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Don’t know what to wear? Ask your friendly neighbourhood retailer

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 | By Broede Carmody

An Australian startup is looking to help bricks-and-mortar retailers engage directly with customers and in turn drive sales.


StylePass, based in Melbourne, is a platform allowing customers to ask retailers directly for style advice and product recommendations.


Founder Delia Timms told StartupSmart there is a growing need for businesses to connect with their customers as well as a growing movement towards personalisation in retail.


“Everyone is aware personalisation is the key to connecting with the customer and driving sales,” she says.


“We thought there’s no better way to get close to your customers and personally engage with them than by giving them an app where they can ask questions.”


Timms and her partner Jeff sold their earlier startup findababysitter.com.au to Fairfax for a reported $3 million in 2009.


Now, the couple have turned their attention to bootstrapping a startup which will allow traditional retailers to easily leverage technology in order to increase customer satisfaction and retention. The platform is an app that businesses can brand to look like their own.


“We’ve seen [retailers] try to produce their own apps and try different digital campaigns, but we haven’t seen them really succeed in engaging their customers in a unique and compelling way,” Timms says.


As for whether the app is aimed at smaller or larger retailers, Timms says both types of businesses will benefit from the startup’s product.


“It isn’t necessarily the case that the large players have all the technology expertise in-house,” she says.


“Often they’re very happy to outsource to small, boutique tech companies like ourselves because we have this deep experience and knowledge in the area and they don’t like to carry the risk themselves – it’s an easy and affordable way to pick up a piece of technology and bolt it into their offerings.”


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