The social experience of fitting room try-ons might have met its match in a digital world.
Flip Fit, a new social shopping app, allows shoppers to try on clothes in their natural habitat, upload photos and share with friends and family, who then vote on whether they like the products.
“We’re trying to emulate the off-line experience of buying clothes,” Jonathan Ellman, cofounder and co-chief executive officer of the app and company by the same name, told WWD. “The same way that you would FaceTime with a friend or send a selfie of yourself. We incentivize you to do that through our app and your friends will then be able to vote for you, in a TikTok, Tinder fashion, whether or not you should buy those items. The goal is to shift the fitting room into the comforts of your living room.”
Ellman and cofounder and co-ceo Nooruldeen Agha came up with the idea after recognizing problems with online shopping. Like the fact that trying on clothes and receiving feedback from friends was an important part of the shopping experience — and it was something that was noticeably missing from digital transactions. Sizing also shifted from brand to brand. And shoppers wanted to touch and feel products, which was impossible on the Internet.
Flip Fit, which launches today, aims to offer a solution. The Los Angeles-based company sends users a box of 10 to 20 items to try on at home. But unlike other online shopping platforms, Flip Fit is not a subscription service. The app sends out multiple sizes of the same product — one size up and one size down — based on engagement.
“You don’t get the same size from all brands,” Agha said. “That’s one thing that is unique about fashion products. There’s no way to emulate the size perfectly per person based on size guides.”
The app sends clothing recommendations based on things like the users’ friend list, who they’re clicking on and what products they comment on. Shoppers can also request items they see on other users that they want to try on.
Users then have five days to try on clothes and return whatever they don’t want. Shipping is included anywhere in the U.S. and consumers only pay for the products they keep. They also have the option of snapping photos and uploading them to the app in the five-day window for friends and family to weigh in.
“We’ve been selling clothes online the same way we sell everything else since 1994. And that’s what is killing the industry,” Ellman said.
He added that since multiple sizes of each product are included in orders, returns will be the default.
“We’re making the return process really seamless and also allowing users to receive the validation that they need on a package of products, as opposed to an outfit,” Ellman said.
The app launches with more than 200 brands, primarily in the jeans and T-shirt category, names like Seven For All Mankind, Levi’s, Hudson Jeans, AG Jeans, Sundry and Junk Food Clothing.
Products are provided from the brands on fulfillment, meaning Flip Fit sends back inventory not sold within an allotted period of time.
“This allows us to scale and ensure that we have the right products that our customers ultimately want,” Ellman said. In exchange, the brands get data on customer shopping habits and trends, which will help them make future purchases.
Agha stressed that Flip Fit, which secured $3.75 million in seed funding, led by venture capital firm TLV Partners with participation from Lool Ventures, is not a social media company and it’s not a fashion company.
“We are mixing the two industries in a way that has never been done before, connecting human behavior and how we have always shopped, the same way that people take selfies of themselves in fitting rooms,” he said. “If you look at Instagram and you put in the hashtag #fittingroom, you’ll see hundreds of thousands of people taking selfies. We’re digitizing this human behavior that we do every day.”