Online consignment shops operate in a crowded market these days with a range of stores offering everything from eBay-like, peer-to-peer sales of clothes bought at The Gap and Target to high-end stores where luxury goods are authenticated, approved and sold on your behalf. One company making a dent on the latter side of that spectrum is Shop-Hers, a marketplace for luxury goods boasting 1 million users. And now, the company is going mobile.
Shop-Hers recently launched a mobile application that allows its customers to both buy and sell their fashion items easily, no matter their location – something that may appeal to those in its target market who are regularly traveling for both work or pleasure, and looking to unload last season’s designer goods in order to make room for more.
Though aiming only at the luxury clothing-buying crowd, the company, backed by $3.5 million in seed funding from a number of investors (including Bono), has developed a number of technologies that improve the online shopping experience in general, which it would be nice to see more shops like it adopt.
For starters, it’s able to suggest pricing for the goods sellers post, based on comparable prices seen elsewhere on the web. It also authenticates purchases and can handle the photographing of items, as many stores of its nature do. But it also has developed a community of “Style Soul Mates” – that is, it helps connect women with those who share both their own personal taste as well as their measurements. This is actually a useful feature for Shop-Hers, as it’s helping you find the products you not only like, but those that also fit – a combination that’s difficult to see on a number of consignment shops today.
Within the new app, women can shop the closets of their “soul mates,” including browsing through their clothing, handbags, jewelry and other accessories, right from their mobile phone.
In addition, the app takes advantage of mobile’s instant notifications feature which can alert you to price changes for items in your cart or those you’ve liked, allowing you to swoop in when the price drops. (Hey, everyone likes a bargain. Even if you’re spending thousands on a new bag, because that’s how you roll.)
The company tells us that the moving to mobile was becoming an urgent need – 65% of site traffic last month came from smartphone and tablet devices, and 45% of revenue came from mobile purchases. The app, which went live earlier this month and was officially announced this week, has already gained thousands of registrations.
Shop-Hers is now growing at 30% month-over-month in registrations and revenue, the company also reports, and includes buyers in 250 countries. The most rapid growth is taking place in Malaysia, Australia, Dubai, Ireland, Qatar, and the U.K.
However, the online luxury consignment market is fragmented, which means Shop-Hers is up against a number of similar services, like TheRealReal, Vaunte, Walk In My Closet, Bib + Tuck, Material Wrld, Fashionpile, Covetique, Luxury Exchange, PorteroSnobswap, Farfetch and more. In the long run, not all of these companies are likely to survive, so beating some of its competitors to mobile is a smart competitive move for Shop-Hers.
The app is a free download for iPhone and iPad here on iTunes.
Update: The company erroneously provided us with out-of-date user numbers initially; they’ve now provided more recent figures and the article has been updated to reflect this.