If you've ever struggled to figure out what to wear, you know how much you'd benefit from having a friend's opinion. Picit, an iPhone app, makes it easy to get that feedback. With Picit launching an update this week that offers users new tools, I checked in with Picit founder Dan Hefter, who responded to my questions via email.
Who is the customer you're serving with Picit, and what do they get out of using the app?
Hefter: Picit is for anyone who takes care in how they dress. With Picit, you can share different outfits or looks with others to see which they like best, and get helpful tips and comments. Getting feedback from someone doesn't just answer whatever fashion dilemma you may be facing, it can also give you more confidence about how you look. It's almost like having your own personal stylist on hand who can help you always look your best.
Are people indecisive about what they wear? What have you learned about your users and how they treat fashion and style preferences?
Hefter: Indecisiveness is definitely something I see a lot of people struggling with when it comes to shopping or what to wear. It's really helpful to have someone else who can lend their opinion, even if it's just to confirm something you've already decided on. There are also so many unique situations we encounter - from a first date to a job interview to a special event - that having someone you can turn to for advice, makes it easier to feel confident about how you look.
I've learned that people will go to great lengths to answer questions they have about fashion. People often bring someone with them when they go shopping, text out what they're thinking of wearing to an event, or wait until they hear back from a friend before buying something important. When it comes to clothing, we tend to stick with what's familiar because it's safe. This holds us back from being creative with our style and trying something new. My hope is that Picit can empower people to be bold and further develop their own style.
I know you're moving now to make Picit more of a social activity. What drove this latest update?
Hefter: At the end of the day, Picit's goal is to make it easier to get advice on fashion decisions. As we've grown, we've spoken with more of our users to better understand the difficulties they encounter trying to get feedback. The goal of our latest update is to address these difficulties, and make it simpler for our users to get the responses they're looking for. We looked at the most common way people try to get feedback today - by texting pictures of different outfits and asking others which they like best. Doing so means having to send out multiple pictures, which is distracting to a conversation and hard for others to view. On our new update you can combine all of your outfits into one image and share it through text. All your options are shown together in one picture making it easy to share, less distracting, and simpler for others to compare and decide which one they like best.
How does establishing a community for the individualized fashion choices we each make every day open up new opportunities for your users?
Hefter: Whenever you bring together a group of people with a shared interest, there is a social value that starts to emerge. By creating a community of individuals who want help with fashion choices, we've empowered users to help one another. While you can share a question from Picit through text or social media, you can also post a question directly to the app itself, and get input from all of Picit's other users. Questions like "Which shoes go better with this dress?", are responded to by other Picit members, who can also leave helpful tips or comments. Having the whole Picit community answer these questions allows anyone to get a response quickly from a wide range of people. Best of all, it offers the same people that are asking questions of others a way to give back. It's often the people that ask the most questions on Picit that also offer the most help to others.
How can the feedback people's friends offer on which outfit to wear influence the larger style trends that fashion brands opt for in the future?
Hefter: While Picit is a great way to get responses on fashion questions that come up, it also gives a voice to the individual. As you vote on questions posted by others, Picit shows you how the rest of the community voted as well. You begin to see patterns and trends through the app. As a brand, it's really important to understand these trends and the direction that consumer preferences are heading. Today, the relationship between a brand and its customers is that of a seller and buyer. Brands put out the styles they think will be popular, and consumers respond by buying or ignoring their products. Picit however, has the power to transform this relationship into more of a partnership. Through Picit, brands will be able to directly engage with their target market, helping them better understand preferences and trends. Consumers meanwhile, will be given a real voice to influence the brands they care about most. This will create a stronger relationship that will benefit brands and consumers alike.