The Top 10 Brands That Are Mastering Mobile


August 2, 2016

The crossover between the beauty & fashion world and technology is rich in opportunity and demand. We are becoming an increasingly mobile culture and, for brands that are quick to pick up on this omnichannel venture, they’ll develop a competitive edge.

In theory, developing an effective mobile app doesn’t sound too difficult, but there have been countless brands stumbling on the execution. Too often, retailers develop apps to mimic the website experience. For the most part, these are ineffective as they’re offering a platform that already exists.

Rather than scale-down what’s already been done, a handful of clever brands have taken the opportunities in mobile and ran with them, creating a completely unique customer experience. Here’s a roundup of the top 10 fashion and beauty brands that are mastering mobile:

1.) Sephora

Sephora is the reigning queen of the beauty app world and for good reason. The brand’s shoppable “to go” app features everything from beauty rewards and exclusive brand offers to virtual makeup and video tutorials. The app has a scanning option so customers can pull up product specs and reviews while shopping in-store, and user accounts sync so that the same data is available across all platforms.

2.) Nike

Nike was one of the first retailers to jump into the world of app development and the risk the company took certainly has paid off. Using mobile as a way to position Nike as a lifestyle brand, the sportswear retailer has created a number of apps under their umbrella from running and workout assistance to community apps that live-stream sports events. Nike’s newest mobile venture, Nike+, allows users to track their runs using branded wearable and provides customized coaching plans to help users achieve better results.

3.) L’Oreal

One of the biggest problems facing beauty retailers in converting to online shopping is that the in-person look and feel of products heavily influences purchasing decisions. Customers are wary to purchase a makeup product they haven’t yet tried on. To bridge the gap between offline and online, L’Oreal created the Makeup Genius app using advanced, face-tracking technology. The user scans their face in the app, that then shows how various products will look on their own features and skin tone. In-store, customers can scan any one of the brand’s products and it will allow them “try on” that exact shade.

4.) Michael Kors

In an effort to make online shopping more personal, Michael Kors launched a new CRM platform for its customers in Asia on the social media app, WeChat. The tool merges all channels of shopping with its digital customer service, and offers both in-store and online benefits to spur impulse visits.

5.) Saks Fifth Avenue

Under the direction of Michael Burgess, Saks Fifth Avenue has garnered attention for the brand’s mobile strategy. It was one of the first to implement QR codes on in-store items and made headlines when it enabled its app to show clothing on a variety of body types.

6.) Sally Hansen

Similar to L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app, Sally Hansen brings the same technology to ManiMatch for iPhone. Users simply snap a photo of their hand and can virtually try on over 200 different shades of the brand’s nail polish. The app takes it one step further and makes personalized suggestions based on the user’s skin tone.

7.) Christian Louboutin

The renowned French footwear and accessories label, Louboutin, took note of how often their customers produce user-generated content based of their purchases, and chose to launch an app that would take it further. Unlike any other fashion brand, the design house created an app that featured unique, branded filters. The Louboutinize app allows users to add these overlays that align with the label’s aesthetic, encouraging more photo snapping.

8.) Rituals

European cosmetics brand, Rituals, is known for its holistic approach and natural range of skincare and makeup products. What it may be becoming even more known for though, is its carefully crafted mobile app. The branded application was developed with the intent to encourage customers to take “Me-Time”, while subtly featuring at-home spa products that can be purchased in-app. Rituals contains dedicated meditation tutorials, both secular and universal, that range in lengths to fit into the users’ schedule.

9.) Ralph Lauren

Luxury designers are still finding it difficult to wade into the waters of mobile commerce but a select few have learned to master it. Ralph Lauren’s self-named app gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at design and casting processes, and features runway footage and interviews with the designer.

10.) ASOS

Similar to the website, the ASOS app is simple, minimalistic, and easy to navigate. The in-app catwalk feature showcases a model wearing the selected clothing item so that customers can see how the piece looks in action. All account details, such as saved items and shopping bags, are synced so they can be pulled at any moment on the desktop site.

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