While the online shopping experience is becoming more and more seamless, many shoppers still complain about not having a sales associate available to recommend the newest styles and provide that personalized experience. Snap+Style Business is a SaaS company that integratesseamlessly into a brand or retailer’s web or mobile shopping experience that provides styling advice, curation, and an increase in conversion rate, all while improving the customer’s experience. The omni-channel platform is already partnered with Guess, Eloquii and Cosabella helping them drive engagement with their customers.
AlleyWatch chatted with cofounder Anna Jensen about the the company, its origin, and future expansion plans.
Tell us about the product or service.
Snap+Style Business (S+SB) is a solutions platform for brands and retailers that delivers a personal, visually curated, and truly-omnichannel customer engagement experience. The platform digitizes the in-store conversation consumers have with store associates, now allowing for the conversation to continue via email or SMS.
S+SB utilizes the power of human expertise and visuals to create an elegant and personalized experience for consumers. We are inundated on a daily, if not hourly basis, of recommended products. It’s overwhelming. We wanted to create a positive retail experience that was based on what the consumer actually wants versus the retailers dictating suggestions that may or may not be of any relevance to that particular consumer. It’s fatiguing.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We started in Women’s apparel because that was where my interaction with a retailer sparked the premise of S+SB. Our platform is vertically agnostic though. Any category that has an “expert” with products you are able to show visually, and a consumer that is interested, is our market.
What is the business model?
SaaS monthly recurring fee. The retailers are licensing our technology.
What inspired the business?
I had a mediocre in-store experience with a retailer where I went with the intention of spending money and left with nothing. This didn’t make sense to me. I did research and explored other retailers to see if they offered the type of service I was looking for. I couldn’t find it, so I built it.
How do you see AI impacting your business? Can stylists be replaced?
AI and bots have a place somewhere in the customer journey, but AI can’t give me that human touch of telling me how something will make me feel.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
As a startup, everything feels like a milestone. We are excited to start on-boarding more of our partners and becoming a predominant player in the market. We have a lot of exciting things on the horizon and couldn’t be happier to take on 2018 full on.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
That it’s ok to be vulnerable. I’ve been so fortunate to have a supportive group around me, but I was intimidated by not always knowing or having the right answer. I felt that this was a weakness and would discourage people from wanting to invest in me and my company or not want to be part of team. I quickly learned this was an opportunity to learn and grow. I have found that having the self-awareness of not knowing what I don’t know and beyond has been a real asset in the growth of myself and my company.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
There are so many amazing people in NYC, and that is one of the unique opportunities for living in the city. Carly Strife, Co-Founder + COO of BarkBox, I would love to get to know. I, or my dog Dakota, has been a customer for a few years now. I think the pet industry is fascinating and the amount of money people are willing to spend on their pets is mind-blowing, myself included! I have heard so many people talk about how their dog only eats organic, fresh food but they are headed to Chik-fil-A for dinner with their family. I am also really interested in the subscription box model. I would love to hear more from Carly on data insights and how she has made her business work. I just saw this morning they did $150M in revenue last year. That’s awesome!
Why did you launch in New York?
I was living in Washington, D.C. at the time of the idea and while D.C. is home and wonderful, it has a long way to go in the fashion world. I was commuting to NYC on an almost weekly basis to recruit talent and begin building my partner relationships. I was at a point where I needed to be all in or not. I chose to be all in.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?
How can you only pick 1 in NYC?! My office is in midtown and if I am going straight from the office I love the Polo Bar, especially in the winter. It is so cozy, intimate and the cocktails are beautiful. Don’t get me started on the burger! But I feel like I am sitting with Ralph in his own living room every time. It has a great ambience.