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Rent the Runway doubles down on mobile with iOS app, revamped site

Online fashion rental service Rent the Runway has launched a mobile application to let consumers place dress orders from their mobile devices.

Rent the Runway’s app also includes several features that are aimed at inspiring consumers with fashion ideas that can be shared with friends and family. In addition to the new iOS app, Rent the Runway is also rolling out a new mobile site this week.

“We have had a mobile site for about a year and are releasing a new and improved version that has adapted the best features from the app and optimized them for mobile browsing,” said Jennifer Hyman, CEO/co-founder of Rent the Runway, New York.

“We are launching the app now because we wanted to craft the best version of our app and introduce a few mobile-only features to optimize the experience for our users,” she said.

Mobile rentals
Consumers can place rental orders straight from their mobile devices from more than 75,000 designers.

Rent the Runway’s app also includes a feature called Dress Match, which leverages a mobile device’s built-in camera to let consumers take pictures of their favorite dresses. Photos can be uploaded either directly through the app or from a device’s camera roll.

The pictures can then be matched up to a similar available on Rent the Runway. The feature triggers a list of dresses that can be saved, favorited or rented.

There is also a feature within the app called shortlists that pulls in personalized recommendations based on a consumer’s style preference.

Consumers can create a shortlist by taking a quiz with questions about the event that they are renting a dress for. Moreover, consumers can make their own list of preferred styles.

Rent the Runway’s app also serves as a hub for consumers to share fashion items and inspiration.

For example, sharing is built into the app to help consumers send products to friends and family via SMS or email.

Similarly, consumers can flip through 100,000 customer photos and reviews from real women.

The app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store and is designed specifically for iOS 7.

Mobile sales
Given that a Rent the Runway rental might be a last-minute decision, it is no surprise that the brand is beefing up its mobile presence.

Additionally, the app includes both commerce and inspiration elements to lure consumers to use the app on a repeat basis.

“We wanted to make the app as convenient and fun as possible for our users, who are busy professionals always on the go,” Ms. Hyman said.

“We imagine that our users will appreciate the beautiful design aspects and the ease with which they will be able to rent their favorite designer dresses for all of their future events while they are in a cab, between meetings or waiting for a friend,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York