For online fashion, mobile is arguably the new high street and our intern insight project set out to discover the next big opportunity for fashion within mobile gaming. Only trouble being, the first big insight we found got in the way: for many women, fashion is already seen as a 'game' in itself. So, hold your horses before you go and create the next Kim Kardashian game for your fashion brand and read on to find out what fashion CAN learn from mobile gaming….
Games are fun, and so is fashion
37% of female consumers described fashion as a 'source of fun'
Speaking to consumers we found that making a fashion app experience more entertaining and 'game' like creates a light-hearted energy in the shopping experience. Consumers have more positive mental engagement with the fashion brand and reduced tension in the purchase decision-making process. Apps for Missguided and Malzee are already entertaining consumers with a directional tool that allows users to express their love or hate for an item. Think savage levels of tinder, but for the love of fashion & finding a happy ending - new handbags, heels, hoodies - whatever they like!
Games offer escapism
35% of women consumers surveyed, 'love browsing for new fashion items'
For many women there is just as much buzz in the captivating state of hunting on their mobile for that next winter jacket, as the final purchase itself. If fashion brands can encourage more consumers to use their apps for browsing enjoyment in the 'switching off' and 'relaxing' moments, that's a whole new time to engage with them. A chance to increase brand engagement, drive discovery and inspiration to prompt new purchase opportunities. The beauty in the digital nature of this engagement means brands have the advantage of tracking each touchpoint in the browsing journey. Here they can learn which stages drive purchase and offers the chance to increase personalisation for each potential customer - sounds like a bull's eye moment to me!
Casual gaming is the perfect time filler
45% say time filling is a core motivation for mobile gaming and almost as many - 40% already use fashion apps to also pass the time
This is an entry point for fashion brands to tap into consumer's 'empty' moments, when they are looking to find ways to pass the time. Not sure about you but I instantly thought of how I browse for fashion inspiration on those awful tube commutes and during the killer boredom that kicks in at the dentist waiting room. Prompts to update and gamify wish list features in fashion apps show the greatest potential in this occasion. Wish lists by their very nature are fuelled by desire, tapping into a bit of escapism, but don't forget that when pay day comes, and with a few nudges, this could very much turn into a reality!
Gaming is all about the win
40% said in app free gifts and exclusive discounts appealed to them the most
Consumers do gain real satisfaction from browsing and adding to their wish lists, but unless they purchase, where is the win? Well, in the end, women ultimately want to win their wish list or another cheeky bonus. Combining wish lists and a win gives brands the chance to learn more about what their customers want. Offering a free gift or discount 'wins' and ones that are personalised to your consumer could even form the cornerstone of your reward programme.
Gaming can be educational too - but not in a boring way!
30% said they use mobile gaming to train their brain
Brain training might not be the natural space for fashion brands, but the underlying need to educate or improve certainly is. A quarter of women said they love curating different styles and 40% are already using their mobiles to browse for fashion inspiration. Unless you are a fashion professional, most of us could use some help in the styling department. So, think style schooling to upskill your customers and give them continuous style inspiration. In turn, when they are next thinking - what do I wear for that special occasion, they'll remember your brand is great at giving them
food fashion for thought and head direct to you.
Bringing gaming to reality
Instead of characters in a game, most women we spoke to want to 'play' with brands & you guessed it more brands. In such a competitive market, giving consumers brand or range choice meets consumer need and encourages them to spend time within your app.
Likewise, personalised gaming avatars are on the rise and easily applicable to the fashion space. The women we spoke to all agreed fashion is an element of self-expression and ultimately deeply personal. Features such as virtual reality where consumers can virtually try on specific items in fashion apps would allow their identity to be central to the shopping experience. Do remember that consumers don't want the clothes they view on these apps to look the same on the woman sitting next to them, so personalization is key - think brand, style and body type filters.
Our final words on the game of fashion
Whilst we didn't nail the formula for the next Candy Crush of fashion gaming, we found plenty that fashion brands can learn from the enticing nature of mobile gaming to increase brand engagement. Fashion brands can find new moments to interact with consumers by filling their 'empty' time with a fun escape into the world of fashion, offering style advice and virtual fitting rooms to put these skills into practice. So, you can do worse than looking at the successful engagement mechanics of gaming when building or updating your fashion app, so be ready to play along with the game of fashion and hopefully you will win!
Aysia Mayers & Simran Sadhra
2CV Internship 2019
To find out more about our internship programme please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Intern Research Project Details:
We spoke to 14 women in two focus groups and a nationally representative survey of 50 women across the UK in November 2019