The revolution of "what should I wear?"
In a scene from Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts, accompanied by Richard Gere and her bulging bag, enters one of the most exclusive stores in Los Angeles and an army of shop assistants, showering on the latest trends, hands her the clothes What do you think will suit you best? She doesn't have to think, just let herself be advised, seduced. Saving the distances, to begin with the physical distance, it is the same feeling that the online personal shopper services offered by Lookiero, Coomo or Ses Nines seek to convey. Starting from the lack of time to go shopping due to a life that is too busy, these online stores -they are pure stores, they buy products and their business is on the margin- they also take advantage of the surprise effect of receiving a kind of unexpected gift and, above all, , insecurity, or laziness, when choosing outfits. The daily “What do I wear?” revolutionized with the power of technology and with the convenience of electronic commerce. A business on the rise.
The operation of these services, except for a few differences, is similar. The client registers on the page and fills in a questionnaire with the necessary information so that a personal shopper can get an idea of what they are looking for: size, style, occasion - the use that is going to be given to the clothes: going out, work, etc…-, shape of the silhouette, etc. With these wickerwork, the expert chooses several garments, forms a beautiful box with them, and sends it to the client. He can choose what he keeps and return what he doesn't for free. The cost of reverse logistics, returns, along with the success of the stylists, are key to these businesses.
Oier Urrutia gave birth to Lookiero, the largest and most well-known of these services/stores in Spain on a drive from Cabo de Gata to Bilbao in the company of his partner, who told him about the inconvenience of shopping for the new mothers. Thanks to a stay in the US as part of an MBA, he was already familiar with Stitch Fix, a similar service in the US. In Spain there was nothing like it and he decided to analyze and replicate the model: "Sell clothes professionally," he explains. by phone. Something similar prompted Clara de la Santa, founder of Coomo, aimed exclusively at the male audience.
“Technology was not difficult, but the key was fashion, and I did not understand that world”, explains Urrutia. So he sought professional help and hired a personal shopper, María Uranga, and a purchasing director, José Iraolagoitia, with 30 years of experience, who helped in a selection of 25 or 30 European brands (now they handle a hundred). The initial financing came from business angels. This is how Lookiero saw the light of day in February 2016. The following year it had a turnover of 3.5 million euros, eight times more than the previous year. This year, with 250,000 registered clients already -they will have to wait- they hope to "multiply" last year's. In 2016 they opened in France and this year they will do so in the United Kingdom, with their own stylists for each region. In the 4,000 square meter warehouse that they occupy in Bilbao, 100 people already work, half of them personal shoppers. “They are trained people and we also train them. We train talent and we want to retain it”, he says. They have close to a hundred brands in their portfolio, "but not very expensive," says Urrutia. “We adapt to each budget, we want to reach everyone, democratize the personal shopper service”.
Had to legit ask my friends how to cook a bratwurst.God help me.Cooked the damn thing on the pan for 9 minutes… https://t.co/aXkgf9jNFS— Blitz Sat Jun 26 05:58:42 +0000 2021
The target audience that Clara de la Santa addressed when she opened Coomo in 2016 was made up of “men between the ages of 30 and 50, executives, liberal professional doctors, upper-middle class -the average ticket exceeds 200 euros-, people without time”. In order to better understand their tastes, one of Coomo's three personal shoppers speaks to the customer on the phone after completing the questionnaire. In addition, the box they send contains 10 or 12 garments from one of the 14 available brands. "This is how we get more information from the user, then we fine-tune it and send fewer garments," explains De la Santa. After five days to test, Coomo contacts the client to organize the collection of the discards. Thus, they billed 150,000 euros in 2017 and hope to triple it this year.
For their part, the twins Mónica and Lidia Fernández, located in Barcelona, are in charge of selecting six garments from the Ses Nines boxes. According to Mónica, they have already dispatched 1,500 orders and their bet is to impregnate their selections with a particular style, a Mediterranean air, and personalization: "We include a personalized letter to the client in the box with recommendations to combine, which also include the clothes that you have bought before”, says the businesswoman. Their store also includes the shop by look service (garments with an already defined look) or the pure and simple store, although they recognize that boxes are the most in demand.He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.Subscribe
Urrutia highlights the comfort and flexibility of this model, which allows customers to try the garments and their possible combinations in their own home and return what does not fit later. However, returns also serve to get to know the customer better for subsequent orders. “It is a service that improves the more it is used,” says De la Santa. They all stress that many of their clients are looking for inspiration to give their wardrobe a boost that they might not have without the help of a professional. Olga, Coomo's personal shopper, points out that, in addition to this help, many men go to the store for occasions such as weddings or the like. And it reveals that many requests are made by women, to update the outfit of their partners.