Emerging Technology

Innovation that matters.

    Very (ShopDirect)

    Using gamification to aid in fashion buying decisions and increase customer engagement.

    The context

    Gamification is the application of game-playing mentality in non-game contexts, in order to increase the interest in an area or activity for a community of users. Different techniques that appeal to the human desire for achievement, progress, success and competition can be used in a surprisingly wide range of business contexts. This client was interested in applying these ideas to clothing items in their catalogue in the form of a game based on predicting the popularity of items and competing against other players.

    What we did

    We worked with four interns on IBM’s Extreme Blue programme to produce a gamification prototype for the fashion retail brand Very. The concept we developed was perhaps best described as “fantasy football for fashion”. The idea was that Very’s customers could browse the online store and add items to their collection to produce a style they thought would be on trend. Using real time analysis of website hits, sales data and social media sentiment each collection was awarded points to decide how fashionable their collection was.

    The solution

    Customers could enter different competitions, either amongst their friends or everyone to see how their fashion picks compared, competing to be Very’s top fashionista. As well as encouraging customer engagement and exposing more of Very’s products to their customers, the game provided valuable data, indicating which items might be popular in the future with their customers. This information could be used by the retailer’s fashion buyers to help decide which product lines or styles to stock.

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