A local online fashion start-up is taking the invitation-only concept to a new level for its launch, only accepting people who have a high “Klout score”, which is a measure of a person’s online social influence.
New online fashion store Jasu has aligned itself with US company Klout, which measures a person’s online influence on a score from one to 100 using data taken from social media sites.
Based in San Francisco, Klout was founded in 2009 by Joe Fernandez and Binh Tran.
It measures the size of a person’s network and the content created, and purports to measure how other people interact with that content. It then assigns each person a Klout score.
For example, US President Barack Obama has a Klout score of 99, while Prime Minister Julia Gillard has a score of 68.
The average Klout score is in the high teens, while anything more than 40 suggests a strong following in a niche area.
When the Jasu site launches on Monday, consumers will need a Klout score higher than 40 in order to access it. However, the site will move to open access in two weeks’ time.
“[Using Klout] gives us a chance to test [the site] with socially aware customers and people who influence each other, and to connect with social shoppers who talk about and share brands,” Jasu content manager Brooke Davis told The Age.
“We just wanted to create a bit of buzz and excitement around the site.”
While Jasu claims to be the first “Klout-gated” website in Australia, invitation-only online shopping clubs have become increasingly popular as sites seek to stand out from the pack.
Just last month, online shopping club brandsExclusive secured a $36 million investment from APN News & Media, which has taken an 82% equity stake in the three-year-old start-up.
Launched in 2009 by Daniel Jarosch and Rolf Weber, brandsExclusive partners with premium brands to offer discounted offers to its members.
To date, more than 1.8 million members have signed up to brandsExclusive, with an additional 70,000 new members joining every month.
Also last month, online shopping club OzSale acquired market competitor Buyinvite for an undisclosed sum.
OzSale, founded in 2006 by Jamie Jackson, is a members-only online shopping club, which describes itself as a “doorway to affordable designer fashion”.
The business, which is part of the APAC Sale Group, has buyers in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe, who negotiate deals directly with suppliers to offer exclusivity to their members.
With more than 250 staff, OzSale says it sells a product every five seconds via its websites, across five countries.
Buyinvite is the first acquisition for OzSale. According to Jackson, “there’s so much more to do” with regard to online retail.
“The Australian online environment is still very young [but] my feeling is that Australia and New Zealand will be stronger than the US and UK,” Jackson told StartupSmart.