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Putting smarter fashion shopping on the Radar

This startup thinks it has 'Skyscanner for fashion' figured out

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‘Skyscanner for fashion’ is a common aim for startups, but no-one has quite nailed the comparison.

Today’s startup might be on the road to achieving it, and the first version of their app launched last week. Today we look at Radar.

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Putting smarter fashion shopping on the Radar

Radar founder Emily Gaunt

In summary:

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While some of us (me) will just buy whatever clothes are available when we need some, plenty of other people are serious fashion shoppers with an eye on securing the right item at the right price.

For those people, Radar has launched with the goal of becoming ‘Skyscanner for fashion’. And while they’re not the first startup with this particular aim, the approach here is different from others on the market.

Rather than present a list of fashion items from around the internet and offer an aggregated shop itself, Radar is first and foremost a tool for shoppers. 

Radar users browse shopping websites and apps on their phones as they always have. When they spot something they’re interested in, they go to the native iOS or Android share sheet and share the item into the Radar app.

They “put it on their Radar”, so to speak.

The mobile app then acts as a central hub to keep tabs on current pricing of all the fashion items they’re interested in.

“It will continuously track prices for you every day, so it's literally shopping whilst you sleep,” explains founder Emily Gaunt.

“One of the most important things to us is the user understanding exactly what to do within three seconds of downloading our app. We have seen other apps in adjacent spaces and felt this was one of the areas which really let them down.”

The app will send notifications about price drops when they happen. If a user wants to make a purchase, they are sent from Radar back to the retailer.

The business model

Initially, Radar is generating revenue from affiliate links, but over time Gaunt wants to build partnerships with brands and retailers that she says will help build a closer relationship between these partners and their customers.

“From our closed beta testing, we know that shoppers are three times more likely to buy a product with Radar than seeing the discount through traditional marketing methods, whether DM, emailing etc,” she claims.

“When users receive a notification from Radar when a price has dropped, it creates a dopamine hit, a winning feeling which becomes rather addictive, then it leads into a FOMO moment whereby they think they are going to miss out on that deal. So it creates the perfect virtuous circle for everyone involved.”

And while Radar wants to work with big names, Gaunt argues there is particular benefit to small and medium-sized brands and retailers in getting involved with the app.

“Radar provides them a platform to get their prices right next to the big guys. We hope to onboard these brands and retailers to work with them in a closer and more partnered way, whether that's through promotions, discounts, special product launches, new product drops, or more availability of stock

“We want to provide a very supportive and inclusive platform that transforms an industry where the only other answer is Google Shopping, which is commercially biased towards those with big pockets.”

The story so far

Gaunt grew up in Australia before moving to the UK. Her career background is outside the fashion industry. 

She previously worked in the financial services industry, helping leaders scale and get the most out of their teams. This included time as a senior advisor on operational transformation at KPMG.

Radar is her first startup, inspired, as is so often the way, by a personal pain point.

“I set out to solve the problem around screenshotting fashion items. I was always screenshotting items I loved, but struggled to find them in the depths of my photos on my phone. 

“I thought ‘what if we could go one step further and show you the best place to buy that particular item from?’ And from there bred the idea of Radar.”

Gaunt started work on Radar in January 2023. The build began in the spring of last year.

She’s a solo founder who has assembled a team on a fractional basis to get the first version of the app going, something that is increasingly common. This includes a fractional CTO with extensive fashion ecommerce tech experience.

The app launched last week, and Gaunt says within 24 hours they had saved users £500 based on a very small number of initial users.

Now the app is available, Gaunt is pursuing “an aggressive growth agenda.”

“We have ambitious, but I think realistic, goalposts around user growth that will drive brand and retail partnerships, which will drive revenue. 

“We want to have conversations with brands and retailers to show what our product can do for them, and build out our product offering to support them in an even bigger capacity.”

And there’s more!

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  • Radar’s funding and investment plans

  • Founder Emily Gaunt’s vision for the startup

  • How Radar squares up to the competition

  • What challenges face the startup as it grows

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