Canadian-Developed Artificial Intelligence-Based Wardrobe Assistant App Seeks Retail Partners: Interview

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Pronti AI has created a unique app that serves as a personal wardrobe assistant for people and helps consumers discover shoppable items that go with their clothes.

Mila Banerjee, CEO and Founder of the company, said the app gives people suggestions on what to wear based on closet items, choices and mood.

Mila Banerjee

The app also has the Shop-with Closet feature where people can browse for new items seeing how they match with the clothing they already own and buy items that they know they are going to wear.

The company was incorporated in February 2021 and a beta version was launched in late summer but “the real face version” came in September, said Banerjee.

“Over (a recent weekend), we completely blew up and we are now number two on the App store in Lifestyle and we’ve just been having such amazing, amazing traction on the app downloads. We unfortunately had to switch it to a wait list because it was so many that it was overwhelming our system but it’s incredible. It’s very exciting,” she said.

Image: Pronti AI

“We have a mobile for consumers that helps them with what to wear and what to buy. Our machine learning is really a wardrobe assistant so they can figure out daily outfits but they can also shop with clothing that they already have. So our machine learning takes items from their closet and mixes it with something new.

“Users upload images to their closet and they can do that in either of two ways. They can either take a photo of the item or they can find a similar item through Google images or other sites where they just recently purchased.”

Banerjee was a retailer with a furniture e-commerce business in Europe but she said it was such a hurdle to break through the noise and find the right consumer.

“And as a consumer myself or the people we talked to or tested with, it was just really hard to find items that are personal to you. The world e-commerce is an ocean and we are drowning in that choice and we can’t find what we’re looking for. All we do is scroll and scroll and scroll trying to find stuff that’s suited to us,” she said.

Image: Pronti AI

“And really things should be a lot more personal. The reason we have for Pronti is that no one understands your tastes and the way you wear clothes in such a way that we present you with items that you would have wanted to discover yourself and maybe never realized exactly what you were looking for.

“We have some really interesting things on the retailer side. Right now, we’re focused on Shopify retailers but we’re really open to other retail partnerships as well. And essentially there’s two ways that they can engage with the Pronti community or benefit from the machine learning that we’ve developed. The first way is through sending their items to our machine learning which then gets recommended to the users on our app. And the second way is through what we call smart outfits. It’s a retail integration on their website and right now it allows them to merchandise their items so users come onto the site and they get to see the item that they’re looking at in a number of different outfits.”

Banerjee said shoppers search for how to wear an item at least six million times a month. For retailers, it’s helping expand the potential for the users to understand how to wear it and it doesn’t require the retailer to take a ton of other photographs with different models or with clothing that they don’t necessarily have in their store.

Image: Pronti AI

“I think the potential is enormous. Certainly one of the reasons we had such an influx of people downloading the app  . . . is we have reached two million views on a TikTok featuring our app and the number of people downloading just completely slowed down the app. We had to put people on a waitlist so we could fix the app. It’s just showing how much it resonates with people to have a wardrobe assistant, a personal stylist, that can both help with what to wear and what to buy,” she said.

For a retailer, Pronti is available in the Shopify App store and if you are a consumer then it’s available both on iOS and on Android on the App store.

“We’re really excited to help the retailers out. I think so many amazing small brands and really unique stores have popped up because Shopify enables them to get their storefront up but then they have such difficulty getting share of voice and getting out there. This is sort of our mission to help really unique retailers get out there and reach customers and find a new, more exciting way to shop than just scroll,” said Banerjee.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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