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Please welcome: a new version of StarLook

19/09/2011

It’s not a surprise for anyone that a number of female users on Web are growing day by day: women are considered to be the most important audience online across the world. They make many if not most household purchase decisions and are generally more responsible for word of mouth and social network sharing than men. There is no doubt in the fact that women are more integrated in social media life than men as they’re more interested in sharing and exchanging the information with each other concerning its feelings, occasions, news, products, brands and etc. Comscore says women are the majority of users of social networking sites and spend 30% more time on these sites than men. Aileen Lee shares her vision and latest figures on presence and female users’ activities they undertake in Web.

Russian female audience is also taking over web-spaces and already exceeds male audience. According to the latest marketing research conducted by RUmetrika, a number of female users has doubled for the last two years, while the female audience of glossy-online sites has increased up to 85% for the last year, and up 11% — for the last half-year. Besides it’s also well-researched that female’s online purchasing behavior has its significant differences from male’s intentions as we use Internet in our own way and can afford to make spontaneous purchases or simply perceive online-shopping is a kind of entertainment and the most interesting online-activity.  According to the same research women are keen on buying online books, cosmetics, apparel and kid’s clothes.

A fresh version of StarLook is an updated service of online shopping community that accumulates all latest glamorous fashion trends, brands and responds to emerged women requirements and needs that they might have faced during a usual online-shopping process. As mostly women are interested in online-activities due to the possibilities it offers for communication we offer them to feel free and to be integrated into a variety of activities: starting from searching what other users or experts say about a particular apparel brand or other item to creating the content about this brand, including fashion looks for various occasions (that we call sets, video content and blog posts). Thus, such communication is an efficient tool for fashion and beauty brands to trace what was written, what kind of brand image and associations do consumers have in mind about these brands. It’s the easiest and effective approach for brands to work directly with female consumers and respond to emerging challenges or requests.

Such new approach underlies that we’ve very timely decided to transform and alter the concept and business model of Starlook.ru in order to improve the service and overcome the challenges. If earlier this project was mainly user-oriented and intended to establish a connection between professional models, photographers, stylists and brands as the last thing, a updated service represents profoundly distinctive approach – now Starlook.ru has become a brand-oriented project and that’s why we’re keep on going while other online-imitators are left behind. We can proudly say that we are first on the Russian market in the niche of social shopping, at the same time we could admit that StarLook has similar things with the largest Western shopping communities that are designed by Kaboodle and Polyvore.

Similar to these projects, our users are not only constantly looking for new information about fashion products (women apparel, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics and etc.) but also interacting with brands they’re interested in. And this fact allows us to say that such active and dynamic community can be considered as an effective tool to work and collaborate with, because such users could increase online/offline sales by simply being high-involved into fashion topic or giving recommendations and sharing impressions via word-of-mouth. To increase these consumers’ motivations we’ll launch mobile and social media apps that would enable female users to constantly share their sets, preferences on blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

What is good that beauty and fashion brands could also take an advantage of our updated service: there is no need to create an independent web-resource for the specific audience, to invest money in that, it’s much easier to promote its products on our platform organizing various activities and working with existing audience that “company could feel”. Moreover, when such innovative facilities as a marketplace e-commerce window and an integrated virtual model of dressing room based on augmented reality technology will be launched, female users would be encouraged to purchase more fashion brands online via StarLook.

From my personal experience I could say that while working on this project I’ve also learnt a lot, I realized what is bad and good for a project like that. For example, if you want to make a good project it’s crucial to focus more on user-friendly interface and design development rather than on content and technology fulfillment. Our target audience is primarily attracted by project’s interface as all brands, especially luxury ones want to be clearly seen and identified by its audience as a premium brand. That is why we completely redesigned project’s interface and have no regrets about it as our audience continue to increase.

Starlook.ru has aslo a sufficient number of useful features that were socially demanded. One of them is a creation of a special column “Jewel-box” that was designed in addition to a popular column called “Wardrobe”. Under “Jewel-box” information about all jewelry products is gathered. Thus, we solved one more problem: first of all, create a new market with new brands and secondly, satisfy female users needs who design their sets including jewelries. Another feature that I’m very pleased with and is popular among the community is a Q&A section. Here, members are welcome to discuss their concerns and receive recommendations on a question like: “What kind of haircut is appropriate for the Uni?” or “Would you buy counterfeit products?”

I also consider such sections of Sales and Promo are very essential and necessary for such online shopping project as Starlook.ru that we’ve also launched. It’s again a tool that helps companies to work the specific audience directly that affects its financial performance. Thus, facilitating communications with online consumers, lots international and local brands benefit such collaboration with Starlook.ru

Without any doubt I could say that I’m very proud of Starlook.ru as it represents the most high-performed and successful online shopping project on Russian market that is supported by female audience recognition as since we’ve launched a new version a number of users has risen in three times that is a good sign of Russian online-market potential.

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