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.