we’re coming for you.
Andy Mackie, Founder and Managing Director of LookDepot reflects on the journey to now, the rise of digital commerce, the challenges and opportunities that the last two years have served up and this year’s expansion into Australia.
“LookDepot was founded back in 2014 as the Australasian exclusive channel partner for StyleShoots technology and visual retailing software MockShop.
With a young family, a clear business plan and a certain degree of naivety, we went on this journey to build the business from New Zealand knowing our largest market at that time, for our target big box fashion and apparel retail market, was demonciled for the most part in Australia. Regular travel to and from Australia meant we established key partnerships and had a good understanding of our brand and our customer. Opening a showroom in Australia was always on our radar, timings were set for 2019 /2020 – we were good to go!
The pandemic in 2020 threw us a curveball. Doubt set in, uncertainty brought a lack of assurance, including how our business would traverse through so many unknowns. I thought it was all a little too risky to move into a market that I couldn’t visit or go to see any of our customers or prospects. We could, however, see a significant spike of growth in ecommerce – that supported our business model and gave us the steely resolve to keep our goals in sight. Closed borders also forced us to fast track our Australian team. We established our core support team, a technical support manager based in Melbourne who runs all our installations and is able to support our customers and the continuous reliability of the machines across the country. We also have client service support and sales based in Sydney.
I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. If you keep driving towards your goals, at some point the cards lineup and you just say “yup, alright, we’re doing it”.
So, here we are in 2022, still with arguably similar levels of uncertainty, but my attitude is that we just have to be brave and go for it. Experience comes into play in recognising when the time is right.
That’s the journey.
We’re currently exploring commercial properties with a view to be over with the full suite of StyleShoots machines within the next two or three months. Initially the showroom will be open and be available for scheduled demonstrations. Our customers will have access to all four machines, which is the first time that this has happened in the marketplace. Having a neutral space where our customers can learn more, spend as much time, and test the machines themselves will allow us to take our business, and our customers’ businesses to the next level.
It’s one of my favourite cities. The arts, culture, food, the whole vibe. A huge amount of our current and potential client base exists there. Our technical lead Chris is also based in Victoria.
I realise that as much as I love our technology and our business, what I enjoy the most is seeing new places, meeting customers face to face and being involved in a market that operates at a larger scale. The same goes for Sydney and Queensland. We’ve got lots of customers in those places too. It will be good to have this showroom and an actual business operating in both of the markets that we serve.
Not to mention the sporting side – the Australian Open, The MotoGP at Phillip Island is one of the best events you can go to, and the Melbourne GP. There’s a lot of interest for me over there!
And the future?
I am excited about the future. I think it’s because we’ve removed all the excuses now, it’s going to happen, and there’s a certain amount of adrenalin knowing what this year holds for us. We’re going to hit some hurdles and will navigate them as well as we can, learn from them and continue to be better.
Digital commerce will continue to grow amongst the uncertainty, and that’s where we are positioned. It’s what we love, it’s what we thrive on and it’s what we deliver very well.
All of those points lead to a very very exciting year ahead.”
From all of us here at LookDepot, we are beyond excited to see you soon and host you at our new showroom. Stay in the loop with our launch and the special offers we have coming up by signing up to our database.