In the never-ending quest to improve the luxury shopping experience, one technological advancement begets the next; in 2022 its shaping up to be social commerce. E-commerce site The List is leading the way with an app. This latest tool will enhance the transaction experience for the sophisticated customer on the hunt for those hard-to-find items by connecting them with far-flung stockists and brands the world over who are aiming to get merch off the shelves and into the arms of fashion lovers. Behind this latest innovation hoping to surpass the rest is tech entrepreneur Andreas Skorski, who founded The List in 2016 and counts media personality and fashion professional Rachel Zoe among his investors slash advisors.
Slated to launch on the app store on December 15th, just ahead of the most shopping-centric holiday of the year, The List app proposes the first luxury social commerce platform to combine content, commerce, and entertainment. Skorski believes his app outperforms sites like Farfetch, which currently offers similar services thanks to its investment in tech and acquiring Brown’s London, The Yes by surpassing the reach of product and content, Nate which is based on friend recommendations and adding personal entertainment factor that WhatsApp and WeChat customer and shop interfacing lacks.
“We are creating a platform model where the consumer can take in highly personalized live on-air content based on your browsing behavior from around the world,” says Skorski explaining the difference from typical e-commerce experiences, which he calls ”transactional.”
Furthermore, shoppers on The List can make purchases from various brands and stores via the app, eliminating the need to be directed to multiple checkouts. “For our model, it’s all in one basket, and you shop directly through the shoppable content and even live stream yourself into the store for a closer look at merchandise and to interact with the sales associate.
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Skorski, based between New York and Dubai, launched the concept aimed at helping brands and smaller retailers efficiently manage in 2016 with seed money from several partners including the publishers of Vogue Arabia, the Middle East company Nervora to the tune of 3.5 million dollars. A more considerable Series A funding will be announced in January. The app will host over 800 brands and retailers. Brands showcased include Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Valentino, Fendi, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Burberry, Chloé, The Row, Mugler, Off-White, Fear Of God, Amiri, Palm Angels, Jacquemus, Isabel Marant, Ganni, Zimmerman, Khaite, Amina Muaddi, Marine Serre, Mia Vesper, Series The Label, Musier Paris, RECC. Additional it will house vintage items from Hermès, Chanel
One competitive angle that Skorski feels he has over Farfetch is the ability to gather images from brands and stores digitally, thus eliminating the burdensome process of e-commerce product shooting. Additionally, The List’s technology creates and standardizes data based on photos, i.e., recognizing category and color from the image, so it can be automatically processed into the app’s structure without having to input information about the product. The tech also standardizes the visual appearance by detecting the object from the background, rendering, and realigning it, so the overall look is consistent. A simple iPhone high-res photo of an item photographed flat on a hanger or bust can be transformed for use on the app and website.
While this highly personalizes the product assortment, it also creates an atmosphere where users gravitate towards the content based on preferences and behavior like any social media platform. “We use the sales associates to upload the content; videos and images taken with cell phones, and it’s distributed in each feed via AI,” Skorski explains, adding, “while we do custom content the sales associate can hook into the Instagram or Tik Tok of a brand and upload the content into The List as well.”
With The List already scaled to 190 markets with global seamless shipping, the tech-centric, software-driven company aims to bring the same ”plug-and-play” ease of their e-commerce site to the three verticals on the app—inspirational live on-air content, brand-specific entertainment communicated via live stream chats and global shopping capability.
“We see our strength is through a combination of things; first helping the retail world become digitized faster and easier,” says Skorski continuing, “Next we helped 150 partners globally to digitize with a consumer perspective in mind and this next phase as the first luxury social commerce platform, which means the platform allows consumers to experience highly personalized live on-air content.”
Another secret weapon Skorski has in his arsenal is high-profile investor Rachel Zoe who will advise and contribute her fashion expertise to the app. The pair met via the media and fashion personality’s husband, Rodger. A new report by McKinsey & Co. is signaling that 2022 will see a surge of seamless social shopping experiences. The pandemic’s digital acceleration, especially in luxury, cemented Zoe’s belief in the future of tech-fashion and The List’s ability to corner this new direction.
“Truly, The List is the full package. It reimagines the in-person shopping experience for the digital age, seamlessly combining commerce, social media, and entertainment through a curated experience. I was so thoroughly impressed with the app’s capabilities in tandem with the incredible team running the show,” Zoe says. She feels the app will replicate luxury white-glove service, allow for unprecedented personal access to boutiques and brands, and act as an ”in-pocket” personal shopper.
The stylist-turned-business mogul who also heads a namesake clothing line will not only lend expert advice internally but will be an active participant and share some of her picks on The List.
The app and website are free of upfront and ongoing costs to stores and brands, but The List takes a 20 to 30 percent commission on the sale. “We are one of the biggest revenue generators for some clients,” Skorski says, adding, “The List provides additional data to help understand and learn who the digital customer they acquire from us is.”
Skorski plans to seize the moment. “In Asia, live shoppable commerce was already happening before. During the pandemic, the Western world fully adapted to online shopping, so we believe this is the right time to do this.”