Three sisters from Ireland are promising to shake-up online retail with a new shopping platform, Opsh, that enables shoppers to shop across multiple high street stores on one site with a single account and checkout.
The McGinn sisters, Jennie, Sarah and Grace, have worked together for six years picking up awards for their blog What Will I Wear Today and also launching shoppable platform The Prowlster. Opsh is their latest venture which they describe as “a highly intelligent universal shopping basket” offering a single account and a single checkout.
For retailers, the platform acts effectively as a “super affiliate channel” with an end-to-end sales point. Names already signed up include House of Fraser, Reiss, Jaeger, New Look, Urban Outfitters, All Saints and Warehouse.
The McGinns say they have focused their efforts on simplifying and reducing the onboarding commitment for a retailer. Opsh provides a three day non-technical integration for retailers and promises no disruption to their online payments, their supply chain management or their transactional flow.
The site takes a retailer’s marketing feed and enriches it with deeper information, such as product imagery and real-time stock information. It then allows a user to checkout a multi-brand account, creating instant purchases concurrently across each retailer in real-time.
To simplify the shopping experience further Opsh curates content via tagging algorithms based on shoppers’ saved favourite retailers, styles and sizes, as well as their interests, influencer suggestions and buying behaviour.
“Opsh is all about taking the hassle out of shopping – and we know how much hassle it can be. We’re all avid online shoppers, and we created Opsh because we were sick of how time-consuming online shopping experience was becoming,” explains Sarah McGinn, co-founder and head of marketing. “The digital world has already revolutionised how we buy music, TV shows and films, so why has it taken the retail world so long to catch up?”
“If you look for a black skirt on ASOS, you would see 700 results. If you look for a black skirt on Amazon, you see about 7,000; then, if you go to Google, well you are just going to give up,” adds Jennie McGinn, co-founder and chief executive.
“Let’s say I have a full-time job,” she continues. “I’m a lawyer. I like to shop in Karen Millen, Reiss and Whistles. I’m always looking for skirts and blazers. When I use Opsh, these should be the only results I’m seeing. Currently, a woman may have 10 different accounts with 10 different high-street retailers online. That means 10 different sets of passwords, 10 different credit-card processors, and it’s just this process of having to flick between different sites and apps.”
Opsh has already established a strong customer base in Ireland and is now set to take on the UK market. “Ireland is the best test market in the world,” says Grace McGinn, head of product. “Obviously we don’t have the numbers, but what we do have is very discerning online shoppers. And now, as we push on to the next phase of Opsh, opening in the UK is the next logical step. We share a common culture and language, and of course the most popular high street brands are based in the UK.”
Going forward, the Opsh roadmap is around “the inspiration piece”, say the sisters. “How do you create inspiring content for the 5.5 million mainstream female shoppers in the UK who have different interest, roles, budgets, devices, apps, channels, role models? How do you replicate that moment of seeing something you want in a magazine and buying it instantly? (Unfortunately, we all know that QR codes are just not that sexy.) Moreover, how do you replicate that moment when it’s fragmented across blogs, social channels, editorials, publications, video? There has never been more sources for inspiration and aspiration – and with that, there has never been more opportunities to get lost, get overwhelmed, and retire to the back seat of ‘I’ll come back for it later’,” they say.
“Big picture? In five years’ time,” says Jennie, “we’d like to be one of the top five shopping destinations for women. That’s a global goal, and the UK market is the perfect place for us to start.”