‘Splurge’ Mobile App Takes Shopping (on a Budget) to a New Level of Comfort and ExcitementBy Elana Pruitt | November 20th, 2012 | Category: Technology | Comments Off on ‘Splurge’ Mobile App Takes Shopping (on a Budget) to a New Level of Comfort and Excitement
It isn’t just the “I want it now!” day and age. We’re even beyond the “I want it now and on sale!” era. Today, as celebrities continue to influence our personal style and fashion designers show us amazing, avant garde runway looks every season, we are now officially living in the “I want it NOW, I want it on sale . . . and I want it to be unique” century. Yes—there is now a mobile app for that.
“There is a lot of inventory out there that’s on sale . . . but that’s spread out between small retail stores, department stores, and small vendors that people do not know and have a hard time finding,” says , one of the co-founders of Splurge. “So what we’re doing is bringing all the inventory under one roof.”
Being coined as the premier shopping app for unrivaled, time-sensitive sales and the most desirable products in fashion, kids, home, tech, travel, pets, and more, Splurge is offering shoppers a place to “treasure hunt” items that they may normally not have considered.
Striving to avoid the “predictability” factor that is commonly associated with other shopping apps or websites—page after page of brands that are intended to deliver the goods you’re looking for, but ultimately overwhelming the shopper—Splurge features “merchandised” discounted goods, curated by a team of experts.
“Our curators are like your personal stylists,” says Dahan, who has worked in the fashion industry for years. He is the CEO of multiple denim lines, including Stitch, American Vintage, and Joe’s Jeans Kids. “With Splurge, it’s not overwhelming; you’re not bombarded. You’re just browsing, but you may buy things that you’re not looking for,” hence, allowing yourself to splurge on a special something. “You might find an iPhone cover that you love; you might find an iPad . . . everything is mixed. It’s more lifestyle than just purely fashion.”
In addition to the app’s ease of usability, which Dahan says is similar in concept to the Instagram model, there looks to be an air of excitement associated with treasure hunting on Splurge. It’s the folk who adore designer wear, want innovative, “unusual” styles, and would rather pay rent than blowing it all on a handbag (nothing on Splurge exceeds $500) that epitomize the ideal Splurge user.
Developing What Was Missing
The entire concept and name of the shopping app developed unintentionally, yet very naturally, for 22-year-old Eric Dahan and 27-year-old Zach Crosner—cousins and the two brains behind Splurge.
“Eric and I were hanging out on Melrose one day,” says Zach. “We noticed that we both had the same habit of heading straight to the sales rack to look for that one piece of treasure. I’d say by the fifth store one of us blurted out that there should be an app for this—that finds the coolest items on all the sales racks from the smallest boutiques to the largest brands to “splurge on.” We brought the concept to Albert [Dahan] who instantly fell in love with it, and because of his background, helped us refine our model.” Albert is Eric’s father.
But while Splurge may have come about as an afterthought epiphany, good business sense of the fashion industry runs in this family’s blood. “I grew up in the industry going to trade shows with my dad and his brothers, and learning how the industry works,” says Eric. “I worked for my dad when I was younger, doing everything from taking inventory to watching and discussing the design process.” Eric attended Pepperdine University and has a degree in International Business. He worked for a few other fashion companies, which included an internship at Hautelook.com when he was in college.
Zach, also, at an early age spent a lot of time learning “from the ground up” about the garment business. “Eric and I had a lot of family in the garment business, so at an early age we both spent a lot of time in the marts learning about the different types and values of garments,” he says. “I also worked at my family’s clothing boutique business for several years, which provided me with a better understanding of changing trends in fashion.” Zach did his undergraduate studies at UC Santa Barbara before law school at University of San Diego, where he received an emphasis in Intellectual Property (copyright/trademark law). “In law school, I helped my roommates run a surf wear brand out of our garage; and as a lawyer, I practiced fashion law and have worked with a lot of smaller brands and boutiques, which has increased my understanding of the business side of the industry.”
The Fusion of Fashion and Mobile Technology
“Everything is moving into mobile,” says Dahan, acknowledging that the fusion of fashion and mobile technology is here to stay. “‘Mobile’ is the keyword, whereas ‘Internet’ was the keyword a few years ago. This is why we launched first on a mobile platform, not on a website. The experience is completely different from just holding a mouse—it’s more personal. We’ve become addicted to it.”
But how does this fashion family believe the industry is truly benefiting from utilizing mobile technology? According to Eric, “Technology, and more specifically computer and Web technology, is revolutionizing traditional business models across virtually all industries. In terms of fashion, the onset of web 2.0+ has democratized and so to speak (flattened) the fashion playing field.” Eric continues to say that in current times traditional designers no longer have the same power they used to in terms of dictating fashion trends, due to the fact that every person has equal access to create, critique, and share their views with anyone willing to hear.
“The playing field is leveled and the industry is really benefiting from the diverse and eclectic views and ideas being shared,” says Eric.
As for Zach’s view on the industry’s utilization of technology in their business advancements, he says, “Hyper-growth in technology over the past few years has provided new frontiers for the fashion industry to tackle. Most recently, the rapid development of mobile commerce has created new platforms to push products directly to the fingertips of their audience. At the same time, the relevancy of social media continues to grow, allowing fashion companies to connect with their audience on a more intimate level than ever before. Platforms like Instagram are being utilized more and more by fashion influencers to build communities around their brands and integrate fashion into lifestyle in new and exciting ways!”
The Future of Splurge
These days it’s way too easy for a consumer to suffer from information overload. To help prevent this from happening, Splurge’s team of curating experts will continue to filter their finds, and present only the best, most unique, budget-conscious items for consumers to browse through.
From featuring big-brand names to independent, cutting-edge designers, Splurge is intended to satisfy the shopper who wants a stress-free and fun mobile experience. “We are very focused on constantly upgrading our mobile commerce platform, product curation models, and social media integrations,” says Zach.
“Our number one goal is to provide people with an exciting and affordable shopping environment,” says Eric. “We want every image on our feed to be a new discovery.”