A few weeks ago we did a blog post about fashion tech startups who were trying to recreate Cher Horowitz’s closet in the movie Clueless. This Dublin based company has created a product along those same lines. The Mall is a virtual changing room app and marketplace found on Xbox One. We talked with the Von Bismark team to tell us more.
Describe Von Bismark.
Von Bismark are pioneers of t-commerce ( TV-based e-commerce). We believe there is going to be a huge shifting paradigm on TV over the next five years as they become interactive and always connected to the internet. We will be at the forefront of bringing e-commerce to the TV and revolutionizing what advertisements look like on streaming TV.
Tell us about The Mall.
The Mall is our marketplace, launched in December of last year on Xbox One in the US. For consumers, The Mall on Xbox One is the new marketplace that allows them to browse, shop and try on virtual outfits all from the comfort of their living room TV. For brands, The Mall is a totally new channel targeted specifically at Xbox One users, that allows them to engage with audiences through rich media, Kinect experiences, competitions and direct sales like never before.
What was the inspiration behind creating The Mall?
The inspiration behind The Mall goes way back to the founding of Von Bismark to build more interactive and engaging e-commerce experiences on big screens. Initially Von Bismark’s virtual wardrobe technology was used by big brands in shopping centers, where consumers could try on and take pictures of digital outfits they liked and share these on social media. From these initial projects we looked to get a market that had real scale and where we could bring better e-commerce experiences to a much greater market. That’s where the Xbox One came in. With over 20 million users and growing at 500,000 per month we felt the market was huge. These users are extremely digitally savvy, spending over $2 billion a year on digital goods via Xbox Live.
What sets The Mall apart from other fashion tech products in the space?
For the first time ever there is an e-commerce marketplace built specifically for a user’s living room TV. All that entails this experience is using a TV, such as a bigger screen, that users can interact with from 10 feet away through a controller. Just like in the early days of m-commerce on tablets and phones, it is not until you build a user journey specifically tailored for the device that you can expect consumers to interact with it in a meaningful way. We also have some awesome virtual try on technology that allows users to see what a garment might look like on them in real time!
What has been the hardest obstacle for you in creating The Mall? What has been your favorite part?
Like all technology projects, there are always so many unseen obstacles. The hardest part by far has been creating a scalable marketplace that can integrate with a myriad of e-commerce backends. That was hard–really hard. I think the best part so far has been seeing it launch in the US just before Christmas last year. To see the culmination of so much hard work was an amazing sense of achievement for the whole team.
Where can we buy The Mall and what is the cost?
The Mall is an app on Xbox One and is free to download.
What can we expect from Von Bismark in the future?
Our plans for this year are to continue to bring on more brilliant brands onto The Mall on Xbox One and improve the experience for our shoppers. Our longer term goals are to bring The Mall to more devices and become known as the Amazon of t-commerce.
To learn more about The Mall and Von Bismark, check out their website here and watch the video below.
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.