Ssense, a Company That Made a Nonsensical Move

I completed my next blog post titled “How to Cut Items on Polyvore” on April 4, 2018. In early afternoon on April 5, I tried to launch Polyvore on my iPhone but it kept on saying “No Network Connection”. But my internet was working. Then I learnt the news. It was shocking to say the least.

Polyvorians are devastated, outraged and extremely disappointed. Some feel utterly betrayed. It’s not because Ssense acquired Polyvore. After all, businesses buy businesses all the time. The problem is how Ssense conducted itself by welcoming its “new community”.

Without any warning from Ssense, Polyvore’s website as well as its smartphone and tablet app versions were shut down. Some users also blame Polyvore for not giving them the heads up, but if the company is sold, Polyvore has no say in the matter.

Why are Polyvorians so upset, some would ask?

Polyvore was not only an app that allows us to create, but also a platform to make friends, sought inspiration and exchange ideas. Fashion, interior design and art students used it to build their portfolios; bloggers and stylists used it to inform their readers about the latest trends or how to wear certain pieces of clothing, to some, Polyvore sets helped generate revenue for their blogs; others used it as a way to escape or for sheer enjoyment. There are many users who have been loyal to Polyvore for years and have created hundreds and thousands of sets, won numerous trophies in contests and forged so many wonderful friendships. Some had huge followings. All the time and effort we’ve put in, in the blink of an eye, Ssense just took it all away. How would you feel?

To add insult to injury, Polyvore posted this on their final blog:

“SSENSE, a pioneering international fashion platform known for its exclusive original content and curated selection of fashion and luxury brands, has acquired Polyvore. SSENSE will welcome our Polyvore community into their platform starting today. While this is bittersweet news, we’re excited for our community’s future within SSENSE!

We believe that SSENSE is the right community for the Polyvore members, and we’re inspired by their commitment to offering a directional mix of the most coveted labels in the world.”

Well, that’s quite the welcome!! And what platform are they talking about? They are the right community for Polyvore members? On what planet?

Polyvore and Ssense both announced that Polyvorians have until May 15, 2018 to download their content. Here is the link https://account-update.polyvore.com/  I did that yesterday and am waiting to receive an email from them for the notification to download. Those who have received the email said the content was a spreadsheet, there were no sets. Users in Germany, France and some of the other European countries said the link doesn’t work. Ssense asked Polyvorians to DM them on Twitter about the download. I guess they were getting too many messages and eventually turned off their DM which made people more livid.

Now, this is what I call a colossal F$@k-Up!!!

Like I said to some of my Polyfriends, I am not certain why Ssense even acquired Polyvore if it has no intention of keeping the platform running. Ssense is a Montreal based  E-commerce store that retails luxury clothing and accessories. Other than shopping on its website, Polyvorian cannot create sets which is what we love to do the most. I assume Ssense purchased Polyvore because it adds value. But Polyvore’s real value is the users, most of whom, by the way, do not even shop on Polyvore.  If I were Ssense, I would do whatever I could to impressive Polyvore users. Those geniuses at Ssense did the exact opposite.

As a business owner myself, I’ve never seen a business move as nonsensical, heartless, idiotic and dickish as this.  The decision makers at Ssense obviously have ZERO understanding of what Polyvore is about. As a result, they are getting millions of furious users who refuse to join or shop on their E-commerce website, most of whom like me will opt out of giving Ssense their user info, hundreds and thousands of angry messages on social media which is really not good for its reputation. Brilliant, Ssense!!!!

As a Canadian, this is one Canadian business I will not support and I will make sure everyone I know knows what they did.

Here are a few actions Polyvorians could take

  1. If you can sign on to the link provided above, make sure you select the “Opt Out” button under “Data Sharing”.

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2.  Sign the petition (currently has almost 5,000 signatures)

Even though I’m not sure if it would bring Polyvore back. But it never hurts to try.

Link: https://www.change.org/p/former-polyvore-users-creative-minds-bring-back-polyvore

Ssense’s best bet is to wait for this whole thing to blow over. The only way Ssense would bring Polyvore back would be for it to realize there’s more to gain by doing so than to eliminate it.

If Ssense sees its reputation is being tarnished (really, they did it to themselves) which would hurt their bottom line, that would grab their attention. So Polyvorians must stick together and keep the momentum going. Put pressure on Ssense, not Polyvore which has already been sold.

Reputation is important to any business. Nowadays, businesses also have social obligations and responsibilities. Everyone I told to about what Ssense did to Polyvorians said that’s awful, unbelievable, or what a horrible company Ssense is. So tell the story and spread the word. Start with your family and friends. Don’t underestimated the power of Word of Mouth.

When Facebook faced enough pressure and lost billions of dollars, Mark Zuckerberg had to go on TV to apologize.

