Rootstrap Blog

How StyleMD is Combatting the Retail Apocalypse

StyleMD is on a quest to modernize retail and personal style. Through their app, stylists can connect with users and provide custom style advice right from their smartphone. Whether you need a little help with your weekend wardrobe or want to design masterful outfits after years of experience in custom street style, this app is a game changer.

After a successful session with the Rootstrap team, StyleMD finished development with a nearshore development team in Uruguay and released their mobile app just six months ago. From the beginning, the team knew it wouldn’t be very hard to attract stylists to the platform. Since release, StyleMD has already registered over 400 stylists from New York to Los Angeles.

This growth validates their initial assumption that stylists were starting to heavily promote themselves on social media. Following this trend, StyleMD aims to be the service that all stylists want to promote themselves on. We sat down with David Waldman, a co-founder at StyleMD, who had a lot to say regarding what he’s learned since initial ideation and where the company’s future is headed.

What have you learned since release?

There’s still a ton for us to change. We’ve spent most of our time running user testing and focus groups to learn more about the product itself. Luckily, most of the alterations are relatively simple front-end changes and interface tweaks.

With our initial model, we didn’t foresee that people would end up spending a lot of time looking at images on profiles. We want to create a hybrid place for consumers to find inspiration and create a warmer connection when they decide to take the interaction in-store.

How do you plan on interacting with retailers?

From our initial discovery and roadmapping session with Rootstrap, one of the top eCommerce development companies, until even just four months ago, nobody was talking about the retail apocalypse as much as they are now. For brick and mortar stores, this is pretty doom and gloom situation. Because of this, big retailers are looking to invest in new tech and innovative startups to help them engage with customers outside of the store.

We’ve always wanted to engage with retailers, so it’s largely about continuing to optimize our platform and finding the growth we need. A good 30% of our stylists come from Macy’s or Nordstrom, and this gave us the idea for a potential partnership. From a commerce standpoint, it doesn’t make any sense to compete with established retail giants. Instead, we want to partner with them to help consumers engage with stores and stylists outside of the physical location.

What are you focusing on at the moment?

Right now, we’re focused on generating as much exposure as possible. We’ve done paid user testing, but we still haven’t done any form of paid advertising or traditional PR work. Because we’re at such an early stage, exposure is vital to getting the necessary user feedback to make our product better.

Partnering with retailers is a unique opportunity because it benefits both of us. For them, we’re great at increasing customer engagement in a new and captivating way. For us, retailers help us get more stylists on our platform and ultimately provide more opportunities for expansion.

Bringing Retailers Back from Apocalypse

StyleMD is revolutionizing the way retailers interact with their customers. As ecommerce becomes increasingly popular, it’s extremely important for retailers to generate engagement outside of their physical stores – and that’s the niche StyleMD wants to own. By bridging the gap between retailer and consumer, StyleMD is making it easy for customers to interact with their personal stylists before even entering the store.



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