The Revolve Group, already regarded as data- and influencer-savvy, is bringing “personalization” to its web site by partnering up with Snap + Style Business, an omnichannel retail technology platform.
The Snap + Style Business “Style Widget” is a tool enabling online conversations between customers and digital stylists that mimic how they would otherwise converse with sales associates or personal shoppers in stores.
The S + SB widget enables brand stylists and shoppers to communicate via e-mail, send photographs of items and outfits back and forth, and provides online stylists with visual data and access to customer profiles based on purchasing and personal information customers provide to create a profile of themselves. Depending on the brand, customers are typically asked to list their preferred styles, colors and price points; body parts you want to flaunt; sizing, and who your style icon is.
Customers can request stylists to create outfits for a vacation, a party, for work or working out, or other occasions, and responses are sent within a couple of hours. “We make it clear to shoppers that there is a real human being behind the response,” said Anna Jensen, cofounder of Snap + Style Business and chief brand officer. S + SB does not utilize algorithms but is creating a recommendation engine.
Information accumulated through the profiles and purchasing data helps stylists make more informed fashion recommendations, thereby elevating the customer’s experience and raising the chances of selling merchandise. The information is stored on the Microsoft Azure cloud service.
Other brands utilizing the S + SB technology include Eloquii, Shinolo, Michael Kors, Cosabella and Addison Bay.
For the brick-and-mortar world, S + SB provides a clienteling tool called “Curated Campaigns” enabling store associates to target e-mails and fashion photos, linking specific customers to specific items and fashion arrivals.
According to Jensen, S + SB is geared to provide faster, personalized communications between stylists and shoppers, drive sales, reduce returns and eliminate extraneous communications. “People are just tired of getting bombarded every morning and having to delete all these e-mails,” she said.
She also said S + SB is growing but declined to reveal any future clients. “Revolve is taking personalization to the next level and our platform will only amplify their impact in e-commerce,” she said. “Snap + Style Business enhances clienteling capabilities with a powerful combination of digitized conversations, visual curation and a stylist’s editorial eye, in real time. Thanks to Microsoft Azure’s capacity and flexibility, we are able extend our client reach in the fashion and retail industries globally.”
“Our integration with Snap + Style allows our customers to engage with a personal stylist who can provide feedback and styling support in real-time. Further, we’re able to better understand the objectives of our customer, where she’s going, what inspires her and most importantly, what we can do to make sure she’s satisfied with her Revolve experience,” said Jennifer Fan, director of customer retention for the $600 million company. Revolve, founded in 2003 by co-ceo’s Michael Mente and Mike Karanikolas, went public last year and sells apparel, footwear, accessories and beauty.
“With the ever-changing demands of the evolving retail landscape, it is imperative for brands to connect with the customer on a far more personalized and intuitive way,” said Keith Mercier, general manager, Worldwide Retail and Consumer Goods at Microsoft Corp. “The journey to conversion and customer satisfaction is complex.”
The New York-based S + SB was cofounded by Jensen and Gary Myers in 2013. Raul Fernandez is the chairman and lead investor.
Integrating S + SB, said Jensen, is “low impact” and can be up and running in four weeks with only a couple of lines of code. “It’s extremely flexible to plug in,” Jensen said.
Launched as a direct-to-consumer app, S + SB has evolved into a multi-platform suite of software including “curated campaigns, visual merchandiser, Snapbox, Stylists as a Service, StyleWidget and StyleWiz, each providing customized CRM tools from subscription boxes and mobile apps to email styling and a team of on-call stylists, all with one provider.