In an online focused world, a seemingly endless array of online shops and offers pop up every day. Some struggle to stick around for weeks, while others manage to make it.

The deciding factor between the ones that make it and the ones that don’t isn’t necessarily the product offering, but how that product is packaged, sold, and presented online.

Online retail-startup Socking Behaviour and its founder Jared March seem to have the answer for what makes a great online shop.

It starts with focusing on doing one thing well, finding your niche and creating a great shopping experience.

For those of you that have never heard of Socking Behaviour, let us introduce you. The online shop founded and operated out of Toronto by Jared March caters to stylish men looking to buy socks and accessories like ties, belts, sunglasses, laces and cufflinks. “We’re shifting as a society how we shop.” Jared tells us.  “Originally we had all these niche stores. There was a hat guy, a suit guy a tie guy. And as stores evolved we ended up with these mega malls and mega stores. [At that time] It made the most sense, but now we are at a point – thanks to online shopping, where the niche shop makes sense again. We specialize in accessories, because it really lends itself to the online shopping experience. You don’t have to try anything on, and we think it’s a great way for men to be able to play around with their own personal style. We really want to help guys find their style.”

Helping guys feel stylish and presenting them with the right products through the right online medium was the initial thought for March, but the idea that the product would be socks took some time to develop.

“It didn’t’ come together quickly. It was something I played around with in my mind for a while.” Recalls March.  “Before this I was working as a stock analyst and I was covering the retail sector. It just really hit me that online shopping was really developing and not all the companies I was following [through my job] were following a model I thought was effective.  They were trying to take something from a store front and cramming into a new format. The companies that are most successful in my opinion are retailers that create for the internet, rather than trying to jam a retail store into an online space.”

The A-Ha moment for March came when he saw a gap in one of his own shopping experiences. “I was shopping for socks myself, and I found that you had to go to all of these different stores to find out all my [sock buying] options. Some stores carried ones at the $15 price point, others at the $35 and most in the middle. I didn’t want to go to all these stores to buy socks, I love socks more than anyone, but who wants to go to five different stores to buy socks?”  March tells us.  “The more I thought of it, the more socks began to make sense. You don’t need to try them on, because I didn’t need a physical retail location, my model makes sense. I can have hundreds of options to choose that you can’t get at a retail store. Socks lent itself to the idea of online shopping quite well, and in addition to that it was something I was looking for. Something fun, something different, and there wasn’t an online sock retailer out there that was Canadian focused and had a great shopping experience, so it seemed like a real opportunity.”

March has since taken the opportunity and turned his initial idea into a comprehensive online retail space that truly does cater to the man that wants to amp up his style through the love of accessories.

With Socking Behaviour closely approaching it’s first full year, in addition to a huge variety of socks, the site now houses expertly crafted ties ( Harry & Irving Brand crafted and designer by March himself!), Belts, Shwood sunglasses, Stolen Riches laces and cufflinks.

With free shipping in Canada and a successful Sock Of The Month Club, Socking Behaviour will to be one of those retailers that end up on the right side of success.

Photos by: Patrick Estebar

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