Watch Out Wednesday: Olapic

Watch Out Wednesday: Olapic

With 90 million active users per month, 40 million photos per day, and 8,500 likes per second, Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most used social media channels in the world. Users are uploading pictures of their purchases, outfits, and fashion finds all the time. So, shouldn’t retailers, brands and publishers be using this new technology to their advantage? The team at Olapic (our clients) thinks so, and we couldn’t agree more. And if you attended the Hearst meetup last night, co-hosted by yours truly, you’ll know that we’re not the only ones who love what they do. Brand Strategist Samantha Lim declared them as one of her favorite startups at the moment.

Founded by Columbia Business School friends Pau Sabria, Luis Sanz and Jose de Cabo, Olapic is a social, photo crowdsourcing service that is making all this possible. The company provides e-commerce sites, brands and publishers with the tools to collect photos from their users, engage their customers and support a community built on photo sharing. Olapic not only helps companies leverage the power of Instagram, but other photo sharing sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well. Since their launch in 2010, Olapic has grown their customer base to include clients such as the New York Giants, LululemonFree People, NastyGal, just to name a few.

TWF sat our clients down to get more details on the company, their plans, and the start up process.

TWF: What inspired the three of you to start Olapic?

Olapic: We saw that there was a big move towards a more visual web– people were starting to communicate with photos. Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook (the largest repository of images in the world) have proven that photos are a great way to communicate and share experiences. If you search for any fashion brand on Instagram you will see that, in this network alone, are thousands of photos derived from a vast online community. We help brands to search for the best photos, curate them and place them where they really belong: on their site. That way, through photos, this large expanse of people has the chance to communicate the brand’s image. We started Olapic to help brands leverage this new way of  visual communication.
TWF: What value does Olapic have that makes it stand out against other tech companies?

Olapic: We are not typical B2C startup. We are helping brands bridge the gap between social and e-commerce using visual content. Our clients are some of the top brands in the world (Pepsi, Lululemon, Guess, Free People, etc.) and we have built an enterprise SaaS platform that can support the needs of all our clients, independent of size.

Olapic is completely customizable because it adapts to all types of e-commerce platforms. Each photo experience is as unique as each of the communities from which it comes. From that, we encourage our clients to be as creative as possible considering that their customers are being equally creative. A great thing about our team is that we love to work with different brands on a one-on-one basis in order to guide them through the social commerce space. By doing so, we generate great value by helping our clients differentiate from their competitors and sell more.

TWF: What has been the hardest obstacle in the process of building the company? What has been your favorite part?

Olapic: It’s hard to point out a single obstacle– there are plenty of them! (and still are); building something that people really want, selling something that people want but no one has already tried, convincing people to join your team when you have just an idea and a rough demo, etc.– that’s the obstacle.

Our favorite part is way easier to identify: We built a team of people passionate about what we are doing and that enjoy coming to the office everyday to continue to grow something great!

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It is essential that brands and publishers have a way to leverage data acquired from the photo sharing associated with their brands. Olapic helps their clients collect and curate consumer photos, so that they use the best quality images to engage their customers and grow their brand.

Kellie Friedman was a Research & Editorial Intern for TWF. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.

Image via Free People.

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