In this weeks edition we are chatting with Vagish Kapila, founding investor and chief sizing officer for SizeMob. Vagish has been an investor, board member and instrumental in many mobile and facebook apps, including: FunlearnENG, Fitness E, Examin R, LG Mallika-E-Kitchen, Ipager MD, etc… Vagish is also a partner at VarshylBen Ventures where the fund has made several recent investments including, of course, SizeMob.
With Vagish’s vast knowledge of the mobile and e-commerce world, he is going to lead us into SizeMob’s creation. With the app released in just early October, he believes that SizeMob is the perfect tool for this holiday season when it comes to gift giving. You will no long have to spend hours scouring the mall for the perfect gift. Your smartphone will give you the answer you’re looking for. Currently, SizeMob is available on the iPhone, iPad, Android, or easily create an account on your home computer. This holiday season, instead of spending your time at a crowded mall, you can cozy up to the fireplace and relax knowing that you are finished shopping!
FN: How did you get started in the retail fashion industry and what lead you to becoming SizeMob’s chief sizing officer?
VK: I made the decision to enter the retail fashion industry after watching a friend try to shop for her family during the holidays. She had her computer open, her cell phone ready and a pen and paper in front of her. Ready to tackle the challenge of picking out the perfect item of clothing for each person on her shopping list. Watching her make calls to verify favorite brands, styles and find correct sizes; I knew there had to be a way to make shopping more efficient. At that point, I got together with a group of hard-working individuals and we created SizeMob. As for my individual title, throughout SizeMob’s development process I have been hands-on in growing the company and its technological capabilities. I also had a sizeable investment in its creation. Chief Sizing Officer is a play-on-words that supports my part in the company.
FN: Can you tell us about how SizeMob works?
VK: SizeMob is simply the sharing of sizes and style. When connecting to the site for the first time, you are asked to answer a few questions about yourself and your clothing preferences. It then allows you to upload pictures and add additional family members onto your own profile. You also get a trunk to fill by “trunking,” or bookmarking, items you love on sites you already visit and shop on. You can then invite other friends and family to view your trunk, allowing them to see the size, brand and style preferences you’ve indicated on your profile. This way they will know exactly how to shop for you.
FN: To you, what defines a “Smart Shopper”?
VK: Smart shopping means being organized, prepared and knowing what it is you’re shopping for. Wandering into a store without a clue about what you need or want can waste valuable time and money. Smart shoppers utilize all available tools in order to simplify the process and become more efficient. SizeMob enables each of its members to become “smart shoppers” by providing a digital database of sizes, brands, styles and looks. By incorporating this intelligent tool into the shopping process, SizeMob users will cut unnecessary, wasted time spent wandering around the store. You will no long have to debate on whether to get to blue one from J. Crew or the red one from the Gap. It also eliminates the need for returns or exchanges. With SizeMob, they’ll know what to choose.
FN: Can you better explain the idea of the “Trunk It” toolbar option; is it similar to Pinterest?
VK: First it’s best to explain that it’s always better to create technology and tools that provide a competitive edge, but through an approach that is familiar to your users. SizeMob’s “Trunk It” toolbar button prompts similar behavior to Pinterest. However, the “Trunk It” feature connects to your unique, digital database of information you’re sharing with shoppers. In just three clicks, you can add items your would like to own to you trunk and then share them with the select friends and family that shop for you. This chain of events allows shoppers to know it’s an item you want, rather than simply an attractive image you found online.
FN: What sparked your interest in mobile technology? How did it lead to creating this innovative platform?
VK: Mobile technology is a fascinating, growing and innovative market. The world is literally at your fingertips. The idea that information is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the palm of your hand is amazing. But information about gifting for others was non-existent. We are here to close that gap.
FN: In your opinion, what positive characteristics do online platforms offer customers, which stores solely may not?
VK: Online platforms offer knowledge. SizeMob is able to give people the tools they need to make educated and informed decisions. The main benefit that online platforms offer customers over actual stores is customer service. By showcasing products online, vendors enable their customers to browse their products at the most convenient time, from the most convenient location. Even if the customer does not purchase online, it still presents them with the opportunity to research the products they want and gives them time to think about that potential purchase. As a result, when customers actually do come into the store and make that purchase, they are far less likely to return or exchange that item and therefore are happier customers all around.
FN: With the expanding number of new and innovative e-commerce and mobile platforms, what makes SizeMob stand out from the rest?
VK: SizeMob is able to harness style and sizes seamlessly. Users can create their individual profiles, create sub-profiles, share with privacy and essentially create a personal gift guide. This information will prove immensely valuable as more retailers trend towards having an online presence.
FN: Now more than ever fashion has branched itself into the digital world. What are your thoughts about the industry’s transition into a tech-friendly platform?
VK: Becoming more digital is a natural and inevitable evolution for the world of fashion. We’ll never lose appreciation for the creativity expressed through fashion. Whether it is fondness for rich fabrics, creative structuring, the way one scarf can completely change an outfit or simply the way a fresh pair of leather boots smell; everyone enjoys some aspect of fashion. Going “digital” just allows us to enjoy it to a fuller extend, creating a stronger and more accessible industry. Digital fashion platforms allow us to gain inspiration from the farthest regions of the world, mix and match outfits without the hassle of trying on a stitch of clothing, view the latest lines from our favorite designer and much more. Not only does SizeMob provide a digital database for users, but it also delivers a community of other fashion-forward individuals; allowing them to share ideas and tips.
FN: What are your future inspirations for SizeMob in the online/mobile app world?
VK: We would love to see people finding clothing they like and that their loved ones like. We also want to continue to gain inspiration from shoppers, specifically those that use SizeMob. We want to provide a service that makes finding new clothes and defining individual fashion trends as-easy-as a mouse click.
FN: Besides SizeMob, currently, what is your favorite mobile app on the market?
VK: Evernote because it helps users to remain knowledgeable about the data they have in their hand and learn more about the power of that data.
FN: Anything else you would like to share with FASHIONOTES readers?
VK: The site is currently growing at a great pace. We are excited to have users adding friends and family while the average user continues to increase the amount of time they spend on the site. We are looking forward to being a household name that helps people everywhere be more efficient shoppers and remain fashion forward.