Svpply, the New York-based startup that replicates the feeling of window-shopping online, is nudging its well-heeled clientele to turn their “wants” into real purchases.
The company, which was co-founded by Vimeo designer Zach Klein, is unveiling analytics and targeting features for retailers in a program called “We Want This!”
Shops like Free People, CXXVI and All Saints can reach influential members of the Svpply community with targeted promotions based on their “Wants.” On Svpply, a “Want” is pretty much similar to the “Like” button on Facebook. Since the company was founded a few years ago, Svpply members have clicked “Want” more than 5 million times on the site and do it at a current rate of about 160,000 per week.
The startup is one of a wave of companies that are trying to make online shopping for high-end fashion more comfortable for shoppers. Over the past decade, as consumers have gotten used to ordering books and electronics online, it’s natural that fashion would be another major industry to transition online. While they’re not really competitors, there are plenty of other startups like Bonobos, Trunk Club, Gilt Groupe, Index Ventures-backed Nasty Gal and Y Combinator-backed Shoptiques that are trying to make higher-end fashion work online. Even Amazon is getting into the fray after signing designers like Michael Kors and Vivienne Westwood.
The new ‘We Want This!’ program should help close that last mile between when a user says they want to buy something and when they’ll actually pull out their credit card for it.
Since launching a few years ago, Svpply’s CEO Ben Pieratt says the company has been super careful about making sure the site has a tight-knit community.
“Our understanding is that high quality also means high quality community,” he said. “Our product is a microcosm of the retail industry where there is a small group of tastemakers that influences what the rest of the community wants.”
They seeded it to a small group of New York-based designers who then populated Svpply with products they loved. They made sure that every single product was something you could immediately buy online. “These aren’t things to dream about,” he said. “Everything you see is purchase-able.”
Since then the site has grown to have 620,000 product views a week with 140,000 registered members and 700,000 unique users who come by to browse every month. They’ve also seen about 37,000 downloads of their iPhone and iPad apps. To note: the iPad app launched just six days ago. The affiliate revenue they earn is enough to cover server and rent costs for their New York-based staff. A recent Facebook Timeline integration has also bumped registrations by 40 percent as Svpply uses the verb ‘Want’ in the ticker and news feed.
Svpply has raised $550,000 from Spark Capital and Founder Collective.