With plenty of online clothing retailers out there, it can be difficult to stand out. Swedish startup Apprl has taken the approach of connecting shoppers with a platform that allows users to follow popular bloggers and/or brands in order to receive updates on collections that they create.
Upon signing up for the service, I found that you have the open of heading straight for the shop, where items can be filtered (male/female, type, popularity, price, brand, “latest”, or color), or they can check out items that others have collected. The second tab, “Looks”, allows users to view or purchase collections created by partner bloggers, while the third, “Follow”, enables them to create a feed of brands or members (bloggers) that they follow. Apprl has thus far paired up with magazines like Elle and Cafe, blog networks like Metro Mode, the TV shows Project Runway and Top Model, and independent bloggers to create collections.
Apprl says that they allow media to integrate content e-commerce into their editorial content by creating shops or collages, tagging photos with products, etc. and then earning money when users click through to buy. Apprl then takes a small cut of whatever the bloggers earn through the service. The service can also be used for native advertising by selling a digital pop-up shop or tagged campaign photos to advertisers and charging on a fixed, CPM, or per-click basis.
Apprl has been around for a little while, having launched two years ago. It seems that they measure traction in terms of the number of stores with which they partners, as co-founder Gustav Gisseldahl reveals that they are currently working with 30-40 online retailers, a figure that includes both brands and multibrand stores. They are not revealing their total funding, but Gisseldahl adds that the startup has backing from a handful of angel investors.