Alana ‘CityStyleBot’ is giving high street and independent fashion retailers an alternative virtual shop front to serve customers post COVID-19. Launched in February 2020, Cork Start Up Alana is an innovative Fashion and Beauty platform for consumers to purchase curated fashion looks and beauty products. Alana is powered by Artificial Intelligence meaning that it learns to recommend styles/brands that will suit each customer’s unique taste. Alana suggests clothes from high street retailers and independent boutiques with a same day delivery service making the whole highstreet a virtual shopping center – one checkout – one delivery charge of €3.99. Alana helps retailers compete with major brands who have an established ecommerce foothold. According to ACI Worldwide there is a 74% growth in the average transaction volumes due to a dramatic rise in online retail this March in comparison to March 2019.
Post COVID-19 Alana will launch its partnership with hotels and tour operators to create the ultimate City Break. This will be a rewarding new revenue stream for the Tourism Industry. Customers can use the virtual styling service or beauty stylists and have Alana deliver looks and products to their hotels, while still practising social distancing, ready for them to enjoy all the destination has to offer in style. Alana already has a crew of stylists working in New York and Ireland and is growing in global footprint.
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Community Manager Simone McCarthy says, “Alana is the uber of fashion giving customers access to clothes, accessories and more at their fingertips. For retailers it will boost online sales as well as showcasing their offering through the influencers affiliated with Alana. It is especially valuable for small independent boutiques who are not set up for online sales. There are so many independent fashion retailers that are not online and Alana App is a lifeline for them during COVID-19 as there is a readymade audience eager to keep up to date with fashion and indulge in some retail therapy.”
Alana is a superior user experience for shoppers due to the recommendation feature powered by Artificial Intelligence which gets to know a shopper’s style and so can serve up clothes that are to the shoppers taste. Chloe Markham, Head of Fashion at Alana says, “Since joining Alana I have broadened my reach to a global audience. Alana allows women the luxury of having their own personal stylist at an affordable rate from the click of a button. It is fast, efficient, and affordable. We bring style to your door.”
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Developed with UCC’s Prof Barry O’ Sullivan, Alana uses a patent pending technology within its AI recommendation engine. The unique gossip algorithm will tell you when your favorites are available and will alert you when that perfect dress arrives in store. Prof O’Sullivan says, “As users interact with styled looks on the platform, a user specific profile is generated that forms the basis of making highly personalised recommendations, helping to maximise the impacts of Alana on the high street.”
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