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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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