iStorez Launches, Introduces a Brand New Way to Shop
Added: (Wed Nov 12 2008)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--iStorez Inc. (www.istorez.com) today launched publicly and unveiled a new online shopping destination and services that provide a complete experience for consumers—combining what’s best in the offline/physical world with what’s best in the online world. iStorez puts higher priority on consumer simplicity and usefulness, focusing on how we shop and easily find what we’re looking for. From a single online destination, and one that takes visual browsing and discovering to the next level, consumers can shop the latest specials and promotions from hundreds of the top brands and retailers. They can also get a first-look at new collections and trends, and shop millions of products from thousands of retailers. Powerful personalization features enable shopping by theme (“look,” season, holiday, event), personality type, color, fabric and more. And iStorez lets you create your own personal “My Mall”—continuously refreshed and updated to reflect the latest trends and up-to-the-minute specials. The “hunt” is always on, but iStorez takes away the headache of searching site to site, store to store, page by page, rack by rack. populated only with the stores, styles and brands you care about
“Shopping online should be cool, hip and fun, but also much simpler and more streamlined and straightforward for consumers,” said CEO Anand Jagannathan, a successful entrepreneur with a track record, having founded and led many successful companies, including Banyan Systems and Responsys Inc., among others.
The company simultaneously announced a series of A-list strategic partnerships and alliances, including Yahoo! Shopping, the most popular online comparison shopping engine (comScore, September 2008); Westfield, one of the largest retail property groups in the world; TheFind, a shopping search engine that includes over 250 million products; NearbyNow, which enables online shoppers to find, buy or pick up items in stock at the nearest physical stores; and more than 500 of the biggest brands and retailers—including Saks Fifth Avenue, Polo Ralph Lauren, Macy’s, Gap, Avon—for a powerful new marketing channel that accurately reflects their brands while providing access to a much larger audience.
iStorez also announced it is backed by Norwest Venture Partners, a venture capital firm based out of Palo Alto, CA that manages $2.5 billion and is ranked by Entrepreneur as one of the Top 100 in the country.
Powered by proprietary Adaptive Filtering (AF) search and personalization technology, iStorez is able to aggregate huge amounts of information--data and graphical elements--and present up-to-the-minute personalized search results based upon a consumer’s shopping needs and intent.
“We liberate content from many sources, organizing it and making it searchable in a number of ways,” said Jagannathan. “While the current economic climate further prompts consumers to move commerce online, it also causes them to more actively seek out specials and deals. iStorez is playing a pivotal role in providing what consumers want, when they want it, how they want it; and bringing the offline experience online.”
Key Features: Complete 360-Degree Experience
iStorez gives consumers what they want, how they want it, whenever they shop. In one place, consumers get access to a huge collection of 18+ million items from 15,000 stores and brands—but in a way that’s visual, personalized, simplified and streamlined. To that end, the company has taken “theme-based shopping” to a new high, with personal concierge-like services that enable easy shopping by “look” or collection, holiday, season, special event, or topic. Nowhere else can consumers shop all the latest specials from 500+ of the leading stores and brands at once from a single location—including hottest deals, new ensembles and store promotions. With iStorez, you will
-- GET GOING with "one-shop" access to all your favorite stores and brands at once, and
-- Browse all the latest promotions and specials, all at once, from one place, and also get the "hottest picks" via iSplurge; and
-- Shop by theme, fashion trend, collection, occasion or holiday; or select by color, style or fabric type; and refine by brand, size and price.
-- GET PERSONAL by creating your own personal mall that reflects your stores, your style, your way, and also by shopping according to:
-- Personality Type - such as metro sophisticate, domestic diva, eco adventurer, perpetual weekender, bargain hunter, and more;
-- Fashionscope - "What's Your Sign" horoscope-based fashion recommendations; and
-- iStorez Fashionista - for designer and runway news, trends, tips and suggestions.
-- AND KEEP SHOPPING SOCIAL by sharing your Personal Mall with friends and using the Tell A Friend widget (IM, Email, Blog, RSS Feed, Social Networks).
Industry & Economic Imperatives
Despite a struggling economy, analysts are optimistic about this year’s online retail business, observing it’s better suited to withstand lean seasonal spending. According to Forrester Research principal analyst, Sucharita Malpuru, “the good news is that this growth will still outpace nearly every other sector of consumer spending.” The firm cautions, however, that execution will be critical in capturing sales, and that “online retailers are still ‘challenged’ in creating cohesive customer experiences among multiple sales channels.”
And, according to a new iStorez study*, if there’s one thing consumers could change, one in five would love to see a better connection between online and offline shopping.
“With iStorez, we see a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between shopping in our centers and online browsing,” said Dave Towers, vice president of Digital Business at Westfield. “iStorez will enable shoppers to access all the latest store specials available from any one of the hundreds of retailers in our centers. They will be able to do this at home on the Westfield.com website, helping them to more easily plan their shopping trip.”
