This is the second blog post based on research done in 2011 by Oyvind Henriksen, towards his Masters thesis for the MSc Technology Entrepreneurship Program at University College London
What do shoppers want in an app? To answer that, we need to work out what defines a mobile fashion shopper:
Our research has highlighted the 3 key aspects of every successful fashion retail app:
1. Push notifications about new arrivals or sales
Initial interviews showed that stores often have only a couple of items in the most popular sizes. Therefore, customers needed to get to the store quickly before their size runs out. Push notifications can be extremely powerful, especially when combined with geo-location. If a shopper gets a message about a time-limited discount on an item they have previously looked at, exactly when she or he is in close proximity of the store, the likelihood of buying is raised by a few hundred per cent. They are also more likely to buy that item through the app if not near a store.
2. Easy browsing of products
Providing an app allows consumers to window-shop and daydream about what they’ll buy in future. High-res pictures from different angles are at the centre of any digital shopping experience. Always keep in mind that your customer cannot touch the garment or try it on. Great images are essential! A good browsing experience will lead to more sales via your app.
3. A shopping experience on their mobile phone
Macro trends show that more people are shopping using their mobile phones and according to the Centre for Retail Research and Kelkoo, mobile commerce sales in the UK are set to reach £4.5bn by the end of 2012. Apps which are glorified digital catalogues do very poorly in the App Store, with 1 and 2 star reviews. Your customers want to buy your products, not just look at images of them.
These three aspects are the minimum requirements for an app to be attractive and functional for fashion consumers.
Based on new insights and technological advances, this list could be extended with features that are becoming more common and essential. For example: