7
Nov

Meet the Startups in Area 31: KoiApp

Escrito el 7 Noviembre 2013 por entrepreneurship en emprender

Author: Angélica Medina

Increase in the use of phones is a challenge for companies who must respond to consumer demand for greater connectivity and more functionality through the mobile.

The fashion industry does not escape this reality. Fashion brands need to adapt to mobile channel to reach and retain their consumers. With user-friendly smartphones and tablets, usability issues and device size is not longer a problem.

Fashion brands should incorporate mobile shopping into their mobile strategy and KoiApp offers a service to help brands to reach the challenge: a solution to develop a Marketing Strategy for the mobile channel to fashion industry to make fashion applications really useful including valuable features and functionalities.

María Albalá López, Co-founder of KoiApp, tell us a little bit about the company and the solution offered to fashion brands that allow these to develop mobile strategy, launch Apps, offer seamless shopping experience anytime anywhere, allow consumers to share shopping experience and improve customer loyalty.

Where did you get the idea?

She describes herself as a fashion lover, but she doesn’t have enough time to go the shopping. She used to buy by internet using her mobile for inspiration, searching, shopping and sharing.

As a user, Maria realized there are no many websites adapted to mobile in Spain as well as Spanish brands and fashion stores whom have to develop mobile apps.

Only a few of Spanish fashion brands (Cortefiel, Zara, Mango) have applications tailored to mobile with features like usability and integration within device.

For this reason, Maria got the idea to offer a service to develop mobile apps and mobile strategy to companies in fashion industry.

Then, she was associated with a technology partner (Miguel Lou Moreno) and an ex-coworker (Clara Ferreiro), who works together as a team to develop the idea.

How long have you been working on this idea?

They have been working on the idea since June, when they decide to dedicate more time to the project.

Maria is fully dedicated to the project. Clara participated with Maria in definition and implementation of Business Development & Strategy and Miguel is responsible for Product Design and technology matters.

What gap is KoiApp filling in the market?

KoiApp offers a solution to develop a Marketing Strategy for mobile channel to companies in fashion industry.

It offers three differentiated products. These products can be complementary with each other, but can be hired independently. They will be customized for each client:

  • Consulting service to develop Marketing Strategy for mobile channel.
  • Development of mobile application for implementation of strategy based on the KoiApp framework and customized to each customer.
  • Social network oriented to clients in the fashion industry.

It offers full value chain on the mobile sector: from marketing strategy to develop & maintenance of the resources needed to execute the marketing strategy.

They want to incorporate features like augmented reality, image recognition, geo-location, permission marketing or marketing 1 to 1 to the mobile marketing strategy of the brands.

It also provides an ad-hoc service to develop Apps without using KoiApp framework or to adapt websites to mobile.

How does it work?

KoiApp will develop the marketing strategy and the tools needed; they also will be in charge of content management (if it is required by customers).

How have you changed since you started?

They have made small changes.

Initially, they thought to create a fashion social network but they figure out there is a lot of competition and they didn’t see a good opportunity for differentiation in this segment.

For this reason, they decided to change the original idea from fashion social network to full service in mobile strategy.

Do you have an industry niche?

Yes, their niche is Spanish SMEs in fashion industry and marketing agencies.

They also are considering winery (Wine cellar) as a niche.

They go to all kind of brands but for young people and medium-high purchasing power.

What is the stage of project now?

They are developing a demo without functionalities to do a campaign for potential customers to assess the acceptance of product. They expect to start the campaign in November.

They will start to contact potential customers: brands and marketing agencies to offer the service, as well as fashion associations and companies with active profile in social networks but without mobile apps.

Afterward, they will develop and App for Android platform to prove the concept, and then for iOS.

They are evaluating to expand the business to another sector (winery) in addition to fashion industry.

When they have the framework (features of the store and appearance), there will consider an additional target market: young designers. Previously, they want to prove the concept and scalability as a profitable store.

What are the most difficult of entrepreneurship?

The most difficult for them until now, it is registration of the company and all kind of legal and bureaucratic aspects. The information is ambiguous and inaccurate, so you tend to re-processes.

Another thing is find contacts in the fashion sector to offer the service, especially when the team doesn’t have previous experience in the sector.

In your opinion, what are the most important personality traits to be a successful entrepreneur?

Have initiative and courage.

Be enthusiastic, self-confidence and tolerance.

What advice would you like to give to potential entrepreneurs?

  • Think on the idea many times before you try.
  • Have contacts in the industry that can guide you, give advice and make contact with potential customers.
  • Use your personal and professional network.

Next step…

  • Launch the demo and start to visit potential customers and make commercial presentations.
  • Expect to have one customers at the end of the year.
  • Launch the prototype.

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