The iStorez study also revealed that, when clothes shopping, more than four in ten (42 percent) Americans characterize themselves as “as-needed shoppers,”“bargain hunters”rise 12 percent this year. and, in this shaky economy, another one third said they are and do everything they can to get the best price or deal. In fact, Forrester projects deal-hunters will actually help online holiday sales to
Industry insiders agree that the $200 billion online retail marketplace is ready for simpler, more personalized and streamlined offerings that serve the needs of consumers already there, as well as those hesitant to move in that direction.
Adaptive Filtering Technology
Behind the scenes, iStorez’ patent-pending AF technology gathers and aggregates, in real–time, large amounts of shopping related content, graphics and messages; makes it searchable; effectively delivers it in a way that’s organized, categorized, useful and especially most relevant—reflecting shoppers’ personal preferences and intent; and presents it as visual store windows. A big part of the technology is the pulling together of all the latest marketing programs, promotions and specials from hundreds of retailers; the other part pulls together new product ensembles and seasonal items from millions of products across thousands of stores, so visitors can search, browse and discover from an even broader selection.
Consumers can shop by category, theme, personality type and more because of the technology’s unique ability to integrate editorial recommendations with store specials and comprehensive product search. This enables the single most complete and personalized online shopping experience. To consumers, it’s as if the site has dynamically adapted itself to what they are shopping for; then every time they return, iStorez gives them the latest intelligence on “what’s new.” The result for partners is high-value, motivated shoppers delivered directly into their hands, or, more specifically, onto the landing pages that count. Click through rates are 69 percent in beta, with a high browse-to-buy conversion rate. iStorez dramatically increases retailer customer acquisition and sales, and promotion success.
iStorez picks up where online shopping falls short and clears the road for far more sophisticated and beneficial commerce. It further leads us into a new era of 360-degree personalized shopping—bringing the offline benefits to bear in the online world more cohesively than ever before, and providing consumers what they want, when and how they want it.
Consumer response to the beta site has been strong. Comments include: “Finally I get the brands I care about and a way to shop all the specials at once in a really fun and easy way.” (Toni O’Hanlon, Pelham, NY). Partners have been equally responsive.
“iStorez will bring even more value to Yahoo! Shopping customers by delivering—from a single location—the latest trends, first looks, promotions and special sales across hundreds of the biggest brands and retailers, in an easy to use fashion,” said Jayne Spiegelman, retail and internet Industry, consultant, advisor and trend watcher, having worked at senior executive positions with Yahoo!, Macy’s, Shutterfly and The Good Guys, among others. “iStorez marries the power of search marketing with display advertising, and creates the perfect solution for retailers to market online the same way they do offline. It’s a powerful channel for retailers to increase brand awareness and merchandise their messages.”
Siva Kumar, CEO of TheFind, said: “TheFind aims to bring together all of the information essential for shoppers and iStorez complements its extensive search capabilities by pulling together exclusive and timely specials from all the top stores and brands. We have integrated the store specials information from iStorez directly into our search results to help consumers looking for products to visually browse the latest relevant promotions and sales.”
“By partnering with iStorez, we are better connecting the dots between the offline and online shopping experience,” said Scott Dunlap, CEO of NearbyNow. “iStorez enables us to extend our service of directing consumers to nearby stores that have their items in stock, and gives them the ability to directly purchase online. This offers them greater flexibility, choice and convenience.”shopping online, as is accessibility (50 percent), according to iStorez’ Indeed, over half (55 percent) of Americans agree that convenience is a big benefit to survey.
According to iStorez investor, Venkat Mohan, general partner at Norwest Venture Partners, “iStorez’ strong value proposition and exceptional management team are two of the reasons why the company is attracting first-rate partners; the third is the promise of shopping simplified and a more complete consumer experience. These are essential elements for the future of this industry, and we believe that iStorez will change the way online shopping is conducted.”
My Stores. My Style. My Way.
iStorez is a brand new way to shop the major brands and stores. It provides a complete shopping experience online—mirroring the physical world with the visual Internet equivalent of shopping by store and theme. For the first time, you can shop all the latest specials and promotions from more than 500 retailers at once, and also search 18 million products from 15,000 stores. Everything you want, when and how you want it, all in one place. iStorez is also the only destination that lets you create (in minutes) your own personal mall—a place that reflects your favorite stores and styles. At iStorez, you can shop by item, price, size, fabric type, color, horoscope and more. It takes theme-based shopping to the next level, enabling you to shop by look, ensemble, seasonal trends, special event, holiday or topic. Personal, social, viral, complete: www.istorez.com
* To obtain a copy of the complete iStorez study, please email email@example.com.