As mentioned above, Ssense bought Polyvore obviously because it brings value to the business expansion. When a company spends all this money to buy another company, it would want to see a return on investment. If the return of investment is very small or negative, that would be a terrible business deal. Although the purchase amount has not been disclosed. Yahoo paid $230 million in 2015 for Polyvore, according to Business Insider.

It’s difficult to tell what Ssense thinks this value is – online traffic boost (they sure got a lot of that during the last couple of days), bigger customer data base, using Polyvorians’ creations to impress/attract potential customers? Whatever it is, it’s definitely not Polyvore users or they would not have treated us so poorly. So Polyvorians could fight back.

Ssense has competition such as NET-A-PORTER and Farfetch. If you know anyone who wants to buy luxury clothing and accessories, refer them to Ssense’s competitors.

3.  Give Ssense, not Polyvore, your two cents on their social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn etc.), but don’t visit their website because there’s no trace of Polyvore. Social media is more powerful than contacting their customer service. It seems they don’t have enough resources to respond to Polyvore users. Plus, every visit to their website benefits them, give them a traffic boost.

Btw, I’ve noticed that their Facebook page almost doubled its followers in the last couple of days.

I see a lot of comments on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But not a lot on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a platform for businesses and professionals to connect and share information. If you are on LinkedIn, let the business community know what they did to the Polyvore community.

4.  If you know anyone who is in the fashion or tech industry, ask if they could write an article about this. If you are a blogger, blog about it.

5. Should the download process fail, you can find your sets on Pinterest. Just search your Polyvore user name. The downside is if you created a lot of sets, it takes a while to save all of them on Pinterest.

While I was on Pinterest, I saw one of my sets was saved by Ssense which took me to a board they created called “Top Fashion Outfits”.

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Ssense calls us their stylish Polyvore community.  So they took THE tool from us to create these sets and treated us like garbage, yet they are using our sets to advance their business expansion. This company has no shame!!!!!

6. Alternatives

I tried it. It’s no Polyvore. Doesn’t have a lot of the features Polyvore had such as custom cutting, clone, flip flop, add texts and backgrounds etc.

However, there is a message to Polyvore users on their website. The founder said she would add more features Polyvore offered. We shall see.

Trendme currently has more features than ShopLook. Users can flip flop and duplicate items, but lacks quantity of items and frames. I don’t think I can cut an item.

Have not tried these three, so cannot comment yet. My next blog will be my review of these alternatives.

Anyway, hope the above information helps.

Well, since I wrote it, I am going to publish the blog post I wrote a couple of days ago anyway, in memory of Polyvore.

How to Cut Items on Polyvore.

As a new user, I often wondered how to custom cut items for my sets. Now, some of my fellow Polyvorians are asking me the same question.

What do I mean by custom cutting in a set? For example, here is a set I posted a few days ago.

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As you can see, the leather jacket, jeans, T-shirt, Bag, makeup and flowers have all been cut to fit the square frame.

Below is a Gucci set I created a while ago which did not require any cutting. To style the outfit, I simply assembled the items in a neat fashion. It was chosen as a Top Set about a month ago.

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Same goes for this set of mine titled “What to Wear for -40C Weather”.

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The above are just three different set styles on Polyvore. There are more. But that’s for another blog post.

Anyway, back to custom cutting. One of Polyvore’s contests this week is Puddle Jumper: Rainy Day Outfit. So I am going to create a set for it and demonstrate how to cut the items.  By the way, you can only do this on your computer.

1. Go to “Create a Set”

2. Choose a frame from “Embellishment” – “Frame & Borders” and click on “Add to Set”. For this particular set, I choose “drop shadow”.

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3. Add an item or items.  For demonstration purpose, I have pre-selected some of the items.

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4.  Let’s do some cutting… start with the rain jacket. Highlight the item by clicking on it.

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5.  Beside the item description on the top right corner, you will see three selections. Click on “Custom”. The following pop up window will appear.

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You can see this item has been cut by other members already. You can simply choose one of them, but let’s pretend this item has never been cut.

6. On the top left corner, there are two icons beside “Click to draw a path”. The left icon is called “polygon” (black arrow), the right one is just a square without a name (red arrow). I prefer to use the square.  To use “polygon”, one has to have patience which I have very little when it comes to cutting items. LOL. I will make another video in the future on how to use “polygon”.

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Here is my first attempt at shooting a video on my iPhone. I apologize for the poor quality. Hopefully one day I will have better video equipment.

 

As demonstrated in the video, you can adjust the size of the cut. Once you are satisfied with it, click “Ok”. Feel free to adjust or position the cut item in the set to your liking.

7. Repeat the process for other items.

This is what the final version of my set looks like. It’s posted on my Instagram. To view more of my sets, simply click on any of the photos beside the blog post under “Polyvore_blogger” or the Instagram icon on the top right corner of the blog.

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Happy creating!!

Cheers

Ames

 

 

 

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