Those who dabble in the very different fields of fashion and mobile marketing have one thing in common: they both benefit from expert advice.

Not everyone has the knack for eye-catching couture, and mobile marketers often struggle over which best-designed strategy will make them look good, too. Ultimately, the marketer’s solution is found in a strategy that converts app users into more frequent customers who create advocacy and revenues for the brand.

Several new fashion-centric apps, it turns out, provide compelling lessons for turning one-time app visitors into repeat and habitual users, with relevant product recommendations and suggestions serving as the underlying source of engagement and purchase.

Personalize the content and the product

Founded in the fall of 2016, Stitch Fix takes advantage of an easy-to-use mobile app (and website), with full acknowledgment of customers’ busy lives, to make selecting apparel and accessories a very personal and repeat-driven experience. The customer-to-brand interaction is executed from afar, but it’s driven by very personal data.

Once users download the Stitch Fix app, they fill out a profile based on their preferred fashion style, size and price preferences. When the Stitch Fix customer schedules a Fix® delivery, a personal shopper goes to work behind the scenes, hand-selecting five pieces of clothing that are delivered to the user’s home. StitchFix customers can keep and buy what they like, and send back what they don’t (with free shipping).

The entire concept is built on the fundamental principle of using data to personalize content – in this case, actual clothing, from boots to hoodies, jeans to dresses, blouses to dress shirts – and accessories, too.

The same personalization tactics apply, whether a mobile marketer’s “product” is a piece of clothing, a perfectly timed mobile campaign, text message, email or push notification:

  • Understand who your users are
  • Leverage their data (willingly provided or available from the mobile environment) to create a relevant and personal storyline within the app
  • Deliver and suggest relevant products and communications that catch their attention, create satisfying experiences and increase the chances of turning them into repeat users and profitable customers

Fashion personalized experiences, too

Nordstrom is taking the “relevant product” idea and giving it a makeover by encouraging its Reserve and Try app users to initiate the engagement. From the app, shoppers can view and select items they’re interested in at the nearest Nordstrom store. Within two hours, the customer receives a text that the items are waiting for them in a personalized dressing room. All the customer has to do is show up and try them on.

It’s a unique twist on the concept of using relevant products to increase app-driven revenue (not to mention creating critical new links between digital/mobile and in-store experiences, but that’s a topic for a future blog post). By letting consumers choose the products they’re interested in, and leveraging the app to make a personalized visit or encounter as seamless and convenient as possible, retailers and brands can turn basic concepts about shopping on their head. Apps can play a critical role as drivers of satisfying customer experiences that are at the heart of more frequent spending and higher revenues.

Let data do things you never imagined it could do

Granted, this next idea is still a prototype, but it provides a futuristic look at the potential of mashing up personal data and what Google and H&M are calling “awareness data” from Google’s Awareness API. It takes the concepts touched on above – enabling customers to personalize their shopping experiences through data – by letting data completely personalize both the product and the experience. According to the The Verge, Google and H&M Group’s Ivyrevel “are working together on an Android app that’ll track wherever users go, the weather where they live, and whether they’re having casual or formal hangs. With that information, Ivyrevel will design an individualized ‘data dress’ users can buy.”

Rather than app users actively providing their own data or initiating the interaction, Google’s API collects data from the environment and the user’s phone (walking vs. driving), nearby beacons, headphone state, exact GPS location and current weather conditions to create the actual dress. An app user in the Bahamas, no doubt, will be presented with a far different dress than an app user in Berlin or Beijing.

Let your products create engagement

And that’s really the whole point of effective mobile marketing.

A customer or app user in the Bahamas should receive a different message, offer or suggested product than a user in any other city starting with “B.” Each is surrounded by different data that is unique, personal and distinctly relevant.

Marketing and fashion share so much in common: each person has a different flair and eye for what they like, what they’re comfortable with, and what they’re willing to experiment with.

Building that type of data-driven, data-informed personalization into an app is a fundamental way of ensuring that users will keep returning and keep delivering revenues – especially if the products and experiences they encounter are personal enough to make them feel (and look) good every time.