Millions of pounds are set to be spent online during the two biggest dates in the retail calendar – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We round up some of the luxury fashion sites where an increasing proportion of that money is spent. Welcome to the new digital high street.
Lyst is devoted to understanding customers’ preferences and delivering an online shopping experience perfectly tailored to their needs. Hence, half their staff aren’t fashionistas but data analysts. CEO Chris Morton prides himself on “knowing” what his customers will want, meaning they don’t have to flick through hundreds of web pages. The company recently recorded its fourth month of over $10m sales and is on track to grow 400 per cent year on year for the fourth year in a row.
Nuji offers a specially curated online shop that acts as your own personal wish-list, directing you towards your favourite products as well as ones you didn’t even know existed. Currently a team of just three people, Nuji looks set to expand in 2015 with investment from a number of major backers including TAG and Seedcamp. Look out, Lyst, you’ve got competition.
Shopping online is super-convenient until you buy a pair of trousers that barely reach your ankles. Menswear specialists The Chapar eliminates the risks associated with buying online. Receive a trunk full of clothes from a range of top brands, select the ones you like and send the rest back free of charge. If you’re a fashion know-nothing, their personal stylists curate each trunk according to your personality. It’s a business model that’s been extremely popular with shopping-averse men in the US.
Munich-based Stylebop was launched in 2004 by brothers Mario and Thorsten Eimuth. In the space of 10 years it has become one of the world’s top e-commerce destinations for fashion. It boasts over 3m users, 250 brands and more than 15,000 products, including items from Valentino, JW Anderson and Prabal Gurung. There’s also an online magazine published three times a year.
Following the phenomenal success of Net-a-Porter, a menswear equivalent was pretty much inevitable. Now in its third year, Mr Porter goes from strength to strength. Smarter than smart branding and unrivalled functionality have helped Mr Porter become the go to website for quality menswear. The website doesn’t only have an excellently curated selection of brands and items, it also has features and blogs from permanent staff-writers.
Don’t be fooled by the cute name, Germany-based fashion site MyTheresa is a global fashion juggernaut. Launched in 2006, the site defied the odds and now features 170 top designers and ships to 120 different countries. The success is thanks in no small part to the buying team, which every year travels the globe looking for items perfectly in tune with the MyTheresa ethos: on trend and timelessly elegant.
Why employ one personal shopper when you can use the entire social media hive-mind to solve your sartorial dilemmas? That’s the ethos behind The Hunt, a social network-cum-clothes sourcing app where users post pictures of things they want along with a budget, and wait for the community to come back to them with suggestions. It launched last year in the US (where it already has 3m users) and arrived in the UK in October.
There’s eBay, and then there’s Tradesy, the world’s largest online market for authenticated designer clothing. Users can freely list unlimited items and Tradesy takes a very reasonable nine per cent commission on each sale. The site also deals with all the boring practical stuff like shipping – their pre-paid and pre-addressed shipping kits remove all the effort that makes eBay a faff. The place to go for cut-price designer gear.