Shop­ping app might be SXSW’s big news

‘Style in­flu­encers’ tech could rev­o­lu­tion­ize how we shop on­line.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - By Lilly Rock­well lrock­well@states­ Rock­well

One of the big­gest tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tions at South by South­west had noth­ing to do with vir­tual re­al­ity or ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, or any of the other sexy tech topics that tend to dom­i­nate the con­ver­sa­tion at tech con­fer­ences.

Pro­moted with­out much fan­fare dur­ing an in­ter­view in­side an Austin Con­ven­tion Cen­ter ball­room, Am­ber Venz Box, the pres­i­dent of a Dal­las-based com­pany called Re­wardStyle, de­scribed an app the com­pany re­leased March 6 that could rev­o­lu­tion­ize the way peo­ple shop on­line.

Box’s com­pany de­vel­ops tech­nol­ogy that helps fash­ion or life­style blog­gers, or “in­flu­encers,” make money, by giv­ing them a cut of the on­line sales gen­er­ated for brands when some­one read­ing one of their posts ac­tu­ally buys the clothes or other mer­chan­dise they are fea­tur­ing.

This ver­sion of af­fil­i­ate mar­ket­ing is one of the in­vis­i­ble ways re­tail­ers are tap­ping into the power of so­cial me­dia to draw peo­ple to their sites on­line. Re­wardStyle is one of the main com­pa­nies fu­el­ing what’s known as “so­cial shop­ping.”

Re­wardStyle was started in 2011 by Box and her then-boyfriend, now-hus­band Bax­ter Box, who is an en­gi­neer. At the time, Box was a fash­ion blog­ger try­ing to fig-

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