Experience “Shop-ertainment” With Stylmee Founder Basil Farano
Virtual Shopping Made Fun
Shopping online has become a critical driving force in the fashion and retail world, as it provides consumers with convenience and flexibility. Approximately 89% of consumers currently shop online or have in the past. With this high percentage, what if shopping online became fun? What if consumers could style, design or curate their own image and boutique? Welcome to Stylmee, where shopping is made fun!
Stylmee is “shop-ertainment”! It’s a fun way to shop leading designer fashion brands while challenging your “fashion-ability.” Stylmee creates an exciting social fashion & design e-commerce platform which provides members the ability to shop their favorite designer fashion brands within a virtual 3D city where both unique and stylish boutiques are never closed. Stylmee combines all of the joys of shopping with the challenge of an “intelligent” social game. Early last week I had the pleasure of interviewing the driving force behind Stylmee, Basil Farano.
Basil Farano has over 15 years of experience in the apparel industry in the U.S., Canada, and Italy. He’s managed brands such as Kappa, Sergio Tacchini and Mandariana. After being introduced to the iPhone by a friend, Basil realized that he was holding the future in his hands and that it would change the way consumers shopped. This incredible sales tool would allow the consumer to search and buy products through a mobile device. Along with this concept, Basil wondered how he could make this experience not only convenient, but fun. After researching social gaming via Facebook, he decided to combine game play along with shopping and created Stylmee!
On the Stylmee site a new theme is created for shoppers every week. Stylmee is also markets through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Thus far Pinterest has been the most effective in generating more consumers. Stylmee has also involved fashion bloggers to help broaden the reach of more consumers.
With Stylmee only being 8 weeks old; it has already received a positive response. The site has been featured on iTunes and they have had inquiries from small retailers and brands. Surprisingly 53% percent of social game users are women. The target market for Stylmee is women ages 24-45, which is perfect as women ages 25-44 are the most active users of social gaming.
When asked about the current market and the need for sites such as Stylmee Basil stated the following: “The current e-commerce market is flooded with typical models, very little innovation to shopping, people are bombarded with options. 40% of US online consumers have expressed an interest in finding new ways to entertain themselves online. Consumers are switching media venues approximately 27 times per non working hour and it is becoming very difficult to keep the consumer engaged.”
When asked about how Stylmee fits into the consumer’s online shopping process, Basil stated the following: “Considering that fashion and shopping for fashion in itself are known by many to be a form of entertainment, there is a natural fit for a gamified experience targeted. Currently there aren’t a lot of “entertaining” options for the fashion consumer. Anytime you can add an “entertainment layer” to the shopping experience, you have the ability to prolong engagement. The longer the consumer is engaged, the deeper the connection created between the brand, its products and the consumer. The more engaged a consumer is, the more that consumer has the opportunity to learn about a brand’s product, image and most importantly increases the potential of a purchase.”
Stylmee is completely self financed, Basil is now focused on finding very strong partners who have experience and/or are very connected to the fashion and gaming industry. Thus far, Stylmee is moving in the right direction. In the future, Basil would like Stylmee to be a platform that manages everything digital and virtual for retailers.
By Lolita A. Alford