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Putting the Person into Personalized Shopping: Introducing New York Fashion Startup Keaton Row

Ever fancied yourself as a fashion-savvy personal shopper? If so, you might earn a good side income by becoming a personal shopper for Keaton Row, the New York fashion e-commerce startup that’s just raised an additional $1.6 million in its second round of seed funding. Even a hard-boiled e-commerce analyst might have an inner fashionista.

E-commerce analysts, release your inner stylist!

But to stay with the e-commerce analyst side of yourself for a moment longer, what’s special about Keaton Row? The clue’s in the personal shopper bit: the startup offers genuinely personalized shopping to its customers. Unlike much of the competition, it doesn’t rely on algorithm-based style quizzes or clickthroughs; it has an expanding team of personal shoppers who offer human judgment, artistic flair and high-quality customer service to customers. And they get paid for their efforts. 60 to 70 per cent of those applying to become a commission-paid Keaton Row stylist get accepted.

Co-founder and co-CEO Cheryl Hand describes it like this:

“The Keaton Row customer is a professionally oriented woman. She has money to spend, but doesn’t have time. She isn’t an active reader of Vogue or The Coveteur, so she wants it to be curated and convenient. There’s a higher level of personalization, and authentic personalization.”

As any e-commerce manager with experience in fashion e-retail can testify, that amounts to a pretty unique package. The personal shoppers need to prove that they’re fashion-savvy but will get taken on if they are. And they’ll have a field day when it comes to choice of styles for their customers: the startup is partnered with major online fashion retailers like Les Nouvelles and ShopBop, enabling shoppers to have access to well over 10,000 different items.

Deepening loyalty

The personalized approach developed by Keaton Row does seem to foster deeper customer loyalty – Hand and her fellow founder and fellow CEO Eleneor Mak say that customers often see their stylists as friends and ask them for advice on other shopping projects like items for their boyfriends, children or home.

The additional cash, which came courtesy of Warby Parker and Fab investor Menlo Ventures along with Grape Arbor Ventures and Rho Ventures, will be plowed into expanding the user platform for customers and stylists, expanding retail partnerships and growing its national presence beyond New York and LA.

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