Omowunmi Kolawole is a 26-year-old graduate of Political Science from the University of Lagos. In September 2016, she founded Shoepify, a shoe brand targeted at women who are all about winning in the financial world while looking amazing and saving money at the same time.
The brand is dedicated to the smart spenders who can totally “slay” without breaking the bank. Apart from selling shoes, Omowunmi is a trained fashion designer who is on her way to launching the next best brand in the Nigeria’s fashion industry.
Why did you choose to sell shoes?
Two major factors triggered this. The first is my target audience. I target people with big feet; these are people who find it difficult to get their shoe sizes. This is a major challenge because I can personally relate. Most of the sizes we stock are 39 upwards. Although we are looking to stock more of 37, 38 and 43 as we have had increasing demands for them.
The second factor was based on a research I did. I found out there was a gap in the online shoe business. Vendors often cater more to high-end customers. People weren’t really selling shoes below N12,000 (~$37) so it was an opportunity for me as there was a market suffering. We don’t stock shoes above N10,000 for now.
Is social media your only channel of marketing?
Yes, it definitely is. Apart from the word-of-mouth marketing, I do at various gatherings, I channel all other marketing into social media.
What are your primary social media channels and how long have you been using them?
Twitter and Instagram. We started using them September 2016 but went full scale in March 2017.
What social media platform do you consider more productive in terms of audience and sales?
Sometimes it shifts, but I have definitely made more sales on Twitter. I personally use the platform a lot, so I have been able to capitalize on my personal profile.
Customers are also more engaging via Twitter. Retweets go a long way in helping the business as it can land on thousands of people’s timelines. Twitter has definitely been more productive.People find it hard to trust brands on social media- Omowunmi Kolawole Click To Tweet
What are some of the challenges you have faced while using social media?
With social media, you have to be constantly online to engage potential buyers. You need to keep them engaged and the platforms are quite different. What works for Twitter may not work for Instagram thereby, making you create double content around the same picture/post to get reactions.
Another challenge is trust. I found out there are a lot of illegitimate businesses running online especially on Instagram so people find it hard to trust brands. Clients are skeptical about paying their money to someone they don’t know or not getting the exact item they paid for as shown in pictures. So we have to go the extra mile to convince them.
How has social media affected your general sales?
About 90% of the sales have come from social media so I can say that even though there are challenges, we are pushing through and it is definitely getting better. People are beginning to trust the brand more.Do a research before using social media for marketing- Omowunmi Kolawole Click To Tweet
Which one-sentence advice would you give to someone interested in using social media as their marketing force?
Do your research, know what your target market wants and give them.
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