iPad-only Social shopping app Flit wants to make digital shopping more like in-store shopping. The newly released app allows consumers to search through hundreds of commerce websites, compare items side-by-side, share those item comparisons with friends and purchase items right from within the app.
The free app, which is focused on women’s clothing, features more than 1000 stores like Urban Outfitters, ModCloth, Amazon, Nordstrom and Macy’s.
“I saw a gap in the transition to online. A lot of the great qualities of physical retail had been lost,” explained Adrian Lall, CEO of Flit. “That was kind of the genesis of Flit.”
The app’s interface is broken up into three tabs: Home, Browse and Compare. In the Home tab, users see their recent shopping searches, favorite shops and sale and new arrival alerts. A ribbon UI element at the top of the app displays different stores to search from. In the Browser tab, users can shuffle through different stores and save items they find (Flit calls the ability to save a “Cute”). Lastly, the Compare tab allows consumers to compare saved items side-by-side, up to three at a time, and share their item comparison with friends for shopping advice.
“It’s kind of a disruption of shopping and social commerce,” says Lall. “It disrupts it by taking some of the metaphors from physical shopping such as looking in shops and moving between shops, interacting with your friends and getting advice from friends and kind of wraps that into an app.”
Lall says the app is unique and first to market, and the technology behind the app’s ability to initiate a user’s search through hundreds of shops in the app’s database is patent-pending.
Demographic-wise, the app is geared toward female iPad users between the ages of 25-45. Lall says women’s shopping tasks are a lot more complicated than for men.
“Women basically need to explore and discover more, visit more stores, compare more items, see items side-by-side, so it’s very targeted to women,” Lall says.
Flit uses its customer’s Facebook profile to power its social element, allowing users to ask friends via notifications when they want an answer to Flit’s “what is cuter” question.
Lall believes no one has beaten Flit to creating this type of app service. One competitor that is a little similar to Flit is Buyou, which also aggregates multiple store results, but has far fewer integrated stores, he says.
Flit monetizes through an affiliate program. The company works with a subset of their retail partners, generating revenue through click-ins and conversions. Flit is also continuing to build out its retail partners by adding new stores as affiliates everyday.
Flit encourages diversity with stores ranging from large retailers to small boutiques, and if a consumer doesn’t see one of their favorite stores, he or she can suggest it to Flit.
Lall couldn’t disclose who’s backing Flit and for how much, although he says a later announcement is coming to clarify this information. Flit has received funding from unnamed institutional and angel investors.