When someone is shopping online it is not uncommon that they spend quite a lot of time just looking for the perfect item. That one that you really like which complements your features. The start-up Styleriser has created a technology that is able to cut this time down considerably, as it allows retailers to make unique recommendations based on your individual characteristics. All you need is a selfie.
The main idea behind it is to build software that resembles the physical experience of walking into a fashion shop and getting assistance from an expert who understands what you are looking for and what suits you. Only this time instead of a person giving you advice; it is an algorithm, the result is a digital shopping assistant.
In a nutshell: Digitally curated shopping.
Innovation Origins had a brief chat with CEO and co-founder Mark Hunsmann, who told us a bit more about the start-up.
How does it work?
Well, our software analyses a shopper’s facial shape and complexion based on selfie uploads, and then comes up with a set of optimum clothing colors for that particular person. Knowing the range of the best colors for a particular user, the technology filters stocks from shops which it is integrated with, then just a few seconds later, comes up with products that should match. Or, to be specific, our individual style data gets fed into other information which trigger product recommendations, e.g., previous shopping behaviors, etc.
What was the motivation behind the creation of STYLERISER?
Well, the problem on the consumer side is often a case of being overwhelmed and insecure when shopping for clothing online, massive rates of returns and generally poor conversion rates are a clear reason!
As founders we have been running an academy educating color, style and image consultants, and have been engaged in one-on-one shopping and wardrobe assistance ourselves for almost 10 years. Driven by digitization and various shopping attitudes with respect to millennials, it was obvious to us that the precious and timeless expertise of the image consulting profession needed to be made available in digital form. So we decided to face the challenge and create a tech solution and plug it right into apparel e-commerce, where it is really relevant!
What makes STYLERISER stand out from the pack?
There is a massive number of technology firms offering major data analysis as well as many external size-fitting solutions. However, we haven’t seen anybody as yet assisting shoppers to get a handle on color-suitability insecurity. STYLERISER provides an accurate and professional color recommendation tool and as a next level, we’ll also perform real-time style recommendation for shoppers based on their facial shape and complexion.
What has been the biggest obstacle that you have had to overcome?
Well I guess the fact that it is a new approach – selling a service that has not yet been effectively been proven using data.
And, was there a moment in where you thought of giving up?
Sure, there have been times, slow development often frustrates me.
On the other hand, what has been the most gratifying moment?
It was definitely when we succeeded in getting the first correct results from our analysis tool prototype!
What can we expect from the coming years?
We are pretty confident that the color and style assistant will become something like a standard feature, similar to the ‘classic’ photo search which is pretty much mainstream nowadays. In the long run, we expect our software to be much more advanced and smoothly integrated with most technologically advanced fashion shops on both sides of the Atlantic.
What is your ultimate goal?
Our aim is to enable consumers to build a rather advanced app-based style profile, or StyleID, which they can use to ‘check-in’ with on many shopping sites for clothing. Without having to go through a rather primitive style questionnaire for every single shop or rely on the personalized data that certain shops use in their algorithms.
Can you tell me a bit about the feedback you’ve gotten?
Usually people light up when we explain what we are creating! It’s kind of a no-brainer and people are wondering why this doesn’t already exist.
Finally, who is the STYLERISER customer?
Our primary customer are e-shops such as Zalando, Farfetch, Nordstrom and many other smaller ones. We’re targeting shops that serve style-conscious consumers in upper-middle and upper class demographics.