Facy, mobile app that drives customers to fashion retailers, looking at Asia expansion


See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Styler, the Japanese startup offering an O2O (offline to online) support service for fashion and apparel stores under the same name, announced  on Wednesday that it has rebranded the service to Facy. In conjunction with this, the Facy app will employ a new function that allows users to complete purchases and payments online.

Styler’s founder and CEO Tsubasa Koseki says that the reason for rebranding is that the previous service name was often misidentified as a “styling service” by new users. The new service name was chosen with the intention of offering a real life purchasing experience to online customers, with “Facy” stemming from “face-to-face”. The company name will remain Styler.

With the addition of the e-commerce function to Facy, it will allow physical fashion and apparel stores to easily set up their online storefront. For this function, Styler takes care of everything from the delivery of goods to the settlement of payments for online customers of shops on Facy. From the shops’ point of view, it is similar to Uber Eats’ system. Styler provides a series of services for shops and in return takes 20% of the price of items sold (with the current campaign it is 10%).

Koseki explained:

When customers want fashion items they are going to physical stores. But, the user experience at these stores is not necessary high.

Meanwhile, using online search engines to meet the abstract needs of fashion is also not suitable. Stores are accustomed to proposing products that suit the needs of these customers.

With Facy, we want to connect the good points of online and offline, so that purchasing can be completed there.

Using their own media to address fashion related topics, Facy’s website has 15 million unique users (UUs) a month, including 500,000 monthly active users (MAUs) who use the mobile app to interact with shops or browse interactions between shops and other users. The company intends to raise it to about 1 million MAUs by the end of the year through various measures.

Koseki added:

About 250 stores are currently using Facy. As our presence in the industry has increased, there have been increasing cases of major companies approaching us asking, ‘Won’t you join us?’

One of the reasons they have been afforded such a reputation is Facy’s high conversion rate as that of an O2O app. One example given to us of the power of Facy was that of Journal Standard, a fashion brand/retailer as well as a client of Facy, which put on a campaign offering, “Buy 10,000 yen, get 1,000 yen off,” and revealed that 22% of the customers that made purchases were from Facy. Putting aside rewards like discount campaigns, this performance is more than ten times better than the number of O2O customers driven from social network service-based interactions.

As for the future of Styler, in order to secure the scalability of the media operation, the company is looking into using artificial intelligence based on fashion information transmitted by stores and the posted contents of users to automatically write articles. Because it is funded by Transcosmos (TSE:9715), a leading BPO (business process outsourcing0 provider in Japan, it may be possible to operate a chatbot for stores that performs the function of a call center, etc. In terms of overseas deployment, Styler has been developing services for Asia from an office in Vietnam for some time. The company has started recruiting for jobs in Taipei, and has begun operating a Chinese Facebook page.  Based on this knowledge, it seems that a service launch in Taiwan can be expected in the not so distant future.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda