Ah, the first assignment of the quarter… Fashion Mobile Apps

Since I am getting ready to graduate at the end of this quarter and currently pursuing jobs in fashion marketing, I have been paying a lot of attention to all things fashion. Fashion industry is doing a lot of interesting things with their customer engagement efforts online, and getting comfortable with ever evolving digital environment. So I decided to do a little exploration of useful mobile apps, plus I never pass up an opportunity to look at beautiful things, which is why fashion is so appealing to me. I am very well aware of the Devil Wears Prada aspects of the industry as well, but luckily I know how to push back when needed and I am much more interested in engaging with customers and learning about emotional aspects of their interactions with brands. But let’s go back to practical task at hand…

I relied on the industry expertise of Refinery29.com and chose apps for experimenting based on the  8 Mobile Fashion Apps Worth Downloading article. Although paid apps looked very interesting, you never eat the dessert first. Let’s leave all the fun stuff for later in the quarter when emotions are running high and exhaustion creeps in to lift our spirits. So I downloaded free Lucky at Your Service app and the process was smooth and painless.  The app had an option of signing up through Facebook Connect, which I agree is a great feature if you want a streamlined registration process and… have no inhibitions about online privacy.  Personally  I have backed out many times from using the app, because by signing up through Facebook Connect, users  also give permission to access all of their data on their Facebook account. It is the same reason I have very few apps on my Facebook account. I just don’t feel comfortable with the idea of my data being accessed my fifty different applications on my Facebook and on my Iphone, so to me Facebook Connect is double edged sword, which I use mindfully.

In this particular case, I decided to go all in and sacrifice bits and pieces of my data for the greater good of the class. Registration process was smooth, although it looked as if the content of the actual magazine was dumped into the app, the same titles (editor’s daily picks, spring clothing and shoes and etc.). My eyes were wandering and stopped at the Deal of the Day feature, however when I clicked on the feature it told me “Come back tomorrow for exclusive offers and deals!” I was sad and bored, so I did what I wasn’t planning to do… I left the app and went exploring further. This time I followed my the familiar route, or the extension of website that I have already been using for quite some time now. So I decided to download the app for the ShopStyle, the fashion search engine devoted exclusively to searching fashion items. All the big search engine players pale in comparison in terms of the relevance and the variety of results.

The experience of downloading and registering were easy, but this app stood out to me as relevant, easy to use, uncluttered and easy on the eye. It had a great search functionality obviously, and I thought that the filtering and refining feature was much better than on the website. Go figure.  The app also allows you to favorite items, put items on a sales alert, share items and news with Email, Twitter and Facebook communities (short and sweet) and finally to buy the item by forwarding to a retailers site. Everything about this app was right to me, except when the interaction with third parties, in this case retailers started. I would have preferred to store my payment information in my ShopStyle account, instead of entering it for each single purchase, but hey, I guess it is a fashion search engine after all.

So the long story short, Lucky app has a long ways to go, so thumbs down in terms keeping me engaged. ShopStyle, I am getting ready to sing serenades. I spend so much time on it, that I am late submitting my assignment for almost two hours now. I give it thumbs up for keeping me entertained, delivering on the results that were relevant to me and… also for making it difficult to actually purchase things. Harmless window shopping from the comfort of my home at its finest!

ShopStyle app really is all about shopping in style no matter where you are: at home, on the bus, at school, or just wandering around. And I am also pretty sure that I will be most likely to do fashion searching in my ShopStyle mobile app rather than the website from now on.

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4 Comments

Filed under Mobile Media Development and Integration

4 responses to “Ah, the first assignment of the quarter… Fashion Mobile Apps

  1. Well, looks like I am downloading an app today! 🙂

    I’m surprised that Lucky’s app wasn’t better because aren’t they usually known for being very consumer minded? They also put an emphasis on local market shopping, so they could definitely leverage location based services to provide a relevant and useful experience. It would be interesting have the app serve up local boutique recommendations dependent upon the users location.

  2. I think it is important to think about how consumers are using the app and what they are trying to accomplish. I personally get tired whenever I face too many options or a very busy page. One of the reasons many users including me, use apps is to save time and find whatever I am looking for fast. After reading your comment I went back to Lucky without placing the time constraint and the experience was fine. It didn’t pass time stress test initially though, which is how I feel like a lot of users make their decision as to whether or not to choose using any given tool.

  3. I love your reference to the ‘time stress test’! This is a fantastic, intuitive observation of what makes mobile special to begin with. Poor Lucky.

  4. Jake Stout

    Hey Nazgul:
    Do you think there might be an opportunity to incorporate tags into an individual’s own clothing and accessories? Giving certain specific information about a person, in a particular situation? In other words, to keep it simple, a tag for a different t-shirt for different occasions which provides personal info about the wearer which can be shared by those who are interested? They are saying “scan me”.

    Maybe a little creepy? But might be a new market. Might be able to establish a database of common attributes and then incorporate that into certain attire, which, though not custom, could enable mass production?

    So offer both the mass audience and the custom (bride’s maids) audience’s something?

    Jake

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