On Developing A Shopping Assistant App: Should I Buy The Bag?

Or the story on how I make my friends getting addicted to being in a shopping crisis.


Avril 2018

With that very superficial introduction I’d like to share the story of this app, created last summer after a friend came to me with that very annoying question “Should I buy this bag?!”.

First, it was a fashion blog

During my Digital Marketing years, I was writting a fashion and travel blog which, long story short, was sharing tips and great advices to shop smart and on a budget.

I’ve let the blog died when I started learning web development but I kept the good shopping habits. When, last summer, my friend asked me wether she should buy that Furla bag, I couldn't help but thinking of those years blogging about shopping advices. She came to the right pal.

I drawn her a flow chart, one of those I’ve learned to draw during my studies in development and posted it on Instagram. Another friend commented the post and asked if she could use it to design it. And it hit me:
I can develop it too.

should I buy the bag flow chart

The Gaming strategy

One of my former Master colleague was really into gaming and his dream was to join Ubisoft team or one of those huge gaming company. I was also aware of gaming as part of UX design and marketing strategy: Tinder, Uber, all using gaming design to make users stay or return on the app

I wanted to try something. I wanted to apply strategies I’ve learned and get the opportunities to develop another project.

When, end of July 2017, I had this conversation with my friends, that was it, my gaming app.

Then came the app

As I started building the app, I first thought of how I would lead a user to get an appropriate answer to the question “Should i buy the bag”. While I was a blogger, I invited shoppers to ask themselfs useful questions such as “do you really want it?” “Can you tell at least one occasion you will wear it?” “Is it good quality?” “are you going to wear it more than once?” and so on.

The questions needed to be asked in a correct order: first of all, the most basic questions to ask oneself and only later, a bit more specific ones.

I also believe that as far as you go in the test without answering wrong, you quite have it right regarding the item and the last questions are more strategic: money questions.

should I buy the bag

I wanted to build a very easy app to use, with the little knowledge of UX I had from my readings, listening to podcast and attending Meetups.

I used the UX of Tinder and the strategy of BuzzFeed quizzes: the addiction of wanting to know what’s next by just tapping on a button.

As I organised the question and give a straight no answer to every wrong answer, I figure user might want to retry the test. Why? Well, either to get further in the test, discovering the other questions, maybe to get a positive answer, by boredom or amusement, to see the whole concept or last but not least, to keep playing.

Just like those BuzzFeed Quizzes: "Which Disney Prince are you?", "Tell me what you drink I'll tell you which city you should live in". We have so much better things to do of our time and yet, we keep playing to get a ridicule answer about who we are. Should I Buy The Bag test is meant to give the same feeling.

buzzfeed-quizz
buzzfeed-quizz

I, therefore, collected every answers from every tests to understand the users, their shopping habits and how they would answer the test.

With 180 tests taken so far, more than 50% took the test, at least, twice. Someone even 10 times in a row… Game on!

With a hint of attitude and laughter

During my blogging and digital marketer years, I figure that the best way to get traffic is to make people talk about your site, your product, service. If you have something that amuse or interest people, they’ll tell their friends.

Having attitude in this test and in the rest of the site was my way to get attention. Being slightly provocative, tenderly harsh is part of the game.
Don’t we all love Gordon Ramsay?

And a good laugh. Using the gif as answer to say yes or no is, first, a popular tool to amuse but also the right mix of pop culture, video and media to share on social networks.

As we turn to our friend for shopping advice, I use Zapier, an automation tool, to catch any tweets with keywords "Should I Buy The Bag" and reply with the link of the app. If they don't find the app by themselves, I'll come find them, even in the changing room!

tweet-should-i-buy-the-bag
tweet-should-i-buy-the-bag

Curiosity and reassurance

With all the datas collected while the tests were taken, I gather enough information on how the users shops. I figure sharing the statistics will be interesting for the users to compare themself and nourish their curiosity also called voyeurism, a classic behaviour heavily nourished by social medias those days...

From there, you can found out if you are part of the majority of people whom cherish an addiction for shoes more than bag. Also place yourself in the online shopping team or the outdoor shopping one. Finally, find out how many reasonable and smart people took the test and receive a positive answer: the ultimate aprobation by Queen B or the sweeet sweet advice from Aziz Ansari in Parks and Reacreation: Treat Yo Self!

Life is short buy the bag!
Treat yo self!

To conclude, I would say that in the shopping cart for a cool app should be: 1 gaming strategy, 1 provocative narrative and popular gifs to spread the love on the internet.

An addiction for shopping is a must.