E-commerce aside, the shopping experience for clothes, shoes and accessories is still very much a search and discovery mission. Deemelo has set out to change that. The Chilean-born startup has launched a new iPhone app to help shoppers find fashion items nearby.
The geolocalized fashion application combines Pinterest’s visual appeal with Foursquare’s localization technology to allow users to browse stores and items in the vicinity. It alerts them of deals and exclusive offers and encourages social interaction by way of virtual closets users create themselves. The app also possesses a wish list feature, which users may keep private or share.
Deemelo was founded by James Rochabrun, a Peruvian native who has been living and working in Chile for the past seven years. The idea for the app sprung out of a break from what Rochabrun describes as “one of those mind-blowing, six-hour shopping trips” with his girlfriend. He explained:
I asked if we could grab something to eat to take a break. In an instant, I had my iPhone out, using one of the many food apps, to search for the best hamburger closest to us. It was in that moment that I realized that it would be really useful to have an app that allows us to replicate what I just did to find my hamburger but for her shoes, making the search for clothing and accessories more efficient allowing your smartphone to become your shopping partner to not only find fashion close to you but to share where and what you are buying with friends.
Deemelo has already completed a stint at Start-Up Chile. Most recently, it was selected for acceleration by Boosterup Co-Creation, though which it will work with international mobile marketing company Celmedia to further develop its vision.
This latter bit is especially important given that mobile marketing is how Deemelo anticipates generating revenues. “We make effective mobile marketing campaigns for boutiques and stores that can’t compete with the marketing budgets of the larger stores,” Rochabrun said. “We also give the stores a free tool that allows them to display their products to shoppers who are currently close to their store, but we charge a small fee if they want to alert shoppers close by of offers, a new clothing line or discounts.”
Check out the rest of our interview with Deemelo CEO James Rochabrun.
Emily Stewart: Why go the mobile-only route?
James Rochabrun: Yes, we are currently focusing on the mobile market. Smartphones allow you to navigate and search for local products in real time from anywhere, and they connect you almost permanently to your social networks no matter where you are. There is always someone search for something close that your business can have. Our mission is to connect the consumer with local businesses, and mobile platforms are the most efficient way to do this.
ES: How do you get stores on board with this?
JR: Creating a store on Deemelo takes no more than two minutes. All they have to do is take a picture of a product and associate it (one time only) to their location with the name of their store, and it is ready! The person in charge of the store can add more content through their smartphones or contact us to get access to their business profile, where they can manage the information from their computer, easily allowing them to upload more content from their other web presences as well as giving them access to their unique statistics.
ES: The intersection between fashion and technology is an interesting one. What would you say are the main points of friction?
JR: Technology, such as mobile apps and social networks, democratize the markets so the beneficiaries are both the consumers and the small businesses – the fashion market is no exception. Technology gives small businesses a place to compete with the big players in the market and allows consumers to have more knowledge at the moment of making a purchase.
ES: You’ve got to get both users and retailers interested for this to work. How do you plan to accomplish that?
JR: Our priority right now is to increase our user mass. That is why we are working with our Deemelo ambassadors and have the support of more than 100 fashion bloggers that will share their looks through both Deemelo and their own networks. Also, the app easily allows for each product posted to become viral through the option of sharing via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook, this also allows us to attract new users.
For the stores, we have made it so that creating their store profile take no more than two minutes so that they can start showing their products through Deemelo hassle-free, with no knowledge of tech needed. The service Deemelo offers is segmented, efficient and more economic than other options currently on the market.
You can download Deemelo for iPhone here.