Making It Work: New platform designed to streamline fashion orders

Buyerpix, developed by Niamh and Cyril Byrne, is a cloud-based system that helps shops keep track of their inventory and transactions

Cyril and Niamh Byrne of Ruby Rouge boutique in Co Wexford are launching a new platform which aims to change how fashion retailers buy in stock and record their transactions. Picture: Maura Hickey

Niamh and Cyril Byrne have always been good at staying ahead of the curve. The couple, who founded the well-known Ruby Rouge boutique in Co Wexford more than a decade ago, embraced online sales before many of their competitors in the area, and were able to quickly adapt to an online-only world when the pandemic hit.

Now the Byrnes are preparing to launch Buyerpix, a new platform which aims to change how fashion retailers buy in stock and record their transactions.

Buyerpix is a cloud-based system that helps boutiques and other large stores to keep track of the products they’ve purchased and manage their budgets. Users can keep a log of what they buy from showrooms and upload photographs, tags and information to make the buying process more efficient and less time-consuming.

Cyril, a software developer by trade, said the idea for Buyerpix came about organically, as a tool to help with the running of Ruby Rouge.

“Before Covid, Niamh would often be in London, New York or Paris buying stock. She’d spend three or four months of the year travelling and buying, but everything was manual,” he said.

“She’d be taking photos on her phone, writing out order sheets, doing it all in bits and pieces. There was no central system to put in that information.”

Over recent years, the couple have successfully digitised many aspects of their company. But despite their best efforts, they couldn’t find a product to help them incorporate technology into the buying process.

“We were able to digitise every other part of the business, but in this area we looked and looked, but couldn’t find anything that would work for us, Cyril Byrne said.

As a result, they decided to build a platform for their own back-end, and quickly realised the potential of the product as a commercial venture.

“It’s worth remembering that we designed Buyerpix as an internal tool, initially, for our own business,” he said. “But it became very clear when Niamh was at shows, talking to people in the industry, that there was a huge interest in what we had put together. We realised there was more in the idea than what we’d first thought.”

With Buyerpix, every step of the buying process is stored safely, Byrne said, meaning buyers can keep track of what they’ve bought, when it will arrive and when they can expect to have it on the shelves.

The Byrnes have backing from Enterprise Ireland for their new venture, and are aiming to bring it to market by this March.

Covid presented an unusual challenge for Buyerpix, a tool designed for a world where clothes orders are placed in showrooms and at fashion galas. But its underlying principle – keeping track of your orders – was still useful despite the fact that buying mostly took place on Zoom during the pandemic.

Now, with things moving back to normal, the Byrnes are targeting rapid growth over the next two years. They want to grow Buyerpix to a team of ten within two years and believe their platform will be the first of its kind on the market.

“Most of the existing inventory and logistical systems are antiquated,” he said.

“They’re older, expensive solutions. We want to be the platform for an inexpensive solution that’s cloud-based, and handles all the logistics for you. The whole area is prime for growth.”