After the announcement of Clozette’s S$2.4million Series A funding, we take a restrospect into how this social fashion commerce platform has overcomed the challenges of its expansion into the Pan-Asian market.
To date, users of Clozette have come from over 100 countries with core users concentrated heavily in South East Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.
Even though different languages exist among these different countries, Clozette prides itself as a platform where trendsetters and style enthusiasts can co-exists together because of their passion for fashion and all things beautiful, despite their cultural differences. Users relate to visual user-generated content, regardless of their country or language affiliations.
Moreover, most of the content on the site are generated by users, the look and the feel of the site will therefore resonate amongst the users.
Fashion trends may vary across the different countries, but founder and CEO of Clozette, Roger Yuen, sees this as a definite boon for the business. He cites that, “fashion enthusiasts would obviously be interested in what’s trending in their own countries, but the fashion forward users would also want to know what’s trending in the region and around the world; to see what their counterparts in other parts of the world are buying, desiring and wearing, and to interact with them. These behaviours drive the very existence of Clozette.”
When asked about existing differences between mobile commerce habits of users from different countries, Yuen mentions that even though the propensity of users to shop online may be lower in some countries compared to other, what’s more important is how Clozette will ultimately lead them to a path of discovery and sharing of each other’s passion for fashion. This alone will transcend most social divides.
In collaboration with Glam Media Japan, Clozette also launched Glam Clozette Japan early this year in order to break into the Japanese market. The look and feel of the platform looks “busier” and is different from the main Clozette site to cater to Japanese preferences. New features and functionality will be implemented onto Glam Clozette soon since a different approach must be taken in the methods of how the platform will be marketed in Japan.
For example, a contest that was recently run on Clozette had to be modified significantly in order to let it run on the Japanese site. According to respective markets, Clozette is always aware of the importance of strategizing and adaptation of market approaches.
Nevertheless, the fashion industry is still a very traditional one. Social and interactive media are new frontiers for many of the players in this space. Initially, Clozette struggled to convince major fashion brands the importance of complementing their traditional media marketing with the digital engagement experience on Clozette’s platform. Even after convincing some merchants, some brands were skeptical to work with a young start-up.
Fortunately, with perseverance, support was garnered amongst a few marquee brands which has since then snowballed Clozette’s presence in the industry so much so that they were even invited by top global brand groups to talk about how fashion luxury brands can use social and digital media to engage and build communities with the next generation of fashion trendsetters.