A Shoe Story

I’m fussy about the shoes I wear. I don’t like shoes that make me feel masculine; I like a feminine cut and something that’s stylish. That doesn’t mean I’m teetering around on stiletto heels or anything like that. Far from it in fact, but I will sacrifice comfort if it means I’m wearing a shoe that I really like.

Which brings me to this week’s tale.

While visiting our close friends this past weekend, I noticed the shoes my God-daughter was wearing. Here, take a look.

Nice shoe, huh? I thought so too. Exactly what I’ve been looking for to help me trek through Italy next term with a group of students. (Lucky me – that’s another tale I’ll be telling soon!) My God-daughter informed me they were Tony Bianco shoes that cost her $190. She had tried to get them from an online site called Styletread for $142, but no stock was available in her size so she’d had to venture to a retail store to make the purchase.

On my return home, I began the search. I found Styletread, located the shoe and saw my size was available. I then thought there might be an even better deal available, so I did a bit more hunting. I discovered a site offering a $10 discount if I input the code on the Styletread site. By 10.30pm Sunday night, I’d placed the order paying $132, and saved myself $58 by doing it this way rather than the traditional retail store method of purchase.

I received an email with details that helped me track the order. I checked around 10.30am this morning (Tuesday), and noted my order had been dispatched from Sydney, had arrived in Melbourne and was with a courier on its way to my address. When I arrived home at 2.30pm this was what greeted me.

Less than 48 hours since I’d placed the order, and the shoes were in my hands. On my feet, actually, and I’m pleased to say they fit perfectly, have a feminine cut and are really comfortable!

So, what’s the lesson here?

The lesson is this. Business models are changing. If I, as a consumer, can save myself $58 on a purchase, not have to leave my home, and have an item on my doorstep in less than 48 hours, then this is something I’m going to do. I’m going to bypass the traditional method of purchasing, and I’m figuring plenty of other people are going to be doing this too. This IS going to have ramifications for society as we know it. I’ve written about this already this year, and I’m starting to wonder what we in schools today are doing to prepare our students for a different way ahead. Are we still fostering ideas of employment in industries that will find themselves in serious decline? Are we thinking about industries that will thrive in new conditions and promise employment opportunities? Are we teaching our students enough about how they might use the Web for interaction and how they create sites that can support new business models?

My shoe purchase tells a story. There are lessons here that need learning.