A few months back I went to a fashion tech event where aspiring start ups presented their ideas to a group of about 30 investors, journalists, and fellow start ups. Of the 15 presentations 5 had the similar idea of developing a “personal shopping assistant”, each with their own flare but the exact same idea. Toward the end, an angel investor shared that he sees at least one presentation with this exact same idea everyday. While the idea resonates with his team, he had yet to see anyone with the proper background and team in place that could efficiently and profitably execute the idea. Seems that Softbank, General Catalyst, Longworth Venture Partners and the founders of GSI Commerce have found the right person in serial entrepreneur, Himil Ozguc, founder of Swirl.
Swirl is the personal shopping assistant that you actually want to use. It not only provides access to trends and styles personalized for your tastes, Swirl makes the offline shopping experience more manageable. Swirl helps users discover the latest trends in fashion while keeping you up to date on offers from your favorite stores. Letting friends organizes the looks they love and locating stores nearby, friends can map out their shopping trip and find deals happening in store.
As any woman knows, shopping can be exhausting, especially if you have a specific look in mind and after countless stores and numerous over-enthusiastic sales professionals you still haven’t found it. Offline shopping can also be a great joy. Imagine a shopping excursion with your friends, sauntering through stores finding not only products your are interested in, but deals to boot. By the time lunch rolls around, you have a caprese and a glass of wine, while tapping on your iphone finding even more deals and styles within walking radius. The end of the day you find yourself at home with pieces that are on trend and seem to have been designed just for you. As you style your outfit for Monday morning, you revel in the instant gratification of the offline shopping experience and the ease of your shopping day.
Swirl differentiates themselves from the vast market of fashion tech start ups by giving users a reason to interact with the community of stores around them. Opposed to making the shopping process faster and easier with the click of a button, Swirl gives its users a way to plan a shopping day with friends, providing access to a more enjoyable shopping experience.
Swirl currently has, “220 deals in place with major brands like Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Old Navy, covering 30,000 stores and 100,000 items in the U.S.” (TechCrunch) Its really not surprising, stores like Macy’s and Nordstroms put millions into training their sales staff every year. They must be elated at the notion of shoppers entering their stores in search of a specific item and being greeted by trained sales professionals ready to personalize their shopping experience even further.
Check out Swirl. Let us know your thoughts. Are you excited about the notion of a better offline shopping experience?