Fashion app Trendabl has launched a new ‘find it’ option, as consumers can now shop celebrity or street style looks from their phones.
Essentially a search app for fashion – just as the Shazam music app identifies songs – the idea is to make finding a fashion item worn by someone on the street or a celebrity easy to track down to the source.
The concept could provide new opportunities for businesses, as consumers are able to buy items immediately which they’ve identified through Trendabl’s ‘find it’ tool.
Trendabl users are able to upload their own photos of clothes to the app which can be cross-identified to the retail source, as well as follow magazines, celebrities, designers, fashion bloggers and friends through the app.
Retail Doctor Group director Brian Walker says it’s another example of how technology is changing the customer experience.
“Technology is enabling retailing to be done in very different ways to what we’re used to,” he says.
“This new function is in line with the latest trends we’ve identified – everything is in real time with flash accessibility and the power of social proof.”
“The power of social proof is seen in the ability of Trendabl users to tell others about the clothes they like, sharing the photos to other social networks and integrating with the broader social network.”
Walker says apps like Trendabl also demonstrate how the fashion industry is gradually shifting its focus from collections to single items.
“Trendabl looks at pieces, rather than fashion ranges or collections. It’s not dissimilar to iTunes, where people readily download single songs rather than whole albums. It lets customers mix and match,” he says.
Another fashion app with a similar capability is Pounce, which lets shoppers scan images from print media using their device’s camera and purchase the item from the retailer responsible for the campaign.
In April last year, music identifying app Shazam announced it’s working on its own fashion product which will let users find clothes in the same way.
The product is yet to be launched, but Shazam chief executive Andrew Fisher told the Daily Mail it would have the ability to identify a product in a TV show.
“We are focused on creating a new category which we call media engagement. We make it easier for consumers to engage with a brand or a piece of content they are interested in, without having to go through search engines, then mining the results,” he says.
On Trendabl, when a user clicks ‘find it’ on an image they like which is displayed in their feed, they are shown the exact item if it’s able to be found, or a selection of similar designs.
The user can then click on the item they like, at which point they are transferred to the point-of-sale on the selected retailer’s site.
The Grand Social chief executive Jean-Claude Abouchar told SmartCompany Trendabl doesn’t have a significant user base and retailers could be better off focusing on creating their own digital products.
“Trendabl is still struggling, it’s very small… compared to the market leader Pose.com,” he says.
“It’s a flooded category and there are plenty of other apps also trying to build a loyal customer base. The challenge is getting a user base engaged with the app which is also engaged with the transactional model.”
Abouchar says the Trendabl path to purchase is also quite complicated.
“There is no risk in being on there for a retailers, but the challenge is about focus and time. You need to consider if you are better off building your own assets and doing more relevant, targeted promotional activity, rather than trying to get on board with a third party,” he says.
SmartCompany contacted Trendabl for comment, but received no response prior to publication.
Walker says these apps represent the next generation of “technology enablers”, which help businesses reach more consumers.
“What’s interesting is the way it links to the idea of brand celebrity, aspiration, what’s hot and trendy and it captures the idea that fashion is moving quickly,” he says.
Walker says how easily a retailer’s item is picked up by Trendabl when someone clicks ‘find it’ will depend on the brand’s integration with social media, it’s search strategy and the meta tags in the coding of the website.
“Increasingly it will be more and more about brand for retailers… the question for retailers now is how to get the brand in front of the consumers mind and how to get it endorsed by followers.”
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