|1||150 brands already signed up|
|2||50% growth week-over-week|
Crowdery is redefining the mantra of fashion-forward thinking and applying it to the web and consumer habits. The marketplace platform allows consumers to access designs before they are mass-produced and rewards shoppers for their fashion foresight.
Crowdery founders Aditya Viswanathan and Maran Nelson saw an opportunity and a market need to personalize commerce, help brands generate pre-sales and take the risk out of production. The platform allows shoppers to vote online on pre-production styles, saving retailers money and rewarding consumers with discounts if their votes align with the rest of the online hive mind.
In addition to serving as a marketplace, Crowdery campaigns can also be included on a retailer’s website or Facebook page. The platform has 50 stores signed up and has piqued the interest of legacy brands such as Neiman Marcus and Polo Ralph Lauren.
The online process is much like how a physical store operates already, but it takes the risk out of the equation and allows stores to use their marketing dollars more efficiently. Viswanathan compared it to the way a store such as Zara might experiment with inventory in the front end of the store, seeing what moves and what doesn’t. But on the web, the process can be much more efficient.
"In fashion, you have a design team that does sketches, and then you go directly into production. And you have these emotional decisions being made," he said. "Crowdery is a layer between design and production that validates these decisions being made on a large scale."
How Crowdery Is Tailored To Both Consumer And Brand
A brand submits a set of designs to Crowdery, and users vote on their favorites. Then, shoppers receive a discount on pre-orders if the item she or he selected wins the popular vote. These votes are catalogued and analyzed based on demographics by pulling in user information via Facebook API.
"The idea of personalized commerce is very powerful,” Viswanathan said. “You're able to see what brands are thinking about, you're able to see the design process, and you're rewarded for involvement. That's the way commerce should be. Things should come to you at prices you're excited about."
Viswanathan said he'll get emails from brands discussing their production process that will say, “This is literally the most financially burdensome problem we have. We have massive amounts of product left, and we made poor decisions on the production end."
He wants stores to realize how obvious the solution is.
Why Brands Buy In To Crowdery
Companies are opening their eyes to new ways of marketing and connecting now that crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have given way to the phenomenon of user engagement, and tech that can glean analytics has matured, Viswanathan said.
The Crowdery platform is a marriage that solves a problem for both consumers and brands. After participating, shoppers will be notified of items based on their personal behavior, habits and price points. Then, Crowdery will provide to retailers data as specific as, "We have a 92 percent confidence rate that they will buy this item, and 85 percent confidence they will buy from this price point to this price point," Viswanathan said.
He pointed out that Crowdery’s appeal also lies in big-picture advertising potential.
"For example, these T-shirts appeal to guys his age who like these brands, so let's go find blogs or magazines that advertise to them. That granularity doesn't exist right now,” he said.
The Founders As Trendsetters
In high school, Aditya Viswanathan was an early-adopter of the TOMS-inspired model and launched a company called Jatalo, which sold backpacks and allocated some of the profits to provide school supplies to underprivileged children in developing countries. Viswanathan learned the greatest lesson in tailoring his designs for consumers after he realized he was producing Jatalo designs inefficiently when he had excessive amounts of stock left over.
To figure out how to scale his lessons learned and apply it to Crowdery and the fashion industry, he did everything from hit up trade shows and boutiques, to studying the inner-workings of stores such as Zara and H&M. He poured over their business models and profit numbers, and instead of looking at the problems, he studied what made these brands frontrunners.
Viswanathan met Maran Nelson through a mutual friend in Plano, Texas, where they both grew up.
Before Crowdery, Nelson founded Interact ATX, which united entrepreneurs at SXSW Interactive and personally raised $50,000 to fund it. She joined Viswanathan to work on digital strategy with Jatalo and was his first call when he started Crowdery.
Something that excites both of them is the idea of democratizing trend-watching with Crowdery in the same way the focus on street fashion, blogging and social media has leveled the playing field for style aficionados.
“We want customer to interact. We want them to be exploratory,” Viswanathan said.
Crowdery is conducting a Regulation D offering via Wefunder Advisors LLC. CRD Number: #167803.
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