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Boutikey may be new to the style app scene, but since its February launch, the Boston-born "shared shopping community" has signed on 65 boutiques and more than 1000 users to participate in its rewards-meets-social sharing platform. Founded by Bryant University graduate Tiana Haraguchi, the app was envisioned to benefit both loyal local shoppers and the independently owned boutiques they frequent.
Essentially, users follow the shops of their choosing, generating a live feed of both aggregated content (for example, Instagram-style snaps of new merchandise) and sale alerts. As shoppers make purchases, they can earn rewards to use toward future visits—a customer relationship capability which is otherwise difficult for small businesses to afford and maintain on their own. Meanwhile, Boutikey offers shop owners the chance to market their inventory and pull in new customers through its "Nearby" page, which notifies app users of their proximity to participating boutiques.
Haraguchi notes that Ku De Ta in South Boston and Bobbles & Lace in the Back Bay have both found success in adopting the platform. Heather O'Connell of Ku De Ta reminds, "With so much competition from big retailers and e-commerce sites, it's key for small businesses, like my own, to build a meaningful relationship with our customers. It's important for me to find a way to say 'Thank you.'" Currently, the app is only available in Boston but Haraguchi and her team hope to replicate elsewhere in the country later this year. Come June, Boutikey plans to release its 2.0 version.
· Boutikey [Official Site]