Netflix, Spotify and Pandora have long used algorithm-based technology to provide customized suggestions for TV, movies and music, allowing for pop culture favorites to meet new entertainment discoveries in queues and playlists alike. Oyster and Scribd promise the same in the realm of literature.
Now we can add online retail to the mix. Fashion shopping site Styloko.com, which bills itself as “the shopping discovery engine,” lets users explore new brands and products by learning a shopper’s interests, then evolving by the click through cookie-based, machine learning algorithms. The site launched in the UK in 2010 and expanded to the U.S. in November.
“We have tools that allow you to discover products, as opposed to just traditionally search for them,” said Styloko CEO Shannon Edwards. “It allows an experience where you’re already seeing the things you want to see.”
Although the site features an alphabetical list of hundreds of brands and various filters that let users peruse more than 100,000 clothing items, accessories and beauty products, the site’s pull comes from its capacities to customize.
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See a dress you like? Click the heart icon, and the site will remember if you’re looking for luxury items (say, from Saks Fifth Avenue), high street fashions (maybe from J.Crew or American Apparel) or something in between. Click more, and patterns will begin to emerge in brands, prices and styles, gradually producing your own potential showroom. Users can also add items to their own “boutique,” which saves a curated wish list with automatic sales alerts, follow brands and, in Pinterest fashion, even add images from other retailers.
In the U.S. and across the pond, Styloko’s mission is about finding something new.
“The vision is to make this easy for women to come to the site, regardless of where you are in the world, and find what you’re looking for, but also be inspired to find something new,” Edwards said. “New brands, new trends – everything that takes a lot of work to piece together by going to multiple sites or reading magazines or walking down the street – you’ll find in one place.”