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Modalist (company)

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Modalist Logo.png
Type of businessPrivate
Type of site
Social Ecommerce
Available inEnglish
FoundedColumbus Ohio, USA (2015 (2015))
Area servedWorldwide
Key peopleTina Fisher (CEO), Bob Fisher (Chair), Suresh Pillai (CTO)
Current statusActive

Modalist is a digital shopping platform specializing in fashion. The company is an aggregator of multiple brands which permits both choice and range for consumers. Modalist shoppers can purchase over half a million products across apparel, shoes, accessories, and beauty.

As a search engine for fashion, the company provides a single online destination for comparing fashion products across brands, stores and designers. In 2017, Modalist introduced a cash back program for its fashion shoppers.[1] While cash back web sites are common in many industries, including consumer goods sites such as Ebates cash back has generally not been available on designer fashion sites. There are indications that as designer fashion shoppers increasingly move online, they are becoming more attuned to expecting better deals even from luxury brands[2]

The cash back paid to shoppers by Modalist is in addition to those sales or promotions which may be provided by the respective retailer or brand. A 2017 Google survey suggests that cash back offers influence consumer behavior and provide an average 3.4X uplift on purchase conversions.

Modalist is also the e-commerce engine used by Social Runway, a program which permits bloggers and other social media Influencers to earn money from sales they drive to Modalist’s retail partners. The market of social media influencers is becoming more competitive and more lucrative for those able to monetize their influence.[3] Building on the technology of the cash back program, Social Runway provides influencers the tools and technical mechanisms to permit them to select & extract products from the Modalist database for inclusion with their posted content. Modalist then pays those influencers whose followers purchase directly from their social media or blog posts.

In another offshoot of the cash back program, professional stylists who do volume purchases of fashion products on behalf of their clientele use the Modalist platform to earn money from those purchases. Here again the cash back paid to the stylist is in addition to those sales or promotions which may be provided by the respective retailer or brand.


Modalist was founded in late 2015 by entrepreneurs Tina and Bob Fisher who are CEO and Chairman respectively. CTO Suresh Pillai is the third principal. Co-founder Bob Fisher had previously co-founded Foresight Corporation, a leading provider of business intelligence and transaction automation applications for healthcare and global business markets. Foresight created an initial exit for its venture capital investors including River Cities Capital Fund in 2007[4] prior to being sold to TIBCO Software, Inc. in 2010. At the time of acquisition, Foresight had over 400 customers including healthcare payers representing 60 million lives and BlueCross BlueShield organizations in 31 states.[5]

In Modalist’s first full year since its 2016 launch – the Company established affiliate agreements with over 350 Retail Partners including many well-known retailers such as  Farfetch, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Lane Crawford, Shopbop, and Yoox. Modalist currently carries more than 5000 brands and sells into over 60 countries. The Company has its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. 


  1. "Fashion search engine - Modalist is giving cash back to luxury shoppers". Glossy. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  2. "Neiman Marcus Finds Even Wealthy Shoppers Want Better Deals". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  3. "Inside the big business of being a social media influencer". CBS News. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  4. "Foresight Creates Successful Exit for Venture Capital Investors". River Cities. Retrieved 13 February 2007.
  5. "TIBCO Software Acquires Foresight Corporation". Tibco. Retrieved 8 January 2010.

External links[edit]

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