It’s an old story: Searching for a particular product, online buyers and bargain hunters are swamped with the variety of online shops and meta search engines such as Zalando or Amazon. At the same time, nobody wants to spend more money than necessary. StyleLounge, a German comparison site for fashion and lifestyle products, makes this possible – just the way we already know it from travel and flight portals. The website only went live earlier this year and already received a funding of 2.3 million euros which shall take the platform to international grounds.  Founder and CEO of StyleLounge, Johannes Heinen, tells us more about his ideas and what the company wants to spend its fresh capital on. Interview by Deliah Eckhardt

What is the idea of StyleLounge? Tell us the story behind it!
We noticed that the fashion segment is very fragmented and that the customers are not able to get an overview of the huge variety of shops and brands. At the same time the customers of course don’t want to search for a product in every single shop and to compare the different prices. I formerly worked for Dreamlines, a comparison site for cruises, so I already gained experience in this segment. For this reason, StyleLounge was born and we started to put our project into practice.

How does StyleLounge fund itself?
Our business model is based on a commission system: Our partners pay us for the forwarded customer traffic to their shops. Our aim is to ensure high-quality traffic and a top performance by displaying as many purchase-relevant decision criteria as possible so we can forward prospective buyers. Of course, this also has a positive effect on our commissions. Since we find ourselves in a quite early company phase, we are also supported by investors.

There are other providers that offer similar services - how does StyleLounge stand out from the crowd?
That’s true, there are other German and international providers which offer a meta platform for fashion and lifestyle products. However, StyleLounge is the only provider that allows customers to compare the price of a single product regarding different online shops. That’s why we can pull ahead of the competition. In addition, we currently sell more than 1.2 million products from more than 100 shops – that’s one of the largest offers on the online market.

Which markets do you want to expand to and how do you want to spend your fresh capital?
We entered the French and Dutch market in June and by the end of the year, five other European and international countries will be added. However, I don’t want to give away too much information just yet… The fresh capital will be used for the development of our technology, the expansion of our team in the fields of marketing and business development as well as for the expansion into other markets.

Are there any trends one cannot escape right now? Which products do your customers often look for?
Sporty shoes and sneakers such as Nike Air Max or Adidas Superstar are highly requested products. Suited to the season, women also look for summer dresses and evening wear.