London-headquartered fashion shopping site Styloko, whose image recognition technology helps women find similar products to those they like at better prices, today begins testing the concept that online shopping is an activity that will take place across all platforms, including on the Apple Watch. With its new iOS app called WantList, launching now, Styloko has simplified fashion discovery by way of a Tinder-like interface that involves swiping on product photos to discard them or add them to users’ “WantLists.”
Having worn the Apple Watch for well over a month now, I’m not yet convinced that shopping is an activity I want to do from my wrist. If I’m looking to kill time by browsing through a fashion app, I find I’ll still turn to my phone, not my Watch, while out and about. After all, the phone’s larger screen allows for more detail when it comes to browsing through product photos, and mobile apps offer an expanded feature set.
That being said, if I’m going to interact with a shopping site via the wrist, it’s likely going to be via a format and user interface that’s extremely minimalistic in terms of its feature set, such as WantList.
Styloko’s plan is to design its app in a way that better caters to the way people online shop today – in smaller chunks of time, spread out across different devices. For instance, users may casually browse their iPhone during their morning commute, click through a website while eating lunch at their desk, later return to the site on their iPad, and maybe eventually purchase products from their laptop at home.
Now, with WantList, Styloko is throwing the Apple Watch into this cross-platform mix.
On the new iOS app, built for both iPhone and iPad, users swipe right or left to like or discard the fashion items presented from a wide selection of major retailers. The engine today aggregates millions of products from thousands of retailers, ranging from luxury brands on down. Because of its location, many of its brands are UK-based, though it has been expanding its US selection in recent days.
As you proceed to like and dislike items, the app learns your preferences to better personalize the experience. A “Luxe or Less” feature, meanwhile, taps into Styloko’s image recognition technology to surface lower-priced alternatives to favorite items. At launch, this feature is only available for dress, tops and jackets, but will be expanded over the weeks ahead to include other items.
Users can also follow others on WantLists to see the products they’re favoriting, and can track sales and deals on the items they’ve saved to their own WantList.
On the Apple Watch, the user interface is vastly simplified – there’s just a product photo which you either like or discard with a swipe. The app will also introduce sale alerts and other notifications.
“In general, the most exciting thing for us is that we have been noticing a user journey that goes from discovery on mobile to the ultimate purchase on desktop,” explains Styloko co-founder Ivailo Jordanov. “Where we think we are different is the fact that the user decides what they like and what they don’t on the go, so they never need to look at the same products again, but that also feeds our recommendation algorithms and enables us to recommend more relevant products each time,” he says.
Styloko claims to have driven millions of dollars worth of sales for retailers, who it works with on an affiliate basis in order to generate revenue. When users decide to buy, however, they do so directly from the retailer. The bootstrapped company, a team of under 20, also does advertising and tenancy deals with its retail partners to generate more exposure for them with its audience. Styloko is currently generating revenue but is not yet profitable.
The new iOS app, including the Watch app, is a free download on iTunes.