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Dressli is a shopping app, which combines social and e-commerce, from Eric Schmidt-backed ShareRails
I hate shopping. I always have and I probably always will. Maybe you think that's because I'm a stereotypical guy, but the truth is that I have no idea what looks good and what doesn't. I need someone to come with me and tell me how ugly a shirt is, or how badly the pants fit. But who is going to be willing to do that? That is especially true when shopping online. It can be like being lost at sea.
Dressli, a new virtual mall shopping app from Sharerails, is trying to solve that problem by combining e-commerce with a social twist. It wants to put an the end to shopping alone online, by creating a personal mobile shopping experience built around people and connections.
"We solve the discovery and realtime information problems for online shopping. We bring valuable human connection into the shopping process. We’re creating an awesome experience for shoppers and e-retailers," Joseph Nejman, co-founder of Dressli, told me in an interview.
The typical person who would use the app, he said, is someone who "lacks fashion sense, or wants style help."
"I can use Dressli to ask my sister or girlfriend to help me pick out a new outfit for a big pitch meeting. Or I can use Dressli with my brother to find Christmas presents because we like to do joint purchases for family gifts," he said. "We are starting out with friends and family and existing realtionships. Next we will add influencers, professional stylists and personal shopping assistants."
The app is an aggregator, taking products from retailers and brands, including ASOS, Neiman Marcus, Farfetch, Wayfair, Restoration Hardware, and putting an interface on top of that, along with live messaging. That makes it "easy to share items by clicking on the visual image and easy to talk about products while people shop."
I have had a chance to try out the app, and here is how it works: when you first open it, Dressli asks for the user to log in through Facebook to connect with anyone of their friends who are already using it. Once inside, categories appear on the homepage, including dresses, intimates, bags, shoes, jewerly and beauty. Dressli offers women, men, and living/home goods categories on its Web application. The iPhone app is currently just women's but its next iOS release, which will come this month, will make men and living shopping categories available on mobile app as well.
By clicking the logo on the top righthand part of the screen, users are then taken to the "shopping sessions" section, where they will be prompted to start a new one. Users can invite a Facebook friend to join, invite a phone contact or be automatched with someone already on the service.
I invited my girlfriend on the app, which went smoothly (she has not yet accepted the invitation at the time of this writing) but when I went to be automatched, it was not able to find someone to connect me with. That is likely because the app is so new, and not many are using it yet, so that feature will only become useful when enough people have signed up. As Nejman said, the app is geared toward friends and family at first.
The selection of items is fairly wide, and can be filtered by what is popular, what's new, by price and by item. For example, when in accesories, I can choose to look at only belts, gloves, hats, umbrellas or eyewear.
As of right now, items cannot be purchased from Dressli itself; rather, users are forwarded to the retailer's website, though they never have to leave the app to do so. Eventually, Nejman told me that he wants to include universal checkout on Dressli, which would allow it to handle payments itself.
Adding a social aspect to e-commerce is not exactly a new concept, with services like Stichfix and Trunk Club as currently leaders in the personal styling space. Another mobile shopping app is Spring.
"There's lots of competition in the mobile social shopping space but Dressli is unique like no one else," Nejman said. "Dressli is first to offer a synchronous social live shopping experience. We are very unique in our approach and focus on live human visual communication while shopping. No one else in the space compares to the beautifully simple collaborative shopping features offered by Dressli."
Dressli is built by ShareRails, a company that has raised $350,000 from Eric Schmidt’s TomorrowVentures, Grace Beauty Capital, Tomorrow Media Benjamin Solomon and ShareRails co-founder Dmitry Chourpo.
Founded in May 2012, with headquarters in LA, and a development office in Melbourne, Australia, the company started out as a SaaS model selling subscription software tools through a solution called Collaborative Canvas, a shared drag-n-drop shopping board integrated with live-chat and store product catalogue.
Canvas currently has 150 clients and is seeing 500 customers to professional stylist sessions per week, with a 17-20% conversion rate, compared to the typical 3%, and an average cart twice as large as average. Subcription are currently growing 50% month-to-month. Dressli is ShareRails' direct to consumer version of Canvas.
The goal of the company, to "continue applying new technologies to give consumers better information and realtime access to people who can help them make more confident buying decisions," said Nejman
"We are focused on how these technologies can be applied to enable better decisions. Right now only 3% of eecommerce traffic is converting. Our experience takes to it the next level, and gives people the type of information provided by real, helpful humans. It makes the shopping experience better for the consumer and for retailers."
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ShareRails is solving the discovery and realtime information problems for online and mobile commerce. We bring valuable human connection into the shopping process. We’re creating an awesome experience for shoppers and e-retailers that results in higher conversions and more confident customer purchases.
Dressli is the simple, intimate way friends & family can instantly chat and shop together across popular retailers including NastyGal, FreePeople, Bed Bath & Beyond, OneKingsLane, Nordstrom, and hundreds more. Dressli is image sharring evolved style chat.
Dressli has reimagined a more genuinely personal mobile shopping experience built around people. Combining messaging features with a one-stop shopping directory, Dressli’s platform allows people to shop together from any device. With a single touch, Dressli users can invite friends and family into a private chat to discuss items from a wide spectrum of e-retailers including ASOS, Neiman Marcus, Farfetch, Wayfair, Restoration Hardware, and hundreds more - creating a new intimate channel for retailers and stylists around the world. Download the Dressli app: http://bit.ly/1B3pukV
Dressli is built by ShareRails, a company backed by Eric Schmidt’s TomorrowVentures and Grace Beauty Capital. Dressli is led by cofounders Joseph Nejman, a former Googler, and Dmitry Chourpo, a serial entrepreneur who previously built and sold FashionFinder to ASOS. ShareRails validated Dressli’s concept of a collaborative shopping platform with a personal styling tool licensed by ASOS; successfully used for the past four months to improve customer engagement and help drive better purchase decisions.
Joined Vator onGlobal entrepreneur and competitive athlete. Broad range of experience includes Palo Alto hedge fund, Google, Britney Spears Digital, retail, seed investing, e-commerce and creating business.