Can Storr, an app that allows users to create their own online stores and buy directly from friends, signal a change in consumer buying habits and a shift in power in retail?
Since the birth of Haute Couture, in the mid-19th century, power within the world of fashion has historically lain with the designers – style dictators, deciding what is on trend and what is not. But this is changing rapidly.
Where once, the brands and the fashion magazines that communicated their messages were in full command of their image and stories, the playing field has now levelled as their customers have become increasingly important in defining what is fashionable with the growth of social media. These days, anyone can share their story and thoughts about fashion, putting brands at the whim of popular ‘influencers’.
Storr, a new app that allows users to create their own personalised online stores, could signal the full democratisation of the fashion world by shifting the power to set trends completely into the hands of the customer and their personal networks.
The innovative Storr app has adapted a customer centric strategy that enables anyone to open a store from his or her phone for free in just three clicks. Its user-friendly interface easily connects to social media channels, such as Instagram, and allows users to buy new branded products directly from the stores of their friends and the people they follow. Like Amazon, brands take responsibility for handling shipping and returns, whilst the store owner (the customer) takes a 15% to 25% commission.
Similarly to Airbnb and Uber in the worlds of hospitality and transportation, Storr’s customer centric approach could have the potential to create a lasting shift in consumer buying habits and a decentralisation of the global retail market by empowering the average person to use their personal assets to generate income whilst shaping trends. This makes the app the perfect tool for social media influencers, as it provides an additional platform on which to build their personal brand, whilst generating an income.
From a business perspective, pioneering a customer centric approach could also be beneficial for retail brands. In a time where everything must be instagrammable, Millennials and Gen Z are seeking out more personal and experiential purchasing options, regarding their network as the ultimate source of unique inspiration over any form of paid advertising. Channels such as Storr enable brands to position themselves as personal and therefore more trusted in the customer’s eyes.
Time and time again, we are seeing technology turn personal channels into transactional ones. Opening these channels and allowing customers to monetise their expertise, passions, and personal brands, therefore not only humanises retail, but benefits all parties involved. Will Storr change the face of retail as we know it, or be just another cool innovation that never takes off? Only time will tell, but regardless, the customer centric approach has well and truly hit the retail industry and how we shop will never be the same.