STARTUP

Stylewhile: Reinventing Online Shopping one Store at a Time

By emphasizing outfits rather than pieces, the Finnish start-up stands to succeed in the virtual try-on space. Here's how customization, shopping carts, and social features are changing the game.
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Start-ups have tried virtual clothing try-on solutions time and time again.

They attempt to make a viable solution for trying on clothes online, with the hopes that it will actually save people from making terrible purchases on the web or from shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores. 

Already, there's Metail, TrueFit, Clotheshorse, True & Co., Fitiquette, Fits.me, and PhiSix. 

But Finnish start-up Stylewhile is different from other virtual try-on start-ups in the sense that rather than licensing its technology to retailers to integrate onto their platform, Stylewhile functions somewhat as its own online retailer.

Stylewhile also places more of an emphasis on outfits, rather than pieces, Stylewhile CEO Jutta Haaramo tells Business Insider.

Its iPad-optimized platform allows customers to mix and match items from various retailers on top of a model with a similar body type. Once you've created your ideal look, you can save that style and even share it with friends to get their input. Or you can buy those pieces on the spot. For now, it's only available for women. 

If you find something you like from both Neiman Marcus and Shopbop, you'll be directed to each retailer's respective shopping cart. But that will likely change, Haaramo says.

In the future, Haaramo envisions one shopping cart to make purchases from multiple retailers on Stylewhile. 

Stylewhile has agreements with online retailers including Shopbop, Asos, Ivana Helsinki, Neiman Marcus, and My-wardrobe.com. For every transaction facilitated through Stylewhile, the company takes a percentage of the revenue. 

Users typically try on about 17 pieces per visit, Haaramo says. About 10 percent of users actually click the purchase link, which is pretty respectable given that add-to-basket conversion rates average around 12 percent.

Haaramo founded Stylewhile in 2011 alongside Mika Martilla in Helsinki, Finland. Its four-person team is backed by The Finnish Foundation, Tekes, and Lifeline Ventures.

This story originally appeared on Business Insider. 

IMAGE: Getty
Last updated: Jun 17, 2013




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