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Retail Shopping Apps

What ideas are retail shopping apps borrowing from dating apps?

The swipe right to like, swipe left to pass interface made popular by dating app Tinder has officially permeated retail shopping apps. Brands seeking to entice easily distracted mobile users and streamline product browsing have been implementing dating app-like interfaces into their mobile sites and applications.

These platforms enable customers to easily toggle between items and take a more interactive approach to mobile shopping instead of the tried-and-true experience of scrolling through pages and saving products into a virtual cart. Retailers such as Sephora and Missguided have taken a leaf out of Tinder’s easily usable interface to showcase new collections in a way that attracts millennials – as well as any consumer with a short attention span.

Making a match: Sephora recently introduced a new mobile-first tool to highlight its newest Sephora Collection products in a favorable light. The Swipe It. Shop It. platform, which can be accessed within the Sephora to Go app or on the beauty giant’s mobile site, displays a rotating arsenal of images, all of which feature a trendy beauty look or product. The tool refreshes the featured image every few seconds, but gives consumers ample time to click on the photo to expand it and swipe right if they like it, or left if they do not.

Cosmetics fans can swipe for as long as they like before tapping on the “See Your Looks” button to view an aggregated list of their favorited looks. They can also view the exact products used to create each look on this page, and tap to add any desired items to their mobile shopping carts for checkout. Swipe It. Shop It. ultimately helps create a more engaging, one-to-one shopping experience for beauty fans on the lookout for the latest trends, serving as an example of how other retailers can leverage dating app-inspired interfaces to revamp their mobile shopping models.

Impulse shopping: British retailer Missguided also employed a Tinder-inspired interface for its own retail shopping app. The brand rolled out a new feature this past spring, called Swipe to Hype, that let users swipe right to interact with a featured outfit or left to pass on the look. Those who swiped right on a look could save it to their in-app wish list, or opt to purchase it immediately.

The main benefit to using this type of mobile shopping model is the ability to suggest products that consumers might not be consciously seeking. For instance, if an individual is swiping through Missguided’s featured outfits and stumbles upon a gold sequin dress – an outfit she had not previously had in mind – she could become inspired to more closely inspect it and potentially chalk it up as an impulse buy.

Not able to create a separate platform?

Brands that do not have the resources to invest in a dating app-like tool or mobile platform can look no further than the apps themselves. Attempting to reach a tech-savvy millennial audience? Take out ads on Tinder, a la Bud Light. Last year, the beer marketer invested in native video units within Tinder that invited users to submit short audition clips for a chance to spend the weekend at a Bud Light-sponsored party in a secret location.

Instead of leveraging the usual in-app stationary units, Bud Light forced interested individuals to interact with the ad.

Retailers such as Diesel and Calvin Klein have also taken out ads on Tinder, suggesting that it – along with its other cohorts, such as Bumble and Hinge – may in fact be a viable marketing medium, something that likely would never have been predicted years ago. 

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Kristin Schepici, Director, Marketing

Kristin is a senior marketing professional with a strong focus in multimedia and experience developing and executing integrated marketing communication plans. With a strong focus on inbound marketing, she oversees the development and implementation of online marketing strategies.

Topics: Retailers, Commerce

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