Andy Moss On ShopStyle’s Fashion Week Mobile Moves

The start of Fashion Month is officially here with yesterday’s kickoff of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York. Hopefully you’ve taken note of lessons learned from the first season at Lincoln Center. If you have room for one more tool to stay on top of the New York fashion week schedule, shopping search engine ShopStyle has updated their mobile offerings (apps and mobile website) to include show schedules, designer profiles, runway photos, event coverage, and industry news.

Screenshot of the ShopStyle iPhone/iPod app

There have always been shopping search engines, but ShopStyle was one of the first to focus on fashion with a sleek design and the ability to create digital mood boards from the products. With Google putting more effort into the space with, and Polyvore grabbing headlines with their collage focused community, what is ShopStyle doing to solidify their position and build on their success (Google AdPlanner puts ShopStyle’s traffic for January at 3.8 million visitors per month, is at 2.6 million)?

ShopStyle founder and general manager Andy Moss confirmed our thoughts that mobile plays a big role in growth plans for fashion week and beyond.

You’re revamping the ShopStyle mobile app with show schedules and runway photos for fashion week, will it also take advantage of any location based features like recommendations for physical stores in the area?

Moss: We included essential information for Fashion Week attendees like a guide on Getting to the Lincoln Center and restaurant options around town. At ShopStyle our current focus is on helping our customer find and discover the best brands and designers online so we also added New York Fashion Week designer profiles and a link to ShopStyle mobile for online shopping.

Is the mobile app the start of ShopStyle bridging the online/offline shopping gap in some way?

Moss: Yes, we are looking at how best to bridge the online/offline shopping experience. It’s definitely harder for fashion than hard goods where bar codes can be scanned. But, helping shoppers in-store is absolutely on our roadmap.

Smartphone sales recently overtook computer sales for the first time. What percentage of traffic to ShopStyle comes from mobile browsers? Have you noticed a significant year over year increase?

Moss: Absolutely. We’ve seen a huge increase in mobile visitors, from our iOS apps for iPhone and iPad {iTunes}, for our ShopStyle website, which is optimized for the browser on the iPad, and from our mobile optimized sites which can be accessed through the browser on any smart phone (including Android). In December we reached close to 20% of page views coming from one of the above [mobile devices]. That traffic is split about 50/50 between native apps and access through browser on the device.

ShopStyle is still something of a standard for fashion/shopping search, but the competition in the space keeps getting stiffer with sites like Google’s . Do you look at mobile as an area to extend what’s worked well online, or a space to try completely new things?

We definitely see mobile as a key differentiator for ShopStyle and have made big investments in providing the best possible experience for the mobile user. So we did not approach mobile as simply a case of moving what we did well online to mobile. We designed and built our mobile apps from the ground up. It is actually very different from the website. ShopStyle continues to grow nicely in the US and we have also expanded internationally to the UK, Germany, France, and now Japan.

We’ve seen strong adoption for our iPhone and iPad apps in Europe and a lot of media coverage regarding “best apps,” etc. for which we’ve often been featured. Japan is interesting as the previous generation of phones from the three main carriers still have a massive installed base and the Japanese love them. While these devices were way ahead of the US five or ten years ago, from ShopStyle’s perspective they are pretty limited compared to the latest iPhone and Android devices, especially in terms of UI and the experience you can create for our fashion apps. The iPhone is growing in popularity – and we’ve focused our efforts there – but we are clearly missing a large part of the potential mobile user base and will until smart phones takeover.

The ShopStyle iPad app

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