The App That Lets You Shop Your Favorite Influencers' Wardrobes
We've all been there: you're browsing Instagram or Pinterest and spot the perfect pair of printed ankle boots that you've been searching for all season long, only to be unable to find where those gorgeous shoes are from. Literally the worst.
Enter Trove! Created by Wall Street investor turned blogger turned entrepreneur Mary Orton, Trove helps you shop the closets of your favorite fashion influencers. It's also a great tool for growing bloggers to grow their audience.
We chatted with Mary to learn more about Trove and how she set her fashion app apart from the rest!
SIMPLY: Tell us about your app, Trove.
MARY ORTON: Very simply, Trove is a content-centric mobile style and shopping platform. We aggregate content from the top style influencers and make it shoppable in a peerless mobile experience.
In the last several years the shopping paradigm has shifted dramatically and consumers are now getting their shopping inspiration from style influencer content. However, the fragmentation of this content across myriad platforms has created an incredibly disjointed, painful and time-consuming shopping experience as consumers navigate from search, to inspiration, to checkout.
Trove fixes the broken shopping experience by bringing content to the consumer's fingertips wherever they may be. We have tailored the experience to the users’ needs and enable them to find content that resonates with their style sensibilities. With the ability to search for specific items or browse general trends, the discovery capabilities in our app are the first of their kind and empower the user with tools for a more seamless shopping process. Going from inspiration to checkout has never been easier.
How can fashion bloggers use Trove to grow their influence and reach a wider audience?
Trove is the first content-driven style platform that indexes influencer content and makes it searchable and discoverable across platforms. This provides influencers with highly valuable growth and monetization opportunities. By encouraging their audiences to follow them on the Trove app, influencers not only amplify their conversion rates by more than 5x any other platform, but they also open themselves up to huge multi-platform growth. Every user who comes into the Trove app finds at least four new influencers to follow. More importantly, the average user follows 3x more influencers on Trove than they did on Instagram before they downloaded Trove.
Even better? They start following these influencers across their other channels (blogs, Instagrams, etc.). Consumers have a voracious appetite for this influencer content; they just need help finding it.
To take advantage of this as an influencer, you need to do two simple things: apply to the platform and keep creating amazing content. We have made the process very simple for an influencer so that once you are onboarded, Trove takes care of everything for you.
There is an incredible amount of amazing style content being created every day, it just needs better distribution channels. Consumers are hungry for content-driven style inspiration, they just don’t have a place to find it right now other than passively stumbling upon influencers through social media.
Changes to social platforms over the last 18 months have really made it difficult for consumers to find and shop influencers’ content. For influencers, this has meant a significant decrease in growth and monetization opportunities. Trove was created to provide consumers, influencers and brands a platform where they can engage with each other and not be handicapped by changes to an algorithm or API.
Our focus from the beginning has been making it easier for consumers to find and shop the content influencers are creating. The shopping process is far from linear and we have spent an incredible amount of time making sure that we are delivering a product that resonates with the current shopping habits of consumers and the content creation processes of influencers.
You went from Wall Street to blogging to developing an app. How did your past experience—especially as a blogger—inform the app you created?
Both have been incredibly influential in building Trove. The most obvious influence has been my experience as a blogger. I intimately understand the challenges bloggers face, whether it is creating content, growing a follower base, monetizing platforms or just connecting with consumers. I wanted to create a platform that would lessen these pain points without requiring a complete shift in the content creation process.
My time on Wall Street has also had an enormous impact on how I approach the business. It taught me that you have to think big while consistently executing on the small details. If you cannot execute on the minutia, it will be very difficult to build a successful business. You have to embrace the daily grind and be willing to do the hard, menial tasks required to succeed. Yet, at the same time, you have to be able to take a step back and think about the business from 10,000 feet. Otherwise you get too caught up in the day-to-day and miss strategic opportunities. It is an interesting dichotomy and a difficult balancing act, one that I am constantly working to navigate effectively.
How did you create an app that really stood out in the market, since there are quite a few fashion apps out there?
There were several different things that went into this. First and foremost, we have listened intently to the customer. In this case there are three: the consumer, the influencer and the retailer. Having three makes it incredibly tricky, but it has also given us incredible focus because the intersection of that venn diagram is small so it eliminates a lot of potential noise.
We have also engaged with some amazing design visionaries outside of the fashion space. We are huge believers in diversity of experience and thought because amazing things happen when you bring in a fresh pair of eyes and a unique perspective to a problem you are trying to solve.
Another core tenant for us is simplicity. With so much going on in the shopping experience and three different customers to serve, there are sundry opportunities to make the app too complex. Complexity is the quickest way to kill a great idea, so we try to strip the experience down to its simplest form every step of the way.
Finally, we look at the app as just the beginning of Trove and have several other exciting product announcement in the coming weeks and months. A platform is a living, breathing organism that will evolve as our customers’ needs evolve. What works today, may not tomorrow. As such, we have designed the platform in a way where we can develop new experiences rapidly and meet the evolving needs of our customers whatever they may be. Change is the only constant and complacency will kill even the best platforms, something we are always working really hard to avoid.
How do you see Trove expanding in the future?
As I mentioned earlier, the app is only the tip of the iceberg. We are launching an Android version very soon and shortly thereafter we will have several other big announcements. Our core mission is to fix today’s broken digital shopping experience and bring content created by influencers to the consumer wherever they may be in their shopping journey. The coming announcements will build upon that mission.
Your blog MEMORANDUM focuses on chic, professional style, and we’re always looking for tips on how to dress at the office! Tell us your office attire advice.
It really depends on the office environment, but some advice that pertains to all environments from business formal to creative:
Err on the side of overdressing, especially at the start of any job. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed in the early days, so if you are ever in doubt, dress up a little bit. First impressions are really important and it’s better to go above and beyond the call of duty than appear like you don’t really care.
After establishing yourself, branch out (within reason). Once you have established yourself as a valued member and robust contributor, you can start to add more of your own personal style to your work wardrobe. The easiest way to do this is to take a classic professionally-appropriate silhouette (like a short-sleeve sheath dress or A-line midi skirt) and instead of opting for a dark or neutral color, try a print or bright color.