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Google's Boutiques.com Gets Analytical

Virtual fashion portal will use proprietary analytics to provide customized data to its designer partners and users.

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NEW YORK — Google Inc.’s Boutiques.com will use proprietary analytics to provide customized data to its designer partners and users

The virtual fashion portal, launched on Nov. 17 by the Web giant as a vehicle to drive sales to retailers and brands, has set its sights on expanding with the addition of new analytics features designed to provide statistics from both a designer and consumer standpoint.

Coinciding with New York Fashion Week, which kicks off today, Boutiques.com introduced two analytical tools — Designer Analytics for designers and Trend Analytics for the consumer. It also unveiled recent boutique additions Michael Kors, Jil Sander Navy, Thakoon and Billy Reid — bringing the amount of designer partners to nearly 80, up from 30 three months ago when the fashion site launched.

While Google has declined to release the exact amount of users Boutiques.com receives per month, the number is said to average in the tens of millions. The site has also seen the introduction of 500,000 new boutiques since its inception.

The password-protected Designer Analytics is targeted exclusively at designers and brands, said Abigail Holtz, product manager for Boutiques.com, adding, “It’s a deep insight into what shoppers are shopping and why.”

She explained Designer Analytics is not just about what users are clicking on, as any brand with its own e-commerce site can see what people are buying. The feature will provide participating designers with a deeper level of insight, delving into exactly why shoppers make the purchases they do, aggregate the information and give it back to the designer so they can better understand their customers.

“They already know what their customers are buying, but it’s a black box after there,” Holtz said. “We want to really help them better understand what makes their shoppers tick.”

The level of specificity of data ranges from a spectrum of the fairly broad — including what categories are most “loved” and “hated”, such as dresses, shoes or skirts — to statistics on a more granular level. Designers can see what users are gravitating toward on a specific item basis and there’s also a category level, where information can be obtained on what colors, shapes and patterns are the most well-received — and if a designer wants to assess their top products, they can actually see what consumers specifically “love” and “hate” about each one.

Trend Analytics is a similar tool, but rather than helping designers and brands assess shopper habits, it’s geared toward the general public. Built to be interesting to shoppers, users can see top items, what is trendy that moment and find out what’s popular by category in terms of color, shapes, and pattern, said Holtz.

The above are among several new initiatives Boutiques.com is rolling out today. In addition to a Twitter account and a blog at blog.boutiques.com, the individual designer boutiques will undergo a facelift. Previously, the designer spaces — which had about five pictures serving as a storefront with a profile that included company information and a link to its Web site — will now be more robust in terms of content, according to Holtz. “Designers can add video and a gallery, allowing it to be more of a home for their brand on the site.”

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