Indie Retailer Moxsie Lets Twitter Fans Be the Buyer (And Switched Readers Score, Too!)
"I don't care how good of a buyer you are, you can't do the research of 100,000 people on the frontline," Fahrner says, talking about Moxsie's hefty Twitter adherents. "Which is why we engage in 'open merchandising.'" Instead of crowd-sourcing and letting a blind group of anonymous Web surfers cast their group, the Moxsie crew has dreamt up something called #buyerchat, which allows Moxsie followers to directly critique and suggest thoughts on the clothing and accessories they most like to buy. Facilitated by Moxsie buyers, Twitter users and actual individuals making crucial choices -- between colors, straps, sizes and what Fahrner calls sentiment -- get to talk shop. In fact, one of Moxsie's best brands, an on-trend, leather-and-heels shoe company called Matiko, launched a third color of a shoe that the watching public craved. "Suddenly," Fahrner says, "designers are receiving extraordinary feedback based on what's really relevant to the buyer."
Although the service is currently limited to Twitter, Fahrner has larger ideas. While badges can be shared on Facebook, he enigmatically suggested that there is a lot in the works; reviews, Facebook and even trend-spotting are hopefully going to be brought into the "open-merchandising" system. Moxsie's main goal is to eventually break down the boundaries defining retail, forcing the shop, designer and customer to all begin to listen to one another.
The Buyer Chat and badge program launches today with an emphasis on holiday stocking stuffers, like Urban Ears or the blog-fodder Clocky and Tocky. Hop onto Twitter at 2:30 EST, follow the hashtag #buyerchat, and tell Moxsie buyers what you really think of the items they'll be thinking about purchasing, and then featuring, on the site. Of course, this power-to-the-people experiment will only work if a good portion of Moxsie's 115,000 Twitter followers get in on the fun, and the buyers truly listen to their tweeps. But the idea of social networking acumen translating into real world goods (and, heck, into something that is actually resume-worthy) is an exciting one, especially for the Web-enabled (and vocal) fashion crowd. Not to mention what this might mean for the hardworking, indie designers that use Moxsie as a central retail location.
Join the chat, or, if this whole badge-and-buyer thing is a little too intensive, Moxsie has offered Switched.com readers a 15-percent off code. Finish up any last minute Christmas shopping with a sweet, hardcover iPhone case ($35), the Nanda Clocky Alarm Clock ($40), an Arkitip graffiti-inspired laptop case ($60), the high-tech Brig Tide and Train Watch from Vestal ($140), or, of course, straight off of our 70 under $70, Eskuche's 33 and 1/3 Rosegold headphones ($65). Remember, it's all 15-percent off with the code SWITCHED15, and, if you like what you see, jump on Twitter and let your voice be heard.