Mihaibao upgrades iPhone app

Website Mihaibao, which uses an algorithm to help consumers in China buy Western fashion brands, has upgraded its iPhone app.

For users, the app experience is much like its Chinese name suggests: finding and buying products is like searching for “a secret treasure”, says the Jing Daily.

First, the app asks how the user feels that day, offering a choice of five emoticons ranging from angry to ecstatic. From there, it takes the user into an Instagram-like news feed with photos of other users and the items they bought.

Alternatively, users can choose to peruse individual brands using a Tinder-like “swipe right” feature that shows products one at a time. The user can choose to give each product an “X” or a heart. Based on this information, the app brings up other products it thinks the user will like.

Mihaibao also features a catalogue for shopping by category or brand. Each brand has a short explanation in Chinese.

Even more choice and navigation options are offered on the website.

Brands can sign up online to join the Mihaibao, which has backing from the same investors backing Alibaba and Yoox-Net-a-Porter. Mihaibao helps brands adapt their products for the Chinese consumer with a Chinese sizing chart, translating the brand name and product information into Chinese, and helping create a brand story that would appeal to Chinese consumers.

It also deals with the cross-border tax system, customs and the other steps related to shipping to China.

Mihaibao promises shoppers access to the local price and real-time exchange rates. In this way, shoppers are not dealing with individual sellers, as on Taobao, but a streamlined, curated site.

Launched via London-based co-founder Jacqueline Lam in 2014, Mihaibao started out as a one-stop shop for handbag labels from Europe and the US. It has grown to include hundreds of luxury fashion brands such as Givenchy and Stella McCartney, and edgy young brands like Acne Studios, Asos and Rag & Bone.

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