Q&A: Oier Urrutia, CEO, Lookiero
RTIH: Tell us about Lookiero.
OU: Lookiero is an online personal shopper service for women, enabling them to buy clothes in a much easier way. By completing a style profile on our website, our clients will receive a personalised selection of five items right to their doorstep; they can try them on and only pay for what they want to keep. We currently have our service active in Spain, France and the United Kingdom.
RTIH: What was the inspiration behind setting the company up?
OU: Actually, it was a conversation with my wife when we were coming back from our holidays. She told me how a lot of her friends were having trouble finding time to go shopping, especially after becoming moms. I already had the idea of setting up my own company and it seemed like an interesting challenge to solve.
I started to look at what was being offered on the market and I remembered that during my time at Berkeley (California) there was a business model that stood out to me, already on the market: an online personal shopping service that sends five clothing items in your style and size right to your doorstep. You can try everything on and just keep what you like. This business model in Europe translates as Lookiero.
RTIH: What has been the industry reaction thus far?
OU: We think it’s been really positive. We currently have more than 100 brands in our Lookiero catalogue; this variety allows us to answer our clients’ specific needs. There are no two boxes exactly alike since each profile and each order switches from client to client. Also, a lot of these brands have accompanied us since the beginning.
RTIH: What has been your biggest challenge/setback?
OU: I would say that logistics development has been the most challenging aspect, especially because we give our clients the possibility of paying after trying the clothes on. This adds a complexity that for a company with a startup budget is hard to solve. Fortunately, we have a quick and creative team that was able to transform this into an opportunity.
RTIH: What are the biggest challenges facing the omnichannel retail sector right now?
OU: Being omnichannel is the essence of Lookiero; we can truly say that we communicate with our clients through email and letters. It’s precisely this omnichannel nature that helps us connect with our clients and convey our services with two main values: convenience and customised. I think that the retail industry has to bet on these two values in order to design a good communication strategy.
RTIH: What's the best question about your company or the market asked of you recently by an investor and a customer?
OU: The best question an investor can ask is about the barriers to entry that the business model generates. Lookiero is not an easy model to replicate because of the complexity of its logistics.
The best question a customer can ask is probably the one that first time customers always ask themselves, which is “why would I use this service?”. It’s hard to trust that an online service could truly get your style right but it’s true. Aside from all the convenience of ordering the service online and getting it all delivered to your doorstep, we have a personal shopper team who takes the time to get to know the client, analysing their profile and understanding what they truly want and need. The combination of digital and human is what makes Lookiero a service that works for you.
RTIH: What can we expect to see from Lookiero over the next 12 months?
OU: Growth. We want more and more women in Europe to know that they can have their own personal shopper and that shopping can be a truly different experience. This message is going far in France and Spain and will move past borders. In the past week we have activated our personal shopper service in the UK and we are exploring new possibilities to add to our roadmap. Internationalisation will be a fundamental milestone for Lookiero in 2018. We are also working on our branding strategy and improving our client experience.