ModCloth’s mobile frame of mind

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ModCloth’s mobile site

AS13_80x80Its mission sounds straightforward: democratizing fashion and décor around the world. And to do that, ModCloth has a focused game plan – to build community through active participation that makes the experience better for everyone.

At Shop.org’s Mobile Retail Boot Camp, ModCloth Senior Vice President of Product and Development Sarah Rose shared what makes the vintage-inspired clothing and online décor retailer so inspiring. The key is enabling customers to embrace the powerful combination of mobile and social, Rose stressed. Brands must recognize that in order to overcome the distractions on mobile, they have to create an experience that keeps people coming back. ModCloth builds on this concept of user-generated entertainment in three ways:

  • They revamped its mobile app last year by integrating photos in the Style and Product Guides. It served as a solid starting point for customer interaction, resulting in a huge spike in participation and engagement.
  • The Make the Cut collection is comprised primarily of crowdsourced designs and is one hook to keep fans intrigued. It’s an important cog in what Rose called ModCloth’s “Virtuous Cycle” –inviting customers to interact in a community that empowers them to collaborate and create something great.
  • Be the Buyer brings community participation to the sourcing side of design.  It puts exclusive samples in marketplace and serves as a test lab for buyers and vendors. This helps vendors determine whether a product will be successful before putting it in production on a large scale.

So how do these concepts help drive revenue? Nearly 50 percent of traffic now comes from mobile, Rose said – a number she believes will rise during the holiday season. And the average revenue per user is also about two to three times higher on a phone than desktop. Both are testaments to what Rose’s colleague Jennifer Grasso called the visitor conversion, or experience through social engagement. It has been so successful that one customer comes back to use the app as many as 100 times a day, Rose added.

For ModCloth, mobile has really unlocked the power and potential of social.

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