SneakPeeq serves two niches at once, the fashion conscious and shopping oriented consumer, and the up and coming brand that wishes to reach them. Interestingly, it can take several years for a new consumer beauty or fashion company to become noticed. In fact, for a new brand, being picked up by a major retailer or other sizable outlet can be akin to playing the lottery, waiting for good fortune to strike.
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
This isn’t to say that if those active consumers were given the option of buying products from the smaller brand, they wouldn’t, but the conduit between the two has been all but nonexistent in the past. This has led to trade shows, such as Magic in LA, where smaller brands vie for attention from buyers.
Happily for those often struggling companies, SneakPeeq exists, and is providing a bridge between smaller brands and fashion-forward consumers. Doubling on that point, the company has in fact always had a focus on what it calls ‘boutique and medium sized’ brands, because there it told TNW in a meeting in San Francisco, among those firms “you can make an impact.”
Currently SneakPeeq is focused on women-specific items, which has garnered it a userbase that is 90% female.
How It Works
SneakPeeq is the combination of social commerce, light gamification, good design, and interesting products.
Originally something bolted to Facebook, and now also a strong iPad application (more on that shortly), SneakPeeq uses game tools, such as the providing of special coupons that expire after a set period of time (use that 50% off before it expires), along with artificial, or I should say created, restrictions on the number of ‘peeqs’ that a user has per day. A ‘peeq’ is the action by which a consumer ‘flips over the price tag’ on an item in the SneakPeeq system, to see its price.
Once that has been accomplished, the user can apply their various coupons (the largest is always automatically stuck on for them), and buy the good. Coupons are earned in the ways that you would expect, including general site use and making a purchase.
Broken down into categories, products on the platform are focused on things that are a bit gender imbalanced, but the total product mix does run the gamut from makeup products to electric scooters.
That said, the company looks for products that are ‘forward looking,’ which is opposed to the model of say a Gilt, which looks to move units on what was perhaps from the last cycle. In short, it won’t take your left over inventory and help you get rid of it; the company wants to work with smaller brands and their new goods. Returning to our struggling small brand looking for a sales channel, especially one that is understanding of its concerns, SneakPeeq is a strong fit.
The company did around 2 billion impressions in August.
For the consumer, SneakPeeq combines a strongly visual experience (think big shots of products in excellent lighting), replicating in a way the normal shopping exercise that many enjoy; if you like going out and shopping, browsing as you do, SneakPeeq is built for you. However, if you simply want to browse the SneakPeeq looking for a product that well fits your tastes, simply clicking around a web interface isn’t the best way to do so. This takes us to today’s announcement.
The new SneakPeeq iPad application is the combination of everything that we have previously discussed, baked into an app that is even well laid out, full of color, image-centric, and more engaging than the company’s normal web interface.
Key to the iPad app is the idea of a ‘personalized mall.’ SneakPeeq learns your preferences, and feeds you a swipeable, never-ending stream of products that you can the ‘peeq’ and purchase. In hands-on testing, TNW found the app to be intuitive, and even fun to use.
Items on the platform tend to expire in roughly 5 days, though that time frame can vary. This keeps the product mix fresh. SneakPeeq does however execute other sorts of deals with brands, including on its system now with a scented candle company that sees several of its new scents on the service on a regular basis.
Push notifications that alert a user when one of their coupons is set to expire has not yet been built into the application, but will be coming in a later version. If you are into this sort of thing, the iPad application can be found here. I’ve included an official screenshot below as an illustration.
Nuts and Bolts
Digging into how SneakPeeq works, TNW spoke with one of its executives, Henry Kim, at length on its operations and mechanics. If you are a business-oriented person, this will be interesting. If you aren’t, hit the links above and move along.
On a user basis, the normal SneakPeeq customer will buy, assuming a $100 product, about three per year, through the system. Smaller items, obviously, have different purchase trends. Activity is in fact bolstered by a use leaderboard, where active users compete for status. The three with the highest score are given coupons, providing incentive for continued use of the site. This is contrasted by the limited number of items that a user can price-reveal (‘peeq’) at daily, stretching the customer between both objectives, and in theory driving sales.
For some brands, SneakPeeq is driving over $100,000 in sales per month.
Regarding inventory, the company does have two facilities, one in South Dakota, and another in Los Angeles, but it tends to work with brands so that they hold product, sending them a purchase order directly, to expedite the process of shipping.
To reach more of those total brands, the company is building a portal that will speed the process, although a recommendation will be required for submission. SneakPeeq has raised funds from Bain Capital, where they found their seed round. They have since then raised a $7.5 million follow-on round.
SneakPeeq is a fun company working in a competitive space with an attractive product. It’s not a surprise that they have reached seven-figure user status.
Top Image Credit: Stew Dean