It was Friday night and I was at home watching the Wimbledon semifinal between Roger Federer and Milos Raonic. A huge Federer fan that I am, I usually try not to miss any of his matches, especially Wimbledon.

Federer has just broken the Raonic serve with that commanding single handed backhand of his. It was his turn to serve now and the camera, as they so often do, zoomed into Fed’s shoes to showcase the engraved letters RF and of course the Nike brand to the entire world glued to their television sets.

As I wondered how cool it must be to have your name engraved on your shoes, I also got reminded of the running shoes I needed to buy for myself. Of course no one’s going to engrave my initials on my shoes, I had to be content with the regular shoes at the retailer.

I opened the fashion app that I frequently bought from on my phone. But, it’s been a while since I bought anything online, let alone the app. The app had a new UI and looked cool. I browsed through few shoes of Nike, Adidas and Puma.

There were some nice ones and were up for great discounts too. I was in a dilemma whether I must buy a pair right away or do I go to a store the next day, try out a few pairs and then buy. Just then, I heard a massive cheer from the audience in the TV. Federer had held his serve to win the third set and take a 2 sets to 1 lead.

This is going to be good. I closed the app and turned my attention back to the TV.
Federer ended up losing the match in the deciding set and he even cried during the presentation. I was upset. I had forgotten about the shoe I wanted to buy. The weekend went by. I woke up Monday morning and realized that I hadn’t bought my shoes when I wanted to go out for a run. I should have bought it then, now I wouldn’t have time the whole week.

But hold on. I forgot, but how could the fashion app forget? I’m a marketing professional, so I got to a bit of thinking.

The fashion app must have tens of thousands of users logging into their app each day looking for various products. Not all of them are buying. At best, 2-3% of them would buy. What about the rest?

  • Why couldn’t the fashion app send me a push notification reminding me about the shoe that I wanted to buy? ‘Hey Dharshan here’s the shoe you almost bought!’ – simple isn’t it. This would have been the best thing. They could have sent me a push notification during the weekend and I would have made the purchase right there.
  • Why not an email? I have brought from the fashion app before and they send me several emails with promotions and offers. In fact I got an email from the fashion app on Sunday about their new home furnishing category of products. How did they miss out on the fact that I visited shoes on the app. An email with a reminder on the subject line would have definitely gotten my attention. I would have bought my shoes.
  • And then there’s Facebook. I’m not the most active person on facebook but I did spend a few minutes over the weekend. There were other ads on my timeline but the fashion app didn’t bother showing me an ad of the shoe I wanted.
  • Of course there’s display ads on other websites I visit. An ad would have probably reminded me but I still had to take my phone and open the app and make the purchase.
  • There is the option of SMS too. Personally I don’t prefer getting spammed by brands with text messages. But I should admit, if I had gotten a text message with a link to ‘shoes’ page of the app I would have gone ahead and done it. But alas, I never got an SMS anyways.

I’m not an expert but I’m pretty sure people like feeling important. If I had received even one of the above mentioned communications from the fashion app, I would have felt valued and I would have certainly gone onto make that purchase. But now, I feel ignored.

If I find some time after work today, I will walk into a retail store and buy a sports shoe. There, fashion app, you just lost $50 revenue. Moreover, you just lost a customer. Who knows what would have been the life time value of me as a customer for you.

If you’re still wondering, I didn’t go on that run today morning.


Disclosure: This is a guest post by Dharshan Chandran, a growth marketer at Vizury, a multi-channel mobile marketing platform. He can be contacted at marketing@vizury.com 

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