Quick Pitch: Personal shopping app that helps you discover trendy clothing and accessories available in stores.
Genius Idea: Swirl enhances the in-store shopping experience by adding exclusive deals and a social layer, allowing users to see what Facebook friends are buying or adding to their inspiration boards.
When you’re picky about what you wear and need to sift through racks and racks of clothes before finding something you like, shopping can be a pain. The Swirl app, which launched in August, can help with these difficult sartorial decisions.
Personal shopping app Swirl is a combination of Pinterest, Facebook and retail counter for shoppers. The most popular “clips” — Swirl’s version of pins on Pinterest — float to the top. By following brands such as Burberry or Tory Burch as you would with friends on Facebook, users can see the brand’s most clipped items and item-specific offers.
When you click on any item, you’ll be re-routed to that item’s native page, where purchases are made. Brand-specific offers will also show up with the item, so it’s easy to buy and save.
The goal of Swirl’s founder Hilmi Ozguc is to reinvent the shopping experience. ”We spent a lot of time looking at how people shop and how they use their laptop, smartphone, tablet and devices at home,” Ozguc tells Mashable. “Shopping starts on the sofa.”
Ozguc argues that shoppers still prefer actual storefronts to their virtual counterparts — but the web and mobile apps still influence our purchasing decisions in stores.
“We hope to create a personal shopping assistant that lives on your smartphone and provides you with all the right information, all the relevant offers to give you the best possible in-store shopping experience,” Ozguc says. “We are very focused on how people buy things in store.”
Unlike some social shopping apps, Swirl won’t steer customers away from brick-and-mortar stores. The application maps out information for more than 30,000 store locations, so online customers can find their way into real storefronts.
With the Swirl desktop and mobile application, users can access sales from 200 leading brands. Swirl users can also scroll through a database of tens of thousands of clothes and accessory items from its 30,000 brand partners, and filter items by brands or product types. The products will disappear from the directory once items, so everything you see is timely and constantly updated.
When you find something you love and need to buy immediately, the app can map out nearby destinations where you’ll find the specific item. Pulling out the app while walking along Broadway in New York City’s East Village, there were 53 offers at popular brands such as Aldo, OAK, American Apparel and Urban Outfitters, all within a .50 mile radius.
Instead of blindly walking into brick-and-mortar shops, shoppers can scroll through the network’s popular items and target stores to visit. Users can also schedule push notifications for a change in sales price, sale start and end dates, brand announcements and much more. In addition to following stores and brands, retail fans will be able to follow fellow fashionistas to keep track of their friends.
Ozguc calls the app “Pandora for shopping” because it learns what you like and recommends clothing and brands you would likely admire.
Do you shop online before going into stores? Tell us in the comments if you think Swirl would improve your shopping experience.