My favourite kind of fashion blogs are those based around street style, and I've noticed a growing trend in companies trying to replicate this via mobile applications. The popularity of street style photography, as well as interest in non-celebrity models seems to have fuelled this. The opportunities for brands and retailers to get involved is huge, and so I thought I would take a look at a couple of applications I like and explore their e-commerce potential.
Kaleidoscope pulls together a Pinterest style collage of street style photographs, blogger and editorial shots and the odd celebrity photo. This content is pulled from lookbook.nu and its own supplied images rather than users.
When you click on an image, it zooms into full view and adds an ecommerce element. Users are able to ‘shop the look’ by clicking on individual items within the outfit and reveal links to buy items from various online retailers. Users are also able to browse similar items and are presented with purchase links for these too.
This app ultimately allows the user to shop street style looks directly from their mobile phone - something that isn’t possible in the same way through street style blogs that I have seen. The outfit elements are matched to individual items through ShopStyle’s API as well as some manual work from Kaleidoscope’s own staff.
It’s a powerful monetising concept and a quick and easy process that I imagine could become slightly addictive. Rather than users simply browsing the looks and feeling ‘inspired’ they can now actually purchase right from within the app.
Festival fashion is always a popular source of inspiration and coverage of festival fashion is everywhere. Interestingly, Kaleidoscope cleverly partnered with Coachella festival this year and users were able to browse street style photographs taken from the previous 72 hours at the festival, all with links to buy matched up items.
Pose is a mobile application that allows users to upload a photo of their outfit every day and tag the individual items with the brand or retailer where they were purchased. This means that followers can quickly find out where to buy the items they see and like. Unfortunately the application does not give users direct links to buy any of the items listed.
Users can 'love' each others' poses and follow each other and this feature does go some way to creating the community feel of fashion blogs - this is something that is important to me as it's the reason that I enjoy fashion blogs. The app also features a 'discovery' tab that allows users to find particularly popular users, adding to the proliferation of influencers in the space.
As well as being able to share their uploaded photos on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, users can also pull their looks onto an online Pinterest style platform. This allows non Pose users to engage with the content without signing up to the app.
As the app continues to be developed and new functionality is added, it will be interesting to see whether e-commerce will be introduced - I'd be surprised if it doesn't appear soon!
I wonder if we will see brands targeting the brand ‘influencers’ in the Pose community in the same way they target influential bloggers via free clothes and sponsored posts. Interestingly, Rachel Zoe, the famous stylist, recently invested in the company, so clearly saw a huge amount of potential in it. Some brands have already started working with Pose - Alison Gould-Simon, Director of Marketing and Communications at Pose, discusses them in this article.
Do you have any favourite fashion apps? If so please do share them in the comments section below.