Shopping for clothes can be tough. One of the best places to find quality clothes can be in boutique shops all across the country. But they can be difficult to get to, especially if you live far away. What if there was a way where shops could ship a certain style of clothes each month to you?
Los Angeles-based Science, a incubator group, has backed a potential solution to this problem. Called TripleThread, it’s a push-based commerce platform that enables boutique shops and retailers the ability to stylize highly qualified customers while giving them a bit more of a personalized touch. You can think of it like Trunk.com, but more for smaller shops.
Started by Allen Jones, TripleThread’s goal is to connect people from all around the country with the lesser-known stores. Right now, they face a problem with location in terms of the customers that they can track — nearly half of them are window shoppers and not qualified buyers, but anyone that comes to your website is considered qualified.
Not everyone has access to boutiques either and they resign themselves to going to a large retail store like Macy’s, JC Penneys, or Target, where there’s no familiarity with the store. With boutiques, the merchandise is unique to the store, the relationships you have with the staff helps them better style you and overall builds satisfaction. The staff is invested in helping you because they truly have a desire to be in fashion — not just for the paycheck.
What TripleThread does is help drive customer acquisitions for boutiques by offering them personalized styling services on a national level. It handles all of the online marketing through paid advertising on Google, Facebook, etc. So if you happen to be looking for men’s fashion, you might see an ad on Google and click it. It will take you to a website that TripleThread has set up and, similar to Trunk.com, you can fill out the application form listing out answers to your favorite colors, where do you shop, how much do you spend per month, etc. After that, you’ll be asked to use Facebook Connect to allow the service to review your social graph so that it can analyze the data and recommend specific brands to you. The end result is that TripleThread has a sufficient profile on you in order to pass along to a boutique it thinks best suits your style.
The overall goal is for the service to do a thorough analysis to give you the best clothes, while also providing to boutiques demographics of an ideal shopper. Customers will receive a monthly subscription of handpicked outfits to review and pay for the items that they wish to keep. Any unwanted items can be mailed back with pre-printed labels.
Prior to launch, Jones met with between 50-100 boutiques to find out what their needs were. He’s excited about this company because he says that previously, when innovations in technology dealt with retail and fashion, it disrupted the space, but it also took away some jobs. With TripleThread, it’s not about eliminating jobs, rather enhancing them. It’s supposed to enable more hiring rather than firing.
According to Science CEO Michael Jones, with every $1 spent on merchandise, 9 cents is spent on merchandise returns, which equates to millions of lost revenues and jobs for retailers. He continues to say that “TripleThread’s unique…commerce platform can help stem the flood of returns by personalizing customer service to each client.” By having clothes catered specifically to you and your wishes, boutiques will have less returns.
Any boutique shop can use TripleThread. The company has a revenue-sharing monetization model and is dependent on the kind of deal, volume, size of its database, etc. — there is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy for the company.
Photo credit: KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images
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