Virtual window shopping
Bangkok - Women on the hunt for a killer pair of heels or
new handbag have endless options when shopping online.
But Snapette, a new photo-sharing app for the iPhone, is now
making it possible to browse the inventory of local boutiques for the latest
fashion, bringing "window shopping to your phone", according to its
"If I'm looking for red heels to wear out this weekend
- and looking within a 10 metre radius because I want to go out and buy them -
there's no way to search for that," said Sarah Paiji, CEO and co-founder
The app, which focuses primarily on shoes and handbags, lets
users browse, search and comment on items available at boutiques in their area
that have been uploaded by other users.
Tapping on an item of interest - a pair of Yves Saint
Laurent platforms or a Balenciaga bag for instance - shows information such as
price, store directions and comments from other users.
The app also includes a What's Hot section, listing the
items currently receiving the most attention worldwide.
At the top of the list right now is a pair of animal print
peep-toe pumps by Dolce & Gabbana found by a user in Tokyo. But more
affordable items have also risen to the top, such as a colourful
tribal-patterned shoulder bag found at retailer Forever 21 in London.
Although mainstream stores have proven to be popular on the
app, Paiji said that the company's long-term strategy lies in helping users
discover items at smaller boutiques which often struggle to generate traffic to
The featured section of the app provides a platform for
these boutiques and consignment shops to display their inventory, and also send
notifications to users in the area when they're having an event - an
end-of-summer sale, for example.
Because the app was just released last month, there are
still some aspects that need to be ironed out, including how to keep items
current and improve the ability to search through the database of items. The
app could also benefit from more user-generated content.
Snapette consists of an all-female team, which Paiji says is
rare even for a fashion-based app, and is especially important considering
their female demographic and the differences in the ways men and women shop.
"Men go to the mall and think 'I need black
pants'," said Paiji, pointing out that women on the other hand tend to
prefer the discovery aspect of browsing through the shops.
"Men might think: how can we make (the app) more
efficient? How can we introduce filters and search to help you hone in on what
you want?" she said.
"But sometimes you just want to lean back and see a
bunch of pretty things and see what strikes your fancy."
Snapette is available on the App store.