Wednesday, November 24

Boutiques.com - A Review of sorts.


If you follow me on Twitter (which I seem to be saying an awful lot recently and it's honestly a terrible way to start a blog post) you'll have noticed that over the weekend I spent some time trying out Google's new, and much publicised, fashion venture 'Boutiques.com'.


Boutiques.com is a personalized shopping experience, brought to you by Google, that lets you find and discover fashion goods through a collection of boutiques curated by taste-makers -- celebrities, stylists, designers, and fashion bloggers. Boutiques uses visual technology to help fashionistas discover and shop their look and creates the opportunity for designers to showcase their collections and latest inspirations online.

Boutiques.com is built on technology developed by our team of fashion experts who work with engineers to “teach” our computer systems to understand various patterns, pairings, and genre definitions. When signed into your account, Boutiques.com learns about your style and preferences and in turn, provides you better results and recommendations over time. Ultimately, Boutiques.com will provide shoppers with a much richer and interactive shopping experience and help drive traffic to retailers' websites.

Now I'm sure you don't need a whole other person's opinion, to add to the millions of opinions all over the internet, but alas; I'm giving it you anyway, so hah! Also, as I'm so fond of lists, it's in a handy list format - so you can add that to the list of things you didn't really want but are getting anyway.


Things I Loved:
  • The stylizer quizzy thingy. I love quizzes. Quizzes are good. The best ones are the ones that tell you something about yourself. This one did that and got me too look at pretty pictures of clothes.
  • 'Following' Celebrities and other 'fashiony' people. Also known as the 'Twitter Effect' (I say 'known', what I mean is that's what I'm calling it). Western culture is pretty much obsessed with the idea of 'celebrity' - paparazzi follow people around to try and get the tiniest glimpse of every aspect of their life - their friends, what they eat, where they live, what car they drive and what clothes they wear - and this is sort of an extension of that. Normally I try not to buy into it, and then I discovered that I can 'follow' Carey Mulligan's boutique, which obviously means that we are now bff's.



Things I Didn't Love:
  • The stylizer quizzy thingy. I maintain that my sense of dress is incredibly complexed, it is therefore not possible to pigeonhole it into one of five styles (edgy, boho, romantic, casual chic, street, classic). The stylizer told me I was 'Boho', I accepted that for a good five minutes and then went back to select two more styles.
  • The prices are too damn high. So far the majority of items in my boutique are between $150 - $1500 (approx £94 - £937), for something that considers itself as a 'universal shopping experience', it's not really that universal now is it? For the moment, I'm going to assume that the sort of brands that chose to take part at first would be bigger brands/designers that can make that sort of risk, so hopefully this will be something they sort out once the site is out of beta, because at the moment it looks like less stylish version of net-a-porter. (FYI: It does have Topshop and French Connection, but they aren't exactly 'affordable' now are they?).
  • It took it 3 days to realise that I don't like Marc by Marc Jacobs. Now I get that it takes a while for these things to process (at 23 years of age, my Dad still forgets that I don't like Fruit Pastilles) and again I'm assuming this is one of those 'in beta kinks', because three days to realise I don't like something - despite the amount of times I tell you I 'hate' it - is a bit much.
  • No menswear.  No I'm not a man, but as a complete menswear junkie (possibly fuelled by obsessively watching Tyler and Josh in The Closet) - I'm annoyed on your behalf, especially as it seems there are no plans to add menswear. It's also not for UK customers just yet, but that is apparently 'coming soon'.
Ok, I'm going to say it again - the site is in 'beta' so there's bound to be a few issues to sort and feedback to take on board to make it that little bit better. Although at the moment, I'm not impressed (can't you just tell). It started off quite good with the stylizer, I enjoyed the interactivity of that whole thing - the idea that the things it recommends are based on stuff I actually like was a really positive start. I think it's something that I'd really like them to build on in the future - more quizzes/personality tests to offer personalised recommendations. It also reminds me of Shopstyle quite a bit, which for me is a bad thing because I happen to hate Shopstyle. I can't even explain why exactly, but it has a lot to do with there just being so much 'stuff' on the site that it's a little overwhelming and that's sort of my issue with 'Boutiques' - there is just too much stuff. It took me about 30 minutes to get to the bottom of page one ('hating' and 'loving' as I went), then once I got to the bottom and saw that there were 10+ more pages of the same, tedious thing, I said something along the lines of "Forget that noise" and did something else instead.

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