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Snapette marries mobile, social via shopping guide app

Snapette is letting fashion-savvy consumers browse the latest trends and share their finds with friends via an iPhone application.

The app focuses on shoes and purses. Additionally, the  app  drives in-store traffic by letting users see where specific items are available.

“Most ecommerce shopping apps have been set up for someone who already knows what they want – it’s not a very social experience,” said Jinhee Kim, cofounder of Snapette, Mountain View, CA.

“Snapette brings the social, girlfriend-at-the-mall experience into our app,” she said.

Crowd-based assisting
Unlike other shopping guides and apps on the market, Snapette is aiming to separate itself as more of a community and resource for shoppers.

After users open the app, they are taken to a page that shows shoppers’ finds and pictures. From there, consumers can shop by brand, store or description.

All of Snapette’s content is user-generated.

Shoppers can also browse products near them and view topics that are trending globally.

Each user is given a virtual closet profile page where they can store pictures and things they like and want. Profiles can be tied with Facebook and Tumblr accounts.

The app’s featured section profiles select boutiques in New York, Los Angeles, London and San Francisco where users can view certain parts of the retailers’ inventories.

“The idea for Snapette began last fall when I found myself in London staring at blocks of shops on Portobello Road but not knowing which ones would have products that would be interesting to me,” Ms. Kim said.

“I pulled out my iPhone and looked up some nearby restaurant reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon and checked out some food photos on Foodspotting,” she said.

“Then I wondered to myself why there wasn’t an app that let me search and preview products in stores around me uploaded by a community.”

Snapshot shopping
Snapette is using the aesthetic of photography and user engagement to launch the brand and is building on the similar success of photo-based apps, such as Instagram and Foodspotting.

“Fashion and photography have always been inseparable, whether in editorials or ads in magazines,” Ms. Kim said.

“What’s great about adding mobile to the mix is that now you can access anywhere and at anytime,” she said.

Additionally, the app uses location-based services as a way to bring mobile users together while they shop.

“We foresee the shift from desktop to mobile shopping increasing rapidly, especially social commerce,” Ms. Kim said.

“Untethered from the desk, mobile brings immediacy and location relevancy into shopping,” she said. “Simply put, my desktop and laptop remain on my desk, but I always have my smartphone with me.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York