New York-based social photo-sharing platform Trendabl, which has become the Instagram of fashion photos, is taking a bold step into e‑commerce just 18 months after its launch. And most seasoned ecommerce analysts would probably agree that it represents a natural next step.
From sharing to shopping
Trendabl’s emphasis to date has been on expanding its community and signing brands along the way, amongst them big names like Diane von Furstenberg, Barneys and Michael Kors. The service lets fashion publishers, brands and fashionista-users upload images and tag the pictured items.
The ecommerce initiative involves around 15 smaller retailers (Anita Ko, Young and Reckless, Singer22 and Reece Hudson included), although all U.S.-based retailers and brands can apply. But a potentially confusing issue appears at this point, as the canny ecommerce analyst would doubtless spot: since not all the fashion items uploaded are purchasable, how does a Trendabl newbie work out what’s shoppable and what’s not?
The solution is twofold. Shoppable items will appear in a user’s feed accompanied by a “Buy” button; and for those who don’t want to sift through manually to find out what they can and can’t buy, the app now features a curated shop feed which brings all the shoppable items together.
Fusing social and commerce seamlessly
To take the glitches out of shopping across numerous different merchants (some of which, for example, won’t be optimized for mobile, while others may have stopped selling the wanted product) Trendabl has taken ownership of the transaction process. All shoppers need do is add their credit card details to the Trendabl file, drop items that have taken their fancy into their virtual baskets and click “Buy”.
As soon as an order is placed, Trendabl alerts the merchant with an email which includes the shipping label and invoice. To make sure that its stocking information is accurately current, Trendabl integrates with all its retailers’ backends. Although retailers ship products in their own boxes at present, Trendabl has plans in the pipeline to use its own branded shipping packaging for all purchases.
As founder and CEO Joe Alegem puts it:
“Our goal is that we really want to merge social and commerce. We want every brand and retailer to sell on Trendabl, because it’s a true platform, it’s something that can work all around the world.”