E-commerce veteran Julie Bornstein and technical co-founder Amit Aggarwal, announce today the launch of The Yes, a next gen shopping experience poised to redefine the architecture of e-commerce and the way people buy. Leveraging a sophisticated algorithm powered by each individual's choices and human instincts around personal style, The Yes uses computer vision and machine learning to encode fashion and create a new consumer experience tailor-made for each user. The Yes is intelligent shopping, building a store around each customer and continually learning and adapting the shopping experience, so it gets better over time.
Powered by consumer preferences, The Yes asks simple questions prompting an answer of Yes or No. A sophisticated algorithm then streamlines the shopping experience to feature a personal home feed with recommended brands, themes and trends specifically for that user. The app also features 'smart search' which filters each shopper's style and brand preferences across all categories, themes, and brands. Unlike every other ecommerce site today, The Yes is adaptive, in session, which means as a shopper taps a Yes or No, the algorithm re-ranks products in real-time. Key features include a personal daily refreshed feed of new relevant products, one-tap frictionless buying in-app, automatic size recommendations and the ability to see what your friends are Yes'ing for inspiration.
Equally exciting, The Yes offers the broadest range of brands to serve women's high/low shopping, bringing together brands previously unavailable from the same source, to offer the consumer the best selection, and the best fit for their personal style. To offer this selection, The Yes partners with widely distributed specialty and DTC brands. At launch, The Yes will carry more than 150 of the leading brands across the industry including Ralph Lauren Collection, Altuzarra, Erdem, Everlane, La Ligne, Rosie Assoulin, STAUD, Balenciaga, Acne Studios, Ganni, Tabitha Simmons, FRAME and Vince. When a brand integrates with The Yes, the platform sells each brand's full digital catalog, offering its entire assortment by integrating into The Yes fashion algorithm. This requires automatically decoding every SKU and ranking it to each shopper, something that a human buyer could never do at scale.
"Shopping and building the best online shopping experiences have been my life-long passion," states Founder and CEO, Julie Bornstein. "What many women may consider overwhelming, I find an exciting challenge - that is why building The Yes has been a dream come true. Working with both incredible brands and deep engineering and machine learning talent, we've been able to build a next-generation shopping experience that brings the best of efficient, fun and delightful shopping by leveraging new technologies that didn't even exist a few years ago."
"Understanding Julie's passion, building an A+ team of engineers and solving real life problems by using Machine Learning and Computer Vision to build novel software products has led us to groundbreaking innovation in e-commerce," shares Co-Founder Amit Aggarwal. "To create this new way to shop required a tech infrastructure that was built from scratch with the customer's preferences at the core of the shopping experience. No legacy player can build this because it requires a totally new approach to merging computer vision, natural language processing and AI with building proprietary technology. We have three patents pending already."
Fashion and Creative Director, Taylor Tomasi Hill added, "What sets Julie apart from so many industry leaders is her deep understanding of the pain points brands face with traditional wholesale distribution. Julie aims to give the power back to the brands and I'm thrilled to champion her mission. I get to work with designers and brands in full support of their creative vision, which makes the storytelling for the consumer so much more gratifying."
The launch of The Yes comes at a time when shopping and retail are more uncertain than ever before. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, The Yes postponed launch to better understand the direction of the e-commerce landscape, the needs of brands and ultimately how consumers will want to shop and interact with brands as it moves forward. With many retailers filing for bankruptcy, canceling orders and closing stores, The Yes is now a much-needed resource for brands and a new way to engage with consumers. The app allows brands to diversify their distribution channels at a time when physical retail is unable to operate and wholesale partners are uncertain. The Yes provides a unique platform that can keep brands' existing customers shopping and acquire a new audience. As importantly, The Yes makes shopping online easier for consumers, as the value of shopping in person, selecting the right size and finding the right items for you, becomes harder to access.
At launch, The Yes is donating a dollar per download to Good+Foundation during the first month of launch. During this time of crisis, Good+ is partnering with frontline workers across the country to get donations to families in need. Good+Foundation is a leading national nonprofit that works to dismantle multi-generational poverty by pairing tangible goods with innovative services for low-income fathers, mothers and caregivers, creating an upward trajectory for the whole family. "We are thrilled to partner with The Yes and grateful for their support of our work with underserved families in this country," said Jessica Seinfeld, President and Founder of Good+Foundation. "We chose to be part of this venture because The Yes is aiming to help companies stay in business during this crisis and trying to encourage job stability in this sector, which is critical to our economy."
Co-founder and CEO Julie Bornstein brings 25+ years of expertise in transforming the e-commerce experience during her tenure at Nordstrom, Sephora and StitchFix. Co-founder Amit Aggarwal brings deep technology roots, including time at Google, Bing, Groupon and Bloomreach. The Yes also tapped former fashion editor, Taylor Tomasi Hill to serve as the brand's fashion and creative director, and Lisa Green of Google to run partnership development. The Yes raised $30M in funding from venture capitalists Kirsten Green at Forerunner Ventures, Jon Callaghan at True Ventures and Tony Florence at NEA, as well as Comcast Ventures and Bain Capital Ventures.