Basic Lean Startup principles applied: Zoyoko.com

Recently some friends of ours started a webshop for designer pregnancy clothes. They applied the basics of a Lean Startup to get it launched and it looks great. Curious about how they did it? Here’s an overview.

They started with an idea a few years back and first got some funding. But getting a bank to give you a startup loan does not imply your plan will work! So they chose a name, created a logo, got the whole plan on paper and started checking whether it would work.

In June 2012 Zoyoko launched a twitter account, a facebook page and invited people in their network to visit their landing page and subscribe to their newsletter. People started spreading the word and in no time the twitter account had about 100 followers. The facebook page was even more successful, racing to over 200 likes. The newsletter has 170 subscriptions. So that’s a potential of 470 clients right there without the site even being launched.

They visited a fashion conference in Paris in July, picking out the collection and bringing home loads of ideas. But you cannot buy everything you want just to stock up your webshop, that would be an enormous financial risk and not very lean at that. Items were carefully selected, (pregnant) friends were consulted for advice, and a minimum stock was ordered to be able to give the needed service without going for an immense collection.

After some work behind the scenes, Zoyoko.com launched on 10 October 2012. But as with any Lean Startup, it was a minimum viable product launch in anticipation of much more. In the meantime they have added a number of features that were requested by clients: added possibilities for online payment, more pictures of the different colours of the available items, a Pinterest account, … Their prize project is also still being developed based on client feedback: the MAMAssador program aims at creating a community of mothers and mothers-to-be helping each other out with tips and tricks about how to cope with the most common pregnancy issues or taking care of your baby or toddler.

By now they have been invited to be present at “Petit Bazaar”, a quite important shopping event for webshops and they are being contacted by English and Spanish brands requesting to be added to the Zoyoko collection. Not bad eh?

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