Shoptru, an AI-powered online fashion marketplace, is launching its website into beta today with plans to go public early next year. The site combines artificial intelligence and personalized recommendations with taste-based marketing, the company says, helping give users a source of style inspiration as well as the ability to create and share outfit ideas with others.
Instead of a traditional algorithmic approach like Amazon, which ranks items based on strong sales history, Shoptrue is AI-driven and continuously updates its product recommendations based on purchasing behavior and user engagement. This way, users can have more feedback on what items they see on their selected feeds.
The site offers the user a “One Stop Personal Shop”, which provides fashion suggestions based on their style preferences. Users can remove unwanted items and purchase items directly on Shoptrue through an integrated checkout process.
“Instead of being a top-down recommendation system, it puts the user in the driver’s seat and gives them personalization and control,” Shoptru co-founder Romney Evans told TechCrunch.
Shoptrue’s personalized shopping experience begins with onboarding questions, which include questions about your style personality, favorite products, and color preferences–similar to other personalized e-commerce sites like Stitch Fix. Shoptrue users can browse a huge selection of over 2,000 merchants, from high-end brands like Alexander Wang, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana to brands like Ross, Kohls, Nordstrom Rack, H&M, and Forever. 21.
There are “shops” or collections created by Shoptrue’s editorial team that users can browse for inspiration. For example, the “Girl’s Night Out” lookbook features trendy miniskirts, strappy heels, tanks, graphic pants, and handbags.
Users will soon start creating and sharing their own shops, says Shoptrue. Peer-created shops will also roll out when Shoptruss officially launches out of beta.
Shoproom will soon launch the ability to preview sizes and match specifications, so shoppers only see products in their size.
It’s a natural step for the company.Evans is also the founder of True Fit, a personalization company that built an information platform to help online shoppers find the right sizes for clothes and shoes. Shoptrue users can create a true fitness profile to help determine what size they are for certain items.
As Shoptrue evolves, the company plans to add features based on customer feedback.
“We invite consumers everywhere to join us on this journey. It will take time, but today we’re starting to roll out an exciting stream of creatives and exclusive experiences that make it easy to find just what you love. We seek to delight and earn the trust of consumers by improving their shopping experience every month and quarter through innovation, trial and error, and listening to their feedback,” Evans said.
The Shoptrue beta is available exclusively on the web starting today. It’s not yet available as a native app on iOS and Android devices, but it’s mobile-optimized. In the year The company told us that it plans to launch a native app in 2023.
Starting with Shoptrue, Evans brought together a team of tech and fashion experts, including Brandon Holley, a Condé Nast veteran with more than 25 years of experience in fashion, and John Lashley, a former Netflix data scientist. Holly is the founder and CEO of Everywear, a technology platform now integrated into Shoptrue and helping to predict personalized recommendations and shopping behaviors.
The startup has raised $6 million in seed funding in 2021 to build, test and launch beta. Investors include Signal Peak Ventures, Pelion Venture Partners and Peterson Ventures. The company expects to receive additional funding in 2023.
Shoptrue’s business model is typical for online marketplaces. When a user completes a transaction with a merchant through Shoptrue, the company takes a commission on those sales. Shoptrue declined to share its commission range but said it is standard for most fashion markets. (Note that Poshmark and ASOS marketplace commission is 20 percent.) There is no fee for participating brands on Shoptrue.
Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok are increasingly responsible for influencing the shopping habits of young consumers—especially Gen Z. Shoptrue hopes Gen Z and Millennials will feel empowered to share their stores and fashion favorites on social media, get help from Shoptrue Style. Meet experts and other users and influencers using the platform.
Shoptru’s startup is another example of how AI technology is changing the e-commerce industry. In June, Pinterest acquired Yes, an AI-powered shopping platform that builds a personalized fashion feed and learns about a user’s style as they shop. Pinterest said the deal will help the company become a more taste-driven marketplace.
“We’re making it easy for people to find only the things they love, and then give them the tools to organize their POV and share their style with the world,” Shoptru’s chief fashion director Brandon Holley said in an announcement. “Anyone’s shop has the potential to produce a fashion-inspired response that can surprise and delight you from any angle.”
Updated 11/15/22 at 6:30 p.m.