“Social shopping” website ShopStyle is crossing the
Atlantic to launch in the UK next month. It already has 36
merchants signed to its UK beta site and plans to add at least 40
more before the launch. ShopStyle’s US website receives 2 million
unique users a month. The site is part of US-based Sugar, whose
15 media brands include the PopSugar and FabSugar sites.
ShopStyle, which founder Andy Moss describes as the
“fashion Google”, allows customers to search for
apparel from a number of retail brands, boutiques and labels
using keywords and other criteria. It crawls the websites of
about 150 top retailers and designers to find on-trend pieces.
Not all the sites that ShopStyle crawls and links to are
partners said Moss, but most have set up affiliate programmes
with the site. “Most companies are just happy that their
content is being crawled,” he said. Retailers are pleased
to have their products represented and attracting sales without
their having to spend money on advertising, Moss said, although
ShopStyle does carry third-party advertising on its site as well.
Asked whether he would introduce a basket functionality to
ShopStyle, much like the OneCart function available on shopping
portal Shop.com, Moss said he could “see a day when this
happens”, but it’s likely to be more than two years away,
as the retailers featured on ShopStyle like to handle the
transaction process and customer service themselves.
Also in the pipeline: developing and running white-label sites
for fashion magazines. ShopStyle already powers the shopping
functions on InStyle.com and People magazine’s People.com in the
US, and Moss said the first UK collaboration will go live shortly
after ShopStyle’s September launch.