Digital shopping and fashion empire Like.com wants to solve a problem for anyone who has ever stood in front of their closet and wondered what they should wear. The startup that has brought us visual shopping engine Like.com, shopping personalization engine Covet.com; street style social network Weardrobe, and visual styling tool Couturious, launched its live personal stylist and wardrobe consultant in an iPhone, Ask A Stylist a few months ago. Now, the startup is expanding to the web, with fashion Q&A site, What To Wear, which takes on a model similar to Q&A site Quora.
Similar to Ask A Stylist, What To Wear gives anyone real fashion answers from fashion bloggers and celebrity and Glamour Magazine-trained stylists in real time. For example, you can pose the question; “What should I wear to the Lady Gaga concert tonight?” and a stylist will respond with visual answers of their suggestions. Stylists can explain their recommendations visually through pictures. Of course, these pictures are sometimes linked to products that a user can purchase, and Like will collect an affiliate fee from this transaction.
Users can remain anonymous on the site or can use Facebook Connect to sign in, in which case the site will surface questions from your friends as well as the anonymous questions. Certain sylists wWhat To Wear also has a content partnership. Glamour.com will feature guest blogs by What To Wear stylists, and will highlight the most popular and recently asked questions.
The site is part of Like.com’s CEO and founder Munjal Shah’s strategy of bringing interactive shopping tools to the online soft goods shopping experience. Couturious shows you how to wear styled looks on the web. Weardrobe helps you to be visually inspired with streetstyle looks; Covet helps you to visually personalize your shopping (using celebrity photos), Like.com helps you to visually shop for soft goods and What To Wear and Ask A Stylist add a personalized styling consultant to the mini-empire’s offerings.
Strategy aside, you have to wonder what these verticals are doing for Like.com. The site’s traffic, which according to ComScore, is stagnated. ComScore reports that Like saw 2.3 million unique visitors in April, and has flatlined in growth. And the other sites in the family don’t have nearly as much traffic as Like.com. But Like, which launched in 2006, says that it has generated $150 million of gross merchandise sales per year. And the startup raised $32 million in funding during the implosion of the financial industry, with a valuation just north of $100 million.
Unlike most other image search engines (including Google image search), like.com indexes images based on more than simple metadata and tags. Using Riya’s image recognition technology, like.com can search through a library of products and find ones similar to the look of any selected product. Users can shop for shoes, bags, watches, jewelry, clothes and much more without even typing in search terms if they choose. For image search queries Like.com matches users’ searches with similar or identical objects by...