Uncovet is launching to the public today as a recommendation engine for offbeat clothing and design items. Founder and former Myspace creative director Heather Lipner tells me that the larger play is using data received from purchases and social shares to capture user’s “style graph” — which is structured data like an “interest graph” or “social graph” but pertaining specifically to shopping taste.
The company considers itself a spontaneous recommendation engine like Fab and Ofakind, except focusing on personalization, current trends and seasons vs. inventory it needs to unload. Like Fab, users get rewards and discounts for signing up their friends and followers.
Right now users who are part of Uncovet’s “Inner Circle” get a $30 credit if 10 friends join, a 5% additional “BF” discount if 20 more friends join and an additional 8% “BFF” discount if 40 more friends join.
Very reminiscent of a pared down Fab, the startup uses Facebook Connect to allow users to invite friends to the site and takes a users’ Facebook Likes into account when recommending products if a user allows. She wouldn’t reveal any more details about what algorithms were driving the engine.
Lipner holds that her algorithmic style recommendation engine is what differentiates the site from other eCommerce plays, “We’re a personalized shopping service – our aim is to be experts at style recommendations. We’re building out our style graph to map users to recommended products & trends they’ll like, helping customers refine & develop their personal style.”
Like other flash sales sites before it, Uncovet uses an daily email newsletter to further user engagement.”Our emails are like opening a magazine,” Lipner tells me, “Customers discover new trends and in this case can click to buy the products.”
Lipner’s future plans included renewed focus on product discovery, “We are currently working on a technology platform that will make our graph queries much more specific and timely to be more and more accurate in our discoveries and suggestions,” says Lipner, “In the near future, you will see us combine our discovery platform across Pinterest, Svpply, Twitter, and Facebook — and email.”
The startup is solely backed by the LA-based incubator Science, which is also responsible for novel eCommerce plays Wittlebee and DollarShaveClub.
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