Polyvore: Why Personalized Social Shopping Apps Matter

Polyvore is a unique way to discover and shop for items including fashion, beauty and home decor. The goal of the e-commerce site is to put the phrase, “I have nothing to wear” into extinction by connecting an online community of style enthusiasts, shoppers and retailers.

Based on mood, color, size, product, brand, trend and more – retailers and site users can build and engage in “sets” or collages that link directly to purchasing platforms. This week we take a closer look at Polyvore’s history, growth and potential shelf life as one of the leading channels for retailers.

Since its debut in February 2007 by founders Guangwei Yuan, Pasha Sadri and Jianing Hu, Polyvore has acquired 20 million users and 100 million listed items with an additional 2.2 million arriving each month. The community based e-commerce site serves as one of the leading platforms for the fashion community with 3 million outfits per month via Polyvore’s website and mobile application for iOS and Android.

In the early stages, Polyvore was named “A Fashionista’s Playground” by Good Housekeeping Magazine and has maintained momentum, competing with top e-commerce players well into 2015.

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Game Changer: Polyvore’s Personalized Shopping App

By 2013, Polyvore’s average basket size across retail partners was $383, much higher than other leading social networks combined, according to a study by richrelevence.com. The company realized almost 50 percent of Polyvore’s “sets” were created using a smart phone or tablet device. In response to these statistics, Polyvore made a very smart move in October 2014 by revamping the visuals on their iPhone application and introducing a personalized social shopping site called “Just For You”.

The newest application made it easier to like and hide items from user’s fashion feed. Most importantly, the changes allowed Polyvore to take advantage of their user data and cater it specifically to create a suggestion-filled personalized boutique. Now, when a user creates an outfit, the phone app will gather data to form suggestions on other items the user is likely to be interested in and purchase.

If a user ‘likes’ a red leather purse, the application will not only send the user suggestions to other similar bags but link to skirts, shirts, jewelry and other items to match it and complete the entire outfit. In simple terms, the application now gives every member of Polyvore their own personal stylist to help them shop in the palm of their hand.

Expert Insight: Polyvore’s Future Marketing Tactics

allie-lochiatto-teen-vogue-bloggerIn an interview with CPC Strategy, we asked Allie Lochiatto, founder of alliewears.com and named one of “Teen Vogue’s 2014 Best Personal Style Bloggers in the World” her opinion on Polyvore as a viable channel for retailers.

“As a blogger, Polyvore is great for creating fun, organized collages when it comes to sharing style trends or outfit ideas to your readers,” Lochiatto said. “From a strict user perspective, I think it’s helpful, it’s like a one stop shop.”

While visually engaging, it’s more than pretty collages driving users to the site.

According to an article published by Forbes on December 22, 2014, “Contextual Marketing” is considered one of the “Top Five E-Commerce Marketing Tips for 2015”. This type of marketing is exactly what Polyvore set out to improve with its latest upgrades by gathering and filtering data based on each user’s behavior to deliver personalized and relevant content.

Vishwa-Ranjan-polyvore“Although the update has only been available for a few months, we’ve seen that users are spending more time in the app and are saving their favorite products at a higher rate. We are excited by this early positive feedback we’ve seen from our global community,” Vishwa Ranjan, Senior Product Manager for Mobile at Polyvore said.

“Right now, Polyvore is only available in English but more than half our users are from outside the US. We want to continue to grow internationally,” Ranjan said.

While Polyvore is predominately a “very visual site”, he expects global marketing is an area the company will tackle in the near future to ensure their position as an innovative platform.

About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.