Day in the Life of Little JonesSeptember 5, 2017 - Holly Cardew
This month’s Day in the Life company is the Australian-based fashion retailer, Little Jones. Little Jones is an ecommerce business that sells premium leather shoes for infants and toddlers. From classic oxfords to Mary Janes and the cutest newborn baby boots, Little Jones wants to keep your children’s feet warm and stylish. You can order a single pair or stock them wholesale – matching every pair with custom socks or tights too.
To connect with their customers, Little Jones runs their own blog too – creating content that features great product photography, gift ideas, and promotions for their Instagram.
So what makes their company work?
Built With: WordPress / WooCommerce
Founder(s): Jules Jones
Location: Australian based, ships globally
Industry: Children’s Footwear
Tell us a little about your ecommerce journey
Little Jones was born when I was on maternity leave, just after I had my first daughter in mid-2015. Coming from a digital content/strategy background and having had experience in importing, it started as a side project and has evolved over the past 18 months. We design leather infants shoes, sized up to four years, plus we have our own range of socks. We are now stocked globally in ten stores.
How different is your life now compared to 5 years ago? Did you think you would be where you are or did you envision something different?
Having a child has changed life dramatically! I had always aspired to have my own business, and going on maternity leave created the time (briefly, in between the exhaustion) to bring some ideas to life. Five years ago, a leather baby shoe business was definitely not on the horizon, but I found a key gap in the market for affordable, quality styles when I had my daughter.
What was it like getting your first sale?
I was relieved! Instagram was my key marketing channel when I launched, and I used the platform to build some hype prior to launch. Plus a launch sale and giveaway helped when I was ready to go live.
What is your main area of focus right now?
I wish there was only one! Currently, we are working on our wholesale framework, email marketing strategy and planning future ranges.
What sets your brand/product apart from others on the market?
Our price point. The shoes are made of genuine leather and offered at prices often comparable to synthetic shoes.
Have you noticed a difference in online shoppers since you first opened your online store?
Absolutely. It’s a much more competitive market than it was 18 months ago. This seems linked to the rise of eCommerce solutions (Shopify, Big Cartel, etc.) and how much easier it is to communicate with suppliers and manufacturers through platforms like Alibaba. Plus the increasing rise in social media.
How important is email marketing to your store?
We are a little slow on this, despite knowing what a valuable channel it can be! We are currently rolling out an email marketing strategy using MailChimp. It’s such a fantastic platform, plus it’s (mostly) free.
How do you manage and optimize your content?
Content is a key part of our marketing strategy. Along with a fully optimized site, we have a blog and often collaborate with other brands in guest blogger roles, which has been fantastic for exposure. We use Google Analytics and Search Console daily, plus WordPress plugins such as Yoast and WP Smush for SEO.
How did you define your branding and website layout?
The branding has evolved since we launched, but we’ve maintained consistency with the look and feel through all of our key marketing channels – a minimalist, clean aesthetic with pops of color amongst a black and white theme.
Where do you see the future of ecommerce over the next 5-10 years?
This is an interesting one… Online will continue to dwarf brick and mortar stores, with lots of new payment innovations and integration with smartphones. Plus easier ways to shop via social media.
How important are good product images for your brand?
A consistent approach to our product images is key to our brand – clean, clear images that let the products shine. Our photos are taken in-house with a DSLR, but edited via Pixc and managed digitally via Google Drive. Having professionally-edited product photos allows us to use them across all of our marketing channels, and they’ve become a key part of our identity.
Why did you choose WooCommerce?
We went with WordPress and WooCommerce to avoid ongoing store costs/commissions (apart from hosting) and to allow full control. The flexibility and ease of use are fantastic, plus it seems to allow better optimization for search.
What strategies have you used to grow your online store? What has worked, and what hasn’t?
Instagram has been vital. It’s an active, engaged community, and women, particularly mums, are a key demographic. There are some amazingly talented users who love supporting small businesses. They showcase their everyday lives and children alongside products and brands, creating invaluable content opportunities. The ability to appear right in front of your target audience and interact with them directly has been incredible. Plus it’s fun! I love the creative side, particularly styling products and planning and creating content.
We’ve had limited success with paid advertising (Google Ads) – we are in a competitive field, so the cost per click can be high.
Any exciting announcements in the pipeline?
Our summer range and a whole new line of socks will be launching in September!
Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite holiday destination? Hawaii.
Best memory on your eCommerce journey? Our first wholesale order.
Must-read blog? The Minimalists! I’m obsessed.
Favorite movie? Death Becomes Her.
Favorite sources of inspiration? My daughter!
Goals for your product over the next 5 years? To be stocked in department stores.
3 things you couldn’t live without? Coffee, sugar and my family.
Biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way? Start small and iterate, and have a data-first approach. See what works, then scale as you go.