The amount of capital flowing into e-commerce startups reflects extreme confidence in the future prospects for this industry. The latest story is $40 million of new funding for ShoeDazzle.
The company is somewhat a traditional commercial website. ShoeDazzle is focused on providing a personal element to the shopping experience. Users complete a style profile so that the website recommends suitable shoes, handbags, and jewelry. However, there’s no obligation to buy one of the personalized recommendation and it’s okay to request alternative selections.
There’s a social shopping element to the website that allows users to earn credits for inviting friends as well as from making purchases. Kim Kardashian is one of the founders of ShoeDazzle.
Creating a personal style profile takes about three minutes. New custom style selections are sent each month. A monthly fee of $39.95 permits one purchase. ShoeDazzle members are charged the $39.95 on the sixth day of each month unless they visit the site by the fifth day and opt out of the month. There’s no limit to the number of months a user can skip.
Processing of the monthly fee creates the credit for one purchase. Credits expire after twelve months. A maximum accumulation of five credits is permitted. After that, a user isn’t charged until the credits are used for a purchase.
Even if a member chooses to skip the month, a visit to the website allows a change of mind to make purchases anyway. There’s no charge until a user is ready to place a first order by entering billing information to implement the monthly fee.
ShoeDazzle provides free shipping on any order with 3 to 6 day ground delivery in the continental US. Delivery fees are assessed for express shipping and deliveries to Alaska, Hawaii, US territories, and Canada. The company doesn’t currently sell to people in other locations. Members in the continental US also enjoy free merchandise exchanges. There’s also no charge for returns of unused merchandise for ShoeDazzle credit.
The total funding raised by ShoeDazzle now amounts to $60 million. The latest round was led by the Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz.