Lover.ly, a search engine for weddings, is today launching a mobile application to complement its online experience. The new app also allows brides-to-be and others planning a wedding (or just dreaming about one), to save and share the inspiration they find while on the go by snapping photos.
The company first launched in fall 2011 and raised half a million in seed funding the following February. Initially, it offered an almost Pinterest-like experience, where users could create boards (known as “bundles”) to keep track of their favorite items across a number of categories like dresses, shoes, flowers, jewelry, beauty, gifts, decor and more. But earlier this year, Lover.ly revamped its online experience to shift away from its similarities with Pinterest.
Though it still allows users to create their own bundles of content, the interface is now more of a search engine for everything weddings, and it even offers a unique feature that lets users search not just by keyword but also by color.
The new mobile app offers much of what the main site offers, with tabs dedicated to the “featured” items, an “explore” section, and ways to browse by categories or color. However, the key addition here is the “Add” button, which lets the app’s users snap photos while out and about. These photos can be saved to private bundles or shared with others.
Explains Loverly founder and CEO Kellee Khalil, most women planning a wedding are carrying around a binder of ideas with them – the mobile app now offers a more lightweight alternative. She says she was inspired to build this feature in the app after spending time with a friend who was trying on dresses for her own wedding. “She was snapping photos and texting them to her dad,” says Khalil. “This was something where she didn’t want to share on Facebook, or share that on Pinterest or Instagram, because it’s a private thing. But she wants to be able to share those experiences.”
The company also needed to address its growing mobile audience, Khalil adds. Though the site wasn’t mobile-optimized before, it did have mobile traffic, and 82 percent of that traffic came from iOS. Overall, time on site has increased by 36 percent since last year, and traffic is up 72 percent from the same time last year, but the mobile traffic in particular was coming in during the evening and on weekends.
Khalil declined to provide user numbers, but she says that users are heavily engaged – time on site is around 10 minutes, and the core audience comes back 4-5 times per day. By shifting to mobile, that engagement can now extend to a new platform, the company hopes.
Going forward, the plan is to bring the new beta shopping experience now on Loverly’s website to the mobile application, too. Both the app and website will also soon see a social layer added back in, following the feature’s removal during the user interface overhaul. This will again allow for commenting on items, Khalil explains.
The new Loverly iOS application is available for download here in the App Store.