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Missguided, the 'fast fashion' online retailer, has launched a shopping app built with the Poq platform.
It's not 'officially' available until March 8th, but it's there in the App Store if you search hard enough.
Let's look at some of the key features.
Tinderisation is lots of fun (but sometimes 'interesting')
Let's start with the headline-worthy feature. Missguided has included a tab called 'swipe to hype', allowing users to 'nah' or 'love' products.
Loved products are then added to my wishlist within the app.
It's not immediately clear if there's a sophisticated algorithm behind this. Does the feature learn from my loves?
Even if it doesn't, the feature is compelling but I found strangely when I started using it that I was presented with at least 15 plus-sized products in a row.
I've given the app no indication as to my body shape, indeed at this point I hadn't even visited any product pages, so I'm unsure exactly why this happened.
We recently ran an article about the Tinderisation of ecommerce, and it's rapidly becoming an expected part of fashion apps. Not only is it fun, but it provides a whole host of data should the retailer wish to use it.
No need to register (but a tiny UX gripe)
The app doesn't force users to sign in or register, which is a great move, allowing customers to 'skip' and quickly browse without presenting any upfront barriers.
However, I did have the smallest of gripes when I tried to register via the app.
As you may be able to see from the screenshots below, once I had filled in all the fields on screen, the 'next' button on the keyboard did not change to a 'done' or 'enter' button, but back to the traditional 'return'.
Although I eventually found that this 'return' button did remove the keyboard and allow me to hit 'submit', I spent a while unsuccessfully trying to scroll down and wondering how to complete.
This might seem an inconsequential detail, but it's the type of thing that can be thrown up in user testing.
Poq has been in touch and this has been amended, ready for the next app release.
The product filters offer a very clean UX, with a full screen UI including colour and size, as well as a price slider.
Perhaps a slight improvement could be sought by indicating which filters have been selected, once the user returns to the results page.
However, this can be difficult to do with little screen real estate, and is something that not all desktop sites do, let alone apps.
Shoppable editorial is now a mainstay of ecommerce, becoming fairly common over the past two to three years.
The Missguided app has a simple and usable take on this feature, with a sort of lookbook of different styles, often accompanied by 'shop the look' calls to action.
Featured products slide up from the bottom of the screen when a user clicks. These can be favourited or the user can visit the product page.
The checkout is fairly functional. I like the 'pay securely' call to action and it's nice that you can select a billing/delivery address from your contacts.
I saw no evidence of 'fingerprint' checkout, which the Poq CEO has mentioned at launch, but this could be a feature on compatible phones only (my iPhone 5C doesn't have fingerprint unlock).
Overall this is a solid entry to the app marketplace. Despite the talk of app content being unbundled into search and the OS, apps are proving popular in ecommerce at the moment.
Missguided's loyal customers have long called for an app, which seems like a must for an online-only retailer.
The editorial and Tinder-style features are compelling and I can foresee high engagement. If Missguided is able to feed data from this activity intelligently into its CRM and contact strategy, it could pay dividends.
Update 03.05.16: Missguided's Head of Ecommerce got in touch to clarify that the slight bug in the 'swipe to hype' feature has been fixed.
He said, "We had an issue with the algorithm which displayed products to the user, which wasn’t present during pre-deployment testing. It’s now fixed, and you should see a much better selection of products if you reload the app today :)"