Find the stuff that suits your tastes quickly

For all the advances in consumer technologies, walking into a retail store and making a purchase still feels like a “outdated” experience.  There’s a ton of relevant public information that I’d gladly provide to retailers in exchange for a more personalized shopping experience.  But despite the proliferation of social data, most retailers don’t know anything about me until I make a purchase.  

Here’s the idea:
  • A mobile app that links with your Foursquare/Facebook account.
  • You fill out a basic profile including your size and (possibly) the types of items you are interested in purchasing.
  • When you check into a store a salesperson gets a notification with your first name, photo, size, history of check-ins at that store, things you might be looking to buy, previous purchases and relevant notes that have been inputted by previous salespeople.  This may include previous items you’ve tried or comments about your style/preferences.
  • Future iterations might:
    • Notify you when an item you like is on sale/in-stock/available in your size.
    • Send you in-store offers on items you might be interested in purchasing.
    • Notify stores ahead of time that you are coming so they can have things ready to show you.
What’s in it for the shopper?
  • First and foremost a faster, more customized shopping experience.  Salespeople will know the size, style and preferred brands of shoppers.  Get in and out faster.
  • Targeted discounts on items they want to purchase
  • Perks (glass of champagne for those who share their info?  5% off?)
What’s in it for the retailer?
  • Push people through the sales funnel faster by showing them products in their size or those that suit their style.
  • Upsell shoppers on products they’d be likely to buy.
  • Build loyalty through a higher quality shopping experience and rewards/incentives.
Target Audience – I imagine this would be tough to implement in the larger department stores at first, but there are plenty of smaller retailers with fewer customers that would have the ability to really tailor the experience based on shopper.

In the end we don’t have the domain experience to be able to execute on this well.  If there’s any retail guru’s out there who want to collaborate, get in touch.

Update: Signature got a nice Techcrunch writeup and seems to be attacking the same problem.  I still think there is huge opportunity in this space for multiple players.

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