From experience I would suggest to just keep it simple and easy to update. The search engines look for content that's updated frequently so that's paramount. You don't want a site that's difficult or a hassle if you can avoid it. And make it very customer friendly.
As for the model? Do what you think looks the best and feels the most like your store and the image you want to project. If you do that, people will come, and if not enough are coming tweak it til they do. There are never enough sites to buy beautiful shoes!
Oh, last advice- if you have someone assist you, or build it for you, make sure you have every last bit of information you need to get into the site and make changes etc, I lost control of one of my Domains for three years once because the webmaster had registered it under his name instead of mine and then wouldn't give it to me because of a personal issue. So now you can learn from my mistake.
Something I appreciate at endless is the way I am able to search multiple sizes. We all know that a foot is really 3 different sizes. 7.5,8,8.5 depending on the shoe. THAT keeps me returning to endless. The other thing that will help you when others are failing is service, service, service.
Make sure you answer e-mail inquiries promptly, make sure you know your product inside and out, make sure you send things out promptly, extra touches like some kind of special packaging "extra" or something similar, would make your store stand out from and another that offered the same shoes.
From one business owner to another, your customers will not be that loyal unless you offer something the other guys don't. We lose customers over 50c, however we keep customers because we have better service than anyone else. It is a tough gig, this being in business for yourself.
Last edited by r5bales2; 05-29-2009 at 03:41 PM.