Brian Sugar is constantly surrounded by women.
At home, the chief executive officer of Popsugar, who founded the business with his wife Lisa Sugar in 2006, has three daughters, and at work, his staff is 70 percent women.
“It’s imperative that I know how to make women happy,” said Sugar, who spoke about the visual search engine ShopStyle, which is owned by Popsugar, at the inaugural WWD Fashion Forum in Downtown Las Vegas at The Venue. “Making women happy is going to make my life better and our business better.”
Sugar said that creating happiness during the online shopping experience means offering women personalized service, and ShopStyle does this with data.
“I absolutely love baseball,” said Sugar. “I love the book and the movie “Moneyball” and what Billy did for the Oakland A’s using big data to put the right players on the field at the right time is exactly what we do at ShopStyle with putting the right products on the screen at the right time for the right person.”
Searchandising, the act of using data to create a compelling shopping experience, was a term often used by Sugar, who noted that 90 percent of women are more likely to buy when an experience is catered to them.
ShopStyle is providing this personalization with its Tailored Shops, which allow shoppers to answer questions about their preferences that allow the site to create a shop made specifically for that customer.
Sugar said ShopStyle, which introduces 20 new brands a week, also documents customer behavior and sends recommendation e-mails based on what they’ve clicked on and from where.
“If you haven’t bought it, we e-mail you about it. If you’ve purchased it, we say ‘congrats’ to validate your purchase and then offer you more recommendations,” Sugar said.
Along with data, ShopStyle is harnessing the power of influential bloggers in its ShopStyle collective program, which includes 12,000 bloggers who merchandise thousands of products weekly using ShopStyle affiliate links.
Additionally, the company launched ShopStyle.it, a competitor to liketoknow.it. Both services make Instagram posts shoppable. Sugar told the audience that the conversion rate on Instagram is decent, but he’s mostly interested in what product customers are “liking” on the platform.
Up next for ShopStyle is a loyalty program and universal mobile checkout launching for holiday that will let users make one transaction across multiple retailers and products.
“We drive a significant amount of revenue to a lot of these folks, and we think this universal check out is a key to driving mobile conversions,” said Sugar.