli, they would be the Sammatron. I even decided to go fluoro to give it a bit of 80′s retro kick. Check ‘em out below:

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 2.45.05 pm

But when I got to the check out. I pumped in all of my information only to be told they don’t ship to Australia. It was curious, because their on line form let me add Australia as my country. I could also see that the shipping agent was UPS. I chatted with a staff member on line who also told me they couldn’t ship to Australia. Even after I offered to pay twice the price. Sad that one of my favourite brands is still in 1985 with more than their retro cool products.

Here’s what I don’t understand:

  • The site doesn’t care what country the person is from.
  • The staff shoe maker doesn’t care what country the custom shoe is sent to.
  • The site has the e-commerce built in.
  • The site accepts credit cards and other forms of payment.
  • The shipping agent ships to Australia
  • The customer (me) wants to give them money.

So why wouldn’t they sell me my custom shoes? A strange decision indeed. In the end I decided to buy some custom old school superstar Adidas shoes – who gladly ship to my fair country. The world doesn’t care what country a company is based in. If you don’t let them give you their money, there is always somewhere else to spend it.

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Mass customization

Here’s a few categories or Industries which have been revolutionized by Mass Customization:

 

T-shirts (Threadless & Neighborhoodies)

TV (Youtube & Joost)

Handbags (Elemental Threads)

Journalism (Blogs & podcasting)

Newspapers (RSS)

Job Seeking (Aggregation & feeds)

Book publishing (Lulu)

Tourism (the web in general)

Luxury goods (fractional ownership)

Music (itunes)

Networking (facebook & social apps)

 

In fact there’s just too many to mention.

 

But the real question is this: If it hasn’t hit your industry yet, why not and what are you doing about it?

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