Google’s Boutiques.com Offers Online “Window Shopping” Experience

With the holidays around the corner and chilly winter weather coming fast, buying new clothes has been on my mind.  When I heard about Google’s latest venture, www.Boutiques.com, I knew I had to check it out.

What is Boutiques?  Boutiques.com is basically Pandora for fashion.  The site, geared towards women and e-commerce, offers content from independent and large retailers.  Boutiques is built around collections of fashion picked by “taste makers” (i.e. celebrities, designers, bloggers, etc) and it attempts to mimic the in-store shopping experience by allowing you to browse the fashion trends and get inspiration.  Individual users can create their own boutique and any boutique can be followed by others.  The more followers your boutique has, the greater exposure it’ll get.  Since the site sounded so easy to use, I decided try it out and here’s what I experienced.

Window Shopping the Boutiques  Since the site is really all about window shopping online, I decided to start by browsing the boutiques to get a feel for the site.  I found out quickly that just scrolling through all of the boutiques can be pretty overwhelming.   So instead, I clicked on the “popular” tag and the first celebrity that popped up was Lauren Conrad.  I like her classic, youthful style and so I decided to check out her boutique.  When I got to her boutique, I could look through her personal picks or fashions inspired by the reality show star.  The prices ranged from an affordable $30 top to more expensive designer fashions.  What I really liked was that the items in the boutique were affordable for whatever budget you have.

Creating Your Own Boutique  My tour of Boutiques.com would not be complete without trying to create my own boutique.  Although I love to shop, I’ve never considered myself a fashionista so I was a little skeptical about how easy this would be.  I know what I like, but would the website be able to figure that out?  Boutiques.com actually makes it really easy.  When you decide to create your own boutique, you’re first asked to choose between styles you prefer by looking at pictures of celebrities.  As I scrolled through the pictures and decided which was “more my style,” the site was analyzing my likes and dislikes.   You’re then asked to choose which styles of dresses, tops, bottoms, shoes and designers you like and dislike.  It took about 10 minutes and I wasn’t sure that the site would actually get me right, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it nailed what they called my “classic” style.

Even though there are a variety of options for browsing on the site, it’s actually not all that complicated to use.  You choose the styles that you like based on pictures and there are hundreds to choose from.  Your likes and dislikes are quickly analyzed to give you fashion options that fit your style.  Although you wouldn’t guess that Boutiques.com is at all affiliated with Google because it lacks any standard Google branding, one thing very Google-esque is the ease of usability.

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