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Brief Published: 28 Jun 2013

Boutiika: Local-Centric E-tailing, USA


Fashion/lifestyle website Boutiika – a US site that allows users to browse available clothing and accessories from local shops and request items to be held for in-store pick-up – has launched in San Francisco, joining sister sites in Seattle, Portland and Austin.

The new San Francisco branch has added more than 100 Bay Area (local) boutiques to its total network of stores and is the first to allow users to ‘Dash’ their items using Boutiika’s same-day delivery service, available for a $10 fee.

Users search for items on the site by typing in descriptions, brand names or the name of the local boutique they want to buy from. If an item is available in a San Francisco-area shop that has partnered with Boutiika’s Dash service, users can also request that the store hold the item for 24 hours free of charge ­– just enough time for shoppers to purchase the item in-store.

Boutiika is a win-win for brands; being affiliated with the service is sure to extend their overall brand reach – flagging them up to consumers who may not have previously been aware of them, while also driving them towards bricks-and-mortar locations. As yet, it’s only possible to buy directly from the site (and only the San Francisco site at this stage) if also using the Dash delivery service.

“Retailers are generally eager to work with Boutiika because it gives them the opportunity to reach new customers and inspires existing customers to visit their store more often,” Boutiika co-founder and chief executive Ruchika Kumar told Stylus. “Both retailers and brands can apply to be on our network, and our users are able to suggest boutiques they'd like to see featured on our platform.” Retailers pay a small fee to become part of Boutiika’s network.

Boutiika has also integrated social networking sites Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook into the site – placing buttons alongside each website item to allow for easy sharing.

Super-convenient, location-aware services that allow the consumer to flit between digital commerce and real-time contact with bricks-and-mortar stores will prove to be an increasingly valuable tool for consumer engagement moving forward. For more on this topic, see Real-Time Retailing and the upcoming report Out-of-Hours Shopping, publishing as part of our Anywhere Retailing industry trend in July 2013.