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Kim Kardashian West may have just changed the way you shop

Kim Kardashian West may have just changed the way you shop
From BBC - November 10, 2017

Kim Kardashian West tweeted last year that she had made $80m (62m) from her video game app.

Her latest project, ScreenShop, could see her add some serious cash to her tech empire as it's released worldwide.

The app, which lets social media users buy what they see in posts, is something Kardashian West says she has "never seen before".

It works on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat by matching clothes you see on them to the exact items.

The reaction has not been entirely positive, though, with some bloggers afraid that the app will stop them from earning commission from sales via their own social media platforms.

ScreenShop also offers you cheaper alternatives because items on celebrities are likely to be designer or have high prices.

The app partners with company Farfetch to provide the technology to show copies and similar items.

This feature is something Kardashian West approves of. "I obviously want to invest my time in projects that I really think people would want and things I have not seen before," she tells Vogue.

"Shoppers are so much more visual and so much more creative than maybe in the past.

"I truly think if they see something worn a certain way, if you market it that way and merchandise it that way in the store, people will buy it."

Katie Baron, a fashion writer and global head of retail at Stylus Media Group, tells the BBC that Kardashian West's app "means serious business in an era where instant digital gratification is pretty much expected".

"It's not quite as seamless as the initial headline may suggest," she says. "You still need to take a screenshot, upload it, scour through the various options and then be redirected to a retail website to buy.

"But it's possibly one of the best tools to date for translating the power of social media, driven by a youth sector who talk a largely visual language, into cold hard cash.

"Brands, of course, just have to hope that these social media fashion fans do not always go for the budget option, or that there's a way within the app to surface their products. Without that, many brands will be left in the cold."

ScreenShop has struck commission deals with big name brands ASOS, Topshop, Boohoo and Forever 21.

These companies will provide a databases of items and better matches of clothes, but other retailers' items will still be featured as part of search results.

Kardashian West and the tech creators she has built the app with will make money by taking a small slice of the sales made on the app.

This is where it gets complicated, as the app could cause all sorts of problems for bloggers and influencers.

That's because many of them already have their own system in place, which gives them a commission when their followers buy clothes they post online.

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