Whether it’s the Met Gala, MTV Awards, or a movie premiere, fashion is one thing common in all these star-studded events. You get to see glitz and glam, and your favorite celebrities rock incredibly fashionable gowns and couture from the A-list designers of the fashion industry.
Once they set the stage for what’s in and out, people can’t wait to get their hands on the same or similar trendy outfits to make their bold style statement. Therefore, to make things easy for fashion lovers, the FashionTap app was launched.
The FashionTap app provided an online platform for selling fashion and cosmetics products. The app invited social media influencers, bloggers, and publicists to join the platform. These influencers and content creators could then upload their content, reviews, recommendations, and photos of clothes, shoes, or accessories from retailers and designers and tag the objects in the image.
So, a link for the shoe website appeared when a user clicked on the shoes in a photo. The user could visit that link to buy those shoes. Likewise, when a purchase was made from the post, the respective blogger or influencer received a percentage of the sale. It was a win-win for all. Think of the FashionTap app as an Instagram version with monetization built-in.
The platform empowered designers, bloggers, influencers, and businesses to connect with buyers and followers and build a community of fashion fanatics.
Another thing that made this fashion platform unique was the absence of user sign-up charges. As it was free of cost, anybody could join it quickly and shop for their favorite outfits and accessories to create their best looks.
Are They Still an Active Company?
No. FashionTap is no longer in business. The app was shut down in July 2018. Among the top reasons for its closing down were that:
- The industry was growing rapidly with competitive offerings.
- The app failed to translate to the growth that the founder of the app (Amy Roiland) expected.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Amy Roiland pitched her idea for FashionTap in April 2016. She requested a $100,000 investment in exchange for 10 percent equity. Sharks were apprehensive but quick to realize the intricacies of Amy’s business idea. They cross-questioned her, asking why they needed such an app when there were already so many established social media platforms like Instagram.
However, Amy quickly clarified their reservations and stressed that those social media sites were saturated and cluttered with advertisements. Moreover, they don’t provide the ability to link specific objects in the photos.
To this answer, Kevin from the Sharks questioned Amy on the stream of revenues and how they could earn a 10 percent fee on the purchases? And more importantly, how would they attract retailers to agree on such purchases through the application? Likewise, Mark Cuban raised his concern about the user base.
She answered that her fashion blog provided the app with a soft launch, but it couldn’t bring revenue-generating opportunities. Hence, she was on the Shark Tank for funding. But, this answer wasn’t good enough. It failed to grasp the Sharks’ interest, and they didn’t feel enthusiastic about the pitch.
However, Barbara Corcoran, the real estate magnate, showed faith in the idea and made her a special offer, but she demanded equity of 25 percent. However, Amy declined her offer and walked out without closing a deal.
Our Review of FashionTap
After trying out FashionTap, we thought the idea was not unique but good enough to give Amy some mileage and generate profits. However, this could have worked out for her if she showed some flexibility to the offer made by Barbara Corcoran. Moreover, we felt that her app could have soared to new heights of success if she had marketed it well.
Being a fashion blogger, a former designer, model, and PR representative, she could have leveraged her industry contacts and networking relationships to create buzz and get more people on board. Sometimes even boring or not-so-profitable ideas can become iconic and revenue-generating machines simply because of how they are advertised to their target audience.
Pros of FashionTap
- Unique features such as tagging a photo with links to the retailer or designer’s website
- Spared users from endlessly searching the web to find the outfit retailer
- Made it easy to buy favorite items from the right outlets hence, saved a great deal of time
Cons of FashionTap
- It wasn’t marketed the right way
- Failed to attract the audience
- Too much competition
Who Is FashionTap for?
This now-defunct app was for all fashion fanatics. The platform was also created for fashion bloggers, influencers, and publicists where they could easily monetize their fashion reviews, recommendations, and photos by tagging the outfits, accessories, and shoes in them.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Yes. Three mainstream competitors have taken this market by storm. These include names like:
- 21 Buttons, founded by Marc Soler Obradors. It got a funding of $30.2 million. 21 Buttons sales are $13.4 million.
- The Hunt, founded by Timothy Weingarten. It received funding of $16.2 million and generated sales of $78.5 million.
- Net-A-Porter, founded by Alison Loehnis. It did not raise funds, but Net-A-Porter made $693.8 million in sales. That’s huge!
Our Final Thoughts
In a nutshell, the idea of FashionTap by Amy Roiland was good, but maybe she lacked in the marketing domain. Had she been flexible to the offer made by the Sharks and closed a deal, she could have raised funds to at least progress and establish her market presence and, more importantly, generated sales enough to stay in business.
If you look at her competitors, it shows that the idea was worth a fortune if only it were executed well and smartly. Unfortunately, she didn’t play her cards right, and eventually, the app which could have generated her millions (like her competitors) came to an end.