Bridging East and West with the latest in design, tech and business.

  • Greg Viloria

    Currently a blogger/podcaster on Nerd Stalker and SF New Tech with over 100 interviews and articles published. Greg focuses on Social Media, Asia Tech and startup news.

  • → Show All Articles

  • Sep 16, 2010

US and Japanese e-Titans Create a Fashion 2.0 World

Image by Bethany Mann

All the attention goes to the big brands and the the way they market their products. However, some e-commerce sites have taken a different spin in their business model. I will discuss a couple of US and Japan Fashion companies taking social to the another level-Polyvore and Iqon.

This social business model brings many things to the table – interaction, creativity, and the right demographic. Actually, it is just plain fun.

Polyvore – The Pick of the Litter

The business model is an affiliate business model, using the power of social to wow their audience.  Polyvore has chosen some hip affiliates and bundled them into what I call an “interactive online window shopping experience”.

You can choose clothing not by affiliate but by style/type and drag it into a workspace for you to see the coordinates in contrast.  Isn’t this what the ladies do when shopping for outfits? – choose, try-on and look in the mirror.

Now, if that isn’t enough.  Polyvore adds social elements to the mix. Normally you go shopping with a few of your close friends and get opinions. Within the Polyvore website, you can share your outfits with the polyvore community-1.4 million of them, and have them “like” it to test your fashion sense.

Another thing that Polyvore does to encourage visits,  they create “theme” contests where people can put together outfits around a certain theme have the community vote on it and the winners get the clothes.

Polyvore has 1.4 million registered users and 200,000 regular creators. The site is localized in 11 languages.  They have social media presence on twitter(6800+ followers) and Facebook(over 12000 likes).

Iqon – Young Girls Fashion 2.0

This business model is similar to Polyvores – affiliate promotions and interactions but in a Japanese way.  If you look at the tag to their site, social shopping and coordination Iqons and it is so true.

The Japanese fashion market is driven by its affluent clients and youth culture (pdf) also affectionately called the “parasite singles.”  Their demographic is targeted to young women fashion 18-25 age groups and they center their marketing there in a big way.

It is all about market reach isn’t it.  Iqon found the highest profile brand in the 18-25 year old female fashion market but also sponsor of the biggest young girls fashion show, Tokyo Girls Collection.

So how does Iqon attract the 18-25 year old demographic to their site- they get totally interactive with their demographic.  Using their affliates clothing, as a backdrop, they run contest campaigns – i.e. one online and one offline coinciding with the Tokyo Girls fashion show.  The online contest runs similar to the Polyvore model but the offline one uses iPads to have the attending audience cast their votes for their favorite outfit.

If you are a small fashion brand, or brand affiliate, get on that Social Runway and take your audience on an on-line window shopping trip.

Thanks to btrax staff member Reina for contributing to this article.




Global Growth Hacking for Startups

Increase your user acquisition, retention and revenue with btrax's BorderScale UX analysis and localization service. Our team uses its native Asian language skills, user behavior experience and local design aesthetics to improve your UX for Japanese, Korean and Chinese users. Learn more or contact us at

Like us on Facebook

Scroll to top