Style meets science in one of the latest mobile shopping apps to hit the market. Launched on January 23, the fashion styling app Mada is quickly becoming known as the Tinder for clothes, employing an algorithm that learns shopper preferences by collecting user data with each swipe of a gamified experience.
What Is Mada?
Mada, a new fashion styling app, uses a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and user analytics to develop a keen understanding of each user’s unique fashion style and types of products each user wants.
Upon creating an account, new Mada users are prompted to complete a 10-question style assessment that analyzes users’ personal style preferences, body types and levels of accepted fashion risk. Mada Founder and CEO, Madison Semarjian, told Business Insider the survey questions help the Mada team learn more about the demographics and psychographics of each Mada user. After completing the quiz, a user is directed to the Mada shop, and the swiping begins.
Mada users are shown pictures of outfits from a collection of 4 million products from more than 2,600 brands like Nordstrom, Macys, Bloomingdale’s and Draper James. Similar to Tinder, users can swipe right to like or save a look or left to reject it. As Mada users swipe their way to the perfect look, the app learns more about their style preferences related to brands and price point, allowing the app to deliver more personalized results with every new look. The Mada app continues to actively learn about each user, collecting first-party data and suggesting more tailored results with each login. Mada users can filter results by occasion, season and price.
How Is Mada Evolving The Mobile Shopping Experience?
Although Mada is not the first mobile styling and shopping app, it is among the first to use a gamified experience to engage users, collect first-party data and pair user insights with artificial intelligence. Fashion brands like Stitch Fix and Just Fab also use customer quizzes to learn about style preferences, but both of those brands also partner each user with a stylist. Mada is unique because the app promotes “awakening your inner stylist,” because in the words of the Mada website, “you are your own best stylist, whether or not you know it yet.”
Unlike other fashion brands that promote the appeal of a personal stylist to make decisions for the shopper, Mada embraces the values of individuality and empowerment. The Mada user experience is designed to help users retain a sense of control as they evaluate products. In an interview with Glossy, Semarjian said, “We’ve learned that people don’t always answer correctly on that quiz. We’re learning more based on their behavior [in the app]: how they’re swiping, how they’re swapping out products, even how long they spend on an outfit.”
How Does Mada Appeal To Gen Z’s Spending Habits & Consumer Values?
According to Mada’s website, the Mada brand persona is based on three values: empowerment, confidence and living chic. Mada’s core values align with many Gen Zers, as this generation has barely known a life without social media, online shopping or smart phones. Access to evolving technologies have empowered Gen Z to embrace shopping habits and behaviors in new ways compared to prior generations. According to Business Insider’s ”State of Gen Z”, the spending habits of U.S. consumers ages 13 to 21 is most heavily influenced on affordability and value. 60% of Gen Zers surveyed selected price as the determining factor for their purchases. In addition to being price conscious, Gen Z also wants the products they buy to show their diversity and individuality, making Mada a perfect fit, as the app helps users discover unique fashion finds that fit their budgets and styles.
Mada made its debut just before many societal and economic shifts took place as a result of the coronavirus. With many retail locations either closed or operating by pick-up only, Gen Zers will be further encouraged to make their purchases online. According to Semarjian, "[Mada is] grateful that we've been able to work through the recent roadblocks and also help drive sales for our [brick-and-mortar] retail partners that temporarily needed to close their doors [due to coronavirus shutdowns]."
Why Does Mada Matter To Digital Marketers?
The launch of Mada is one more example of the fashion pendulum swinging toward the personalized digital marketing strategies as brands strive to engage, acquire and retain today’s consumers. As the long term effects of COVID-19 remain undetermined, many fashion brands may look to transition away from brick-and-mortar retailers and gravitate toward enhancing their ecommerce shopping platforms and customer experiences. To establish the optimal omni-channel user experiences, brands will need to develop strong understandings of their target audiences. The first-party data and artificial learning deployed by Mada may inspire more fashion brands to alter their marketing approaches and implement technologies that will help them further customize unique offerings for each customer. Digital marketers looking to attract and retain Gen Z consumers will need to focus on the generation’s prioritization of proactive and personalized shopping experiences from browsing to buying and beyond.